domingo, 20 de febrero de 2011
CD Review: Marty Williams - Long Time Comin'
Record Label: In Moon Bay
Style: Vocal Jazz
Musicians: Marty Williams (piano, vocals), Eric Swinderman(guitar), Ruth Davies (bass), Jon Evans (bass), Ranzel Merritt(drums)
With over 25 years of experience, Marty Williams is a recognized voice in the San Francisco Bay Area jazz scene. His soulful style is deeply rooted in the blues, sometimes venturing into a rock sound in songs like "Brother (where are you)", the Beatles "Come Together" and the funk feel of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy".
Even in the jazzier tracks, "Compare to what", "Falling in Love Again" and "Love for Sale", Williams voice maintain that bluesy quality to it. Williams voice and savvy, cool phrasing are infuse with the soul of an experienced singer, at times similar to jazz greats like Louis Armstrong especially on his version of Burt Bacharach "The Look of Love".
As a pianist Williams is equally as good, his playing has been described as unique, bringing comparisons to piano legends like Thelonious Monk. Williams use of harmonies and space on "Falling in Love Again" and "Love for Sale" certainly have some Monk influence.
All the arrangements are by Marty Williams. Some lean toward the blues, others, like "Monk's Dream" mixed fusion and straight ahead jazz but some are pure jazz like "On a Clear Day" and "Sweet and Lonely".
Tracks: Brother (Where Are You), Caravan, Come Together, Compare to What, Falling in Love Again, Love for Sale, Mercy, Mercy, Mercy, Monk's Dream, On a Clear Day, Sunny, Sweet and Lovely, The Look of Love
Artist's Website: www.martywilliamsmusic.com
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre
CD Review: Peter Scherr - Son of August
Record Label: 1hr music
Style: Fusion Jazz
Musicians: Michael Blake (saxophones), Mike Sarin (drums), Brad Shepik (guitar), Tony Scherr (guitar, bass), Peter Scherr(bass)
Peter Scherr waited almost three years for the release of his new album Son of August. The music was written in august 2008, so that is the reason for the CD title, Son of August, and also explains some of the song titles, like "August" and "August 2".
All compositions are by Peter Scherr except for "Willing" by Chris Brown and Strangers by Ray Davies of the rock group The Kinks. Peter Scherr music has always contained an eclectic and interesting blend of rock, jazz, funk, classical music and music from all around the world. The music on Son of August is not the exception.
There is always a high level of intensity in Scherr's music even in the slow tracks like the march-like " Ok Chorale" and the cinematic "Assonance". The sound of the electric guitar and the steady rock beat on "Tongue", "August" and "Son of August" gives the music that characteristic fusion/rock feel present in most of Scherr music.
For Son of August Peter Scherr invited saxophonist Michael Blake, a musician who also likes to explores and incorporate into his music different sounds and styles. Blake is a saxophonist with a bold, distnctive tone and his unique phrasing may be heard on tracks like "August", "Assonance" and the funky "Son of August" The saxophone brings a jazzier feel to Scherr compositions, especially on "Lucky 13", a piece with a classic swinging groove on bass and drums.
Tracks: Tongue, August, August 2, Willing, Son of August, Assonance, Lucky 13, Ok Chorale, Strangers, Button
Artist's Website: www.peterscherr.com
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre
CD Review: Zoran Madzirov - Roots on a Roof, Balkano Nuevo
On Roots on a Roof the unique and creative compositions of vibraphonist Zoran Madzirov echo the rich tradition of Macedonian music, fused with jazz and other music forms. Zoran also plays his own invention, the bottlephone.
Madzirov great technique and glimmering melodies shines all through the album especially on "Balkan Vulkan", "Butchers Changes", "Cheese under lid" and in the balkan sounds of "The Long Longing" with clarinetist Zoran Kraguevski adding some good improvisations.
The interesting tempo and thematic variations on "Monday's Savory" also has a distinctive balkan sound, but the addition of the violin gives the music a classical feel. That classical sound of the violins may also be heard on "Butchers Changes" and "Flower Meanings".
The melody and latin jazz feel of "Balkan Vulkan" are reminiscent of the Juan Tizol jazz classic "Caravan". But "Verve to Serve" and "Seven Running Perhapses" are the jazziest tracks on the release. The use of time signatures variations on both of them are similar to that of Dave Brubeck's Take Five album.
Roots on a Roof ends with the mystic feel of the track "Pleasure of Source".
Musicians: Zoran Madzirov (vibes, bottlephone, tapan), Marina Cado (violin), Vladimir Krstev (violin), Zoran Kraguevski (tenor sax, clarinet), Toni Pecanov (accordion), Oliver Josifovski (bass), Goce Stevkovski (drums, percussion), Zdravko Angelov (bass clarinet), Bojan Petkov (guitar)
Tracks: The Long Longing, Monday's Savory, Balkan Vulkan, Butchers Changes, Flower Meanings, Verve to Serve, Seven Running Perhapses, Cheese Under Lid, Pleasure of Source
CD Review: Jazzposteao
Record Label: Independent
Style: Latin Jazz
Musicians: Edgardo Ojeda (piano, rhodes), Ariel Robles (bass), Luis Sanchez (drums, timbales, congas), Norberto Ortiz (tenor sax), José Santiago (congas), Jafet Murguia (congas, timbales), Antonio Caraballo (guitar)
The name of this group, Jazzposteao, comes from a Puertorican food recipe, "arroz mamposteao". The message behind the name is that, like in any good recipe the ingredients in music have to be mixed and cooked perfectly to achieve the desired results, and that is exactly what the musicians of Jazzposteao did on this album. The music of Jazzposteao is an exquisite fusion of flavors; jazz, latin jazz, Puertorican folk music and even rock.
One essential ingredient to create good music is of course, good musicians. Jazzposteao is a trio of talented musicians Edgardo Ojeda on piano, Ariel Robles on bass and Luis Sánchez on drums, accompanied by equally impressive musical guests, guitarrist Antonio Caraballo, Saxophonist Norberto Ortiz and percussionists José E. Santiago and Jafet Murguia.
Pianist Edgardo Ojeda, plays with a superb sense of timing, harmonic and melodic structure that creates a good balance in his improvisations. Bassist Ariel Robles and drummer Luis Sánchez provide an excellent rhythm background to Ojeda's melodies.
Jazzposteao arrangements are ingenious and challenging, yet their sound is very accesible to non jazz listeners. The latin jazz arrangement of Coldplay's "Clocks" and the jazz arrangement of Ennio Morricone's Cinema Paradiso Love Theme are two of the hightlights of the album.
On "Gira", a composition of guitarrist Antonio Caraballo, the groove constantly changes between latin jazz and straight ahead. On Ariel Robles' "La Boya" Norberto Ortiz on sax and Antonio Caraballo on guitar exchange solos over Puertorican Bomba rhythms.
Norberto Ortiz, one of the best sax players from Puerto Rico, plays some good improvisations over the intense latin rhythms of "Jazposteao". The album also includes wonderful renditions of three Puertorican classics. The beautiful melodies of Felipe Rosario Goyco "Madrigal", the contagious rhythms of Eddie Palmieri's "Puerto Rico" and Rafael Hernandez "Cumbanchero".
Tracks: Looking up, Gira, Madrigal, Jazzposteao, Clocks, La Boya, Cinema Paradiso (Love Theme), First Sight, Cumbanchero, Puerto Rico
Artist's Website: www.myspace.com/jazzposteao
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre
CD Review: Donna Greene - A girl's gotta have a little pleasure
Record Label: Independent
Musicians: Donna Greene (vocals), Greg Loeb (guitar), Jack Lee (piano), Joel Bennett (bass), Jeff Elliott (trumpet), Vince Denham (sax), Sinclair Lott (drums), John Douglas (piano), Neal Eatherly (harmonica), Jeff Friedl (drums), Kevin Winard (percussion), Kenny Edwards, Big Rabbitt Jefferson, Margie Nelson, Anne Shaw, HiFi Watson, Jack Lee (backup vocals), Cary Hitsman (drums),
A girl's gotta have a little pleasure is a fun album full of blues, ballads and even a little humor; all these delivered by the sensual, soulful and powerful voice of Donna Greene.
Donna is in good company in this album with veterans musicians with experience in a diversity of music styles. Jeff Elliot on trumpet played with Flora and Airto Moreira; Sinclair Lott on drums played with jazz legend Freddie Hubbard and percussionist Kevin Winard played with Sergio Mendes.
There is something for every blues fan on this album; the classic blues feel on "Baby got lost" with smoking piano playing and a good dose of well played harmonies on horns. The folksy/rock feeling on "Blues on a holiday" with a nice intro of guitar and harmonica, ending with excellent vocals harmonies.
The vocal duo of "Double crossing blues", the rockin blues of "You can have my husband", plus the two originals songs by Donna Greene; "A girl's gotta have a little pleasure" and "Shoe boy" provide the humorous relief for the album. "A girl's gotta have a little pleasure" is a swinging piece that needs no explanation. The blues "Shoe boy" explains humorously women eternal fascination with shoes.
Logically, a blues album should include a tribute to a blues master. So Donna Greene also recorded two songs most people recognize in the voice of the great Billie Holiday. On "Lover man" the arrangement, and even Donna phrasing sounds similar to Holiday version with the exception of the exquisite harmony vocals with Kenny Edwards. But on "Comes Love" the cool, sassy arrangements and nice fills by Jeff Elliott in the muted trumpet are very different to the Holiday rendition.
Tracks: Baby get lost, Blues on a holiday, Comes love, Same old blues, A girl's gotta have a little pleasure, Double crossing blues, Love make a fool of me, Shoe boy, Lover man, You can have my husband, Mess around, Autumn leaves
Artist's Website: http://wwwgreeneblues.com
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre
CD Review: Callie Cardamon - Easy Street
Record Label: Primavera Records
Style: Jazz Vocals
Musicians: Callie Cardamon (vocals), Rob Lockart (clarinet), Larry Steelman, Jason Danielson (piano)
Easy Street is a delightful collection of jazz ballads presented with simple but effective arrangements that allows the listener to appreciate Callie Cardamon beautiful voice and cool delivery.
As any good jazz singer Callie imprint every song with a bluesy feeling, singing behind the beat, a vocal technique most female jazz singers learned from the great Billie Holiday. "When sunny gets blue" and "Dream a little dream are perfect examples of the application of this technique. On "Dream a little dream" Callie even add some nice scats at the end.
The sound of the clarinet played by Rob Lockart, on some of the songs gives the muisc a kind of swing era feeling, reminiscent of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.
Even though the Billie Holiday delivery style can be heard in other songs like "Stormy Weather", "Don't fence me in" and "Ain't Misbehavin", the arrangements on these songs borders on bluegrass.
Some of the highlights of the album are the Cardamon original jazz ballad "Love Jazz", a song with a touch of broadway; the jazzier and faster version of the classic "Moon river"; the cool, kind of Sinatra approach to "Let's do it" and the heartfelt vocals of the lovely ballad "I remember sky".
Tracks: Easy Street, Dream a little dream, When sunny gets blue, Let's do it, Love Jazz, Don't fence me in, When lights are low, Moon river, Stormy Weather, Ain't Misbehavin, I remember sky
Artist's Website: http://www.calliecardamon.com/
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre
martes, 1 de febrero de 2011
With the exception of a few instrumentalists like pianist Mary Lou Williams, most women in the so called golden era of jazz were singers. That situation has changed in the last few years, with more and more extraordinaire female musicians entering the jazz scene. Bassist Esperanza Spalding, pianist Hiromi, drummer Cindy Blackman and saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen are just a few examples of the quality of female jazz musicians today. Newcomer Roxy Coss should be consider for inclusion in that list.
Coss is a saxophonist and flautist with a round, rich tone, and a composer well-versed in the jazz tradition. Coss' self-titled debut is a collection of original compositions, each one reflecting the diversity of influences in her music. Tracks like "Lately" and "July" can be classified as smooth jazz, while the funky sounds of "The Slow Accent" lean towards jazz fusion; but on "The Cherry On Top" and "Wandering One," the music is reminiscent of the Miles Davis/John Coltrane recordings.
Like most tenor saxophonists there is a Coltrane influence in Coss' sound, especially in her scalar approach to improvisation. And just like Coltrane, Coss achieves a perfect balance of lyricism and intensity in her improvisations through a superb sense of timing, rhythmic and harmonic structure. As a flautist she is equally impressive in the Latin-influenced "A New Time."
Roxy Coss is a promising debut from a multitalented young musician.
Track Listing: Wandering One; Lately; A New Time; Enlightenment; The Slow Ascent; The Cherry On Top; I Think So; July.
Personnel: Roxy Coss: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute. Kate Miller: trumpet, flugelhorn. Ryan Brennan: guitar. Justin Kauflin: piano, Rhodes. Kellen Harrison:bass. Shawn Baltazor: drums, percussion.
Style: Modern Jazz