Posts Tagged ‘ Jazz ’

The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys Traditional Jass Band – Slightly Concussed – Live at De Melkbus

The name alone is enough to get your attention: The New Orleans Swamp Donkeys Traditional Jass Band. And they’re out in full force with the two-disc Slightly Concussed – Live at De Melkbus (2017).

This versatile group of musicians play traditional jazz, blues and New Orleans style, or Dixieland. Formed in 2012, they began touring nationally in 2013 and sold out the Blue Note in New York City in February of 2014. Word got around after the group performed their version of the “Game of Thrones” theme at B.B. King’s in New York City. A video of the performance went viral, scoring more than a million views.

Personnel are James Williams, vocals and trumpet; Sam Friend, banjo and vocals; Miles Lyons, sousaphone; Nick Garrison, trombone; Josh Marotta, percussion; and Connor Stewart, clarinet and saxophone.

Read more …

Advertisements

Berta Moreno – Little Steps

A debut album with all-original music. Add a couple of Grammy winners and nominees to the mix, and you have the stunning introduction to saxophonist Berta Moreno, Little Steps.

Moreno plays tenor sax and composed all eight songs. Her accompanists are Steve Wilson, alto and soprano sax; Troy Roberts, tenor and soprano sax; Manuel Valera, piano; Maksim Perepelica, double bass; and David Hardy, drums.

The set opens with the cool “J.G. Power.” The blended saxes carry the melody after the finger-snapping pace is set by the rhythm section. Moreno then goes on an extended jaunt, delivering with a happy-go-lucky attitude. The sax trio engages in a brief, but tightly syncopated series of rolls before the next soloist. The cool mood continues until the next round, when the sax cranks up the intensity. After another rolls in which the saxes call, with a response first by the drums and then by the bass, the song reverts to the main theme.

Read more …

Chad Lefkowitz-Brown – Onward

In a field where so many saxophonists opt for the smoother sound, it’s always a good day when an artist plays the instrument with an edge, an old-school verve. Chad Lefkowitz-Brown comes through with Onward (2017).

Lefkowitz-Brown plays the tenor sax. His accompanists are Steven Fiefke on piano; Raviv Markovitz on bass; and Jimmy MacBride on drums. Special guest Randy Brecker plays trumpet on a couple of tracks.

The title song opens the set in dramatic fashion. This hard-charging, free-spirited piece is like a call to move forward. Upbeat, with solid play from all, it’s a song that can get you on your feet, or that you can enjoy just listening. Lefkowitz-Brown leads most of the way, but there’s not a moment when you don’t feel the others. Fiefke also has a stunning middle solo.

Read more …

Alex Wintz – LifeCycle

Being one with the world, one with humanity is the logic behind Alex Wintz’s LifeCycle (Culture Shock Music, 2017).

Personnel are Wintz, guitar; Lucas Pino, tenor saxophone; Jimmy MacBride, drums; Victor Gould, piano; Ben Williams, bass on three tracks; and Dave Baron, bass.

The title songs is an energetic piece. All players are firmly engaged. Wintz and Pino blend on the melody, including some tightly synchronized phrases. Pino, Wintz and Gould each thrill in his moment in the spotlight. But don’t lose track of Baron and Macbride.

Read more …

Yoko Miwa Trio – Pathways

After almost half a decade absence, pianist Yoko Miwa is back in the studio. Pathways (Ocean Blue Tear Music, 2017) exhibits the cohesion of her long-standing trio.

Miwa is accompanied by Will Slater, acoustic bass; and her husband Scott Goulding, drums. Brad Barrett handles acoustic bass on “Dear Prudence.”

A balancing act of four original songs and four covers, Pathways is a stand-out for piano trio music. Instead of revisiting the same standards many other trios have covered, Miwa opts for jazz improvisations of two pop/rock songs, two Marc Johnson compositions and her originals. The result is a sound that’s fresh, exciting and full of vigor.

Read more …

Joris Teepe and Don Braden – Conversations

It took about seven years to complete, but Conversations by Joris Teepe and Don Braden (Creative Perspective Music, 2017) is worth the wait. A project that began in 2009 with the recording completed in 2016 mixes old and new, classics and originals.

Personnel are Teepe, bass; Braden, tenor saxophone and flute; with drum duties split by Gene Jackson and Matt Wilson.

Three classics open the set in stellar fashion. Chick Corea’s “Humpty Dumpty,” Elvin Jones’ “Three Card Molly” and Charles Mingus’ “Goodbye Pork-Pie Hat” showcase the partners’ complementary styles. The last of that trilogy is done sans drums. Braden (“Eddieish”), Wilson (“Stolen Time”) and Teepe (“We Take No Prisoners”) each penned one track.

Read more …

Gerald Cannon – Combinations

Bassist Gerald Cannon released his first album as leader, Gerald Cannon, then took some time out of the studio. A long time. Combinations (Woodneck Records, 2017) comes 14 years after the first.

The players are Gary Bartz, alto sax; Sherman Irby, alto sax; Steve Slale, alto sax on “Prelude to a Kiss”; Jeremy Pelt, trumpet; Duane Eubanks, trumpet on “Combinations”; Rick Germanson, piano; Kenny Barron, piano; Russell Malone, guitar; Wille Jones III, drums; and Will Calhoun, drums on “Gary’s Tune.”

“A Thought” shows the soft side of Cannon. This mellow piece has a bossa nova vibe, reminiscent of a Getz/Gilberto collaboration. Irby, Barron and Pelt assist on this one, each contributing in his own way. Irby and Pelt are out front much of the way. But Cannon and Jones handle plenty in the background.

Read more …

Advertisements