Jim Mcelroy - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://www.jazzreview.com Wed, 24 May 2017 05:07:17 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Fascinatin Rhythms by Meoldy Breyer-Grell http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/fascinatin-rhythms-by-meoldy-breyer-grell.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/jazz-vocals-cd-reviews/fascinatin-rhythms-by-meoldy-breyer-grell.html When you see a new recording of Gershwin songs there is a part of you that goes, "Oh no not again!" Just how many versions of "I've Got a Crush On You" can one person en…

When you see a new recording of Gershwin songs there is a part of you that goes, "Oh no not again!" Just how many versions of "I've Got a Crush On You" can one person endure in his or her life? It is like that endless onslaught of Christmas music we are forced to smile at each holiday season, while we check off the days on the calender until it finally comes to an end. I think the Geneva convention has a rule about this kind of behavior doesn't it? Well, get ready music lovers; here comes another one. Melody Breyer-Grell's Fascinatin Rhythms on the Rhombus Records label is the latest entry in a long, (and I mean long) list of Gershwin recordings. And you know what? This is a good one, I mean a really good one; one of those heartfelt well done recordings that makes you stop and listen.

Breyer-Grell has a very compelling voice, at times soft and low, enticing you to listen, and then it can soar to heights that make you shake your head in wonder. This is more than just a tribute album, in fact, to call it that would be to trivialize it, to reduce it to less than what it is. This is an album of songs that are as timely now as they were when first introduced. Even though they are all recognizable to anyone who has not been on Mars for the last twenty years, there is something new about them all. The opening number "Somebody Loves Me" was a first take done without rehearsal, just voice and the expert playing of Don Braden on saxophone. After you hear this number you'll say to yourself, "If that was without any rehearsal imagine how good the rest of this is going to be once they had time to practice!"

There are moments here and there that sound a little less polished than others but that is not a negative, in fact, it is in those moments that some of the best performances come from. It is like being center stage at one of those smoky nightclubs at about three in the morning when things have just really gotten good. You are carried along on a seamless wave of music and emotional honesty that gives the album its flavor. Fascinatin Rhythms is a more than one casual listen album; it is one of those recordings that comes along every once in a while that remind you why you listen to jazz in the first place. It is the kind you listen to when you are in love or just out of it or could care less about it, this recording just seems to fit no matter what.

Melody Breyer-Grell is a new find and one that it can be strongly suggested you pay attention to. In fact, if you would like to hear what this singer can do with a wider variety of composers, try her first recording The Right Time. Ms. Breyer-Grell, legend has it, was an office temp while getting her start in music; those days are over and a very bright future awaits her in music, and that is good news for us.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Jazz Vocals - CD Reviews Tue, 01 Jan 2008 00:00:00 -0600
One Night by Marsha Heydt http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/one-night-by-marsha-heydt.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/one-night-by-marsha-heydt.html One Night by Marsha Heydt
There are several words to describe the debut recording by Marsha Heydt. Words like, flawless, effortless, polished and intoxicating. Thirteen selections on the album an…

There are several words to describe the debut recording by Marsha Heydt. Words like, flawless, effortless, polished and intoxicating. Thirteen selections on the album and not a bad one among the bunch, with styles ranging from Brazilian to 70's funk to straight ahead jazz and then back to the blues. Ms Heydt gives us some fine remakes of classic numbers such as "Georgia On My Mind" and "The Days of Wine and Roses" mixed in with several original compositions such as "Good Feelin", "One Night" and "I Want to Know You".

Given her upbringing in rural Pennsylvania Dutch Country, not exactly a hot bed of jazz to say the least, the lady quickly found her place in life by starting piano lessons when she was only five years old. Music was in the genes, her mother a gifted pianist in her own right, and played in the local church. After seeing Phil Woods play in nearby Reading Pennsylvania Heydt knew she had not only found her passion she had found the instrument by which to transmit that passion, the saxophone. She did not however limit herself to just that one instrument she has studied guitar as well as flute and clarinet as well as voice. This huge range of talent is clearly evident on the album One Night.

Each number stands well on its own but when taken as a whole the album is a tapestry of styles and emotions that deliver on the promise few can deliver, an album of comtemporary classics that never loose sight of where they came from.

There is one track whose title can make you wonder what was she thinking when she chose it . "The Love Theme from Spartacus". Images of Kirk Douglas spring to mind and the idea of a love theme can be a little hard to grasp. Well fear not, it is gorgeous number done with a touch of Brazil thrown in for good measure, it will quickly become a favorite.

On "Well U Needn't", Heydt and Todd Schwartz play Monk's number with real respect for the artist and the legacy. The standout number on the entire recording has to be the soulful recording of "Georgia On My Mind". Played with restrained emotion that builds slowly as the number progresses, it is a hit all over again. Ray Charles could not have done better on his best day. One Night by Marsha Heydt on Blue Toucan records, a stand out debut by an artist whose timehas come and we are the better for it.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Various Jazz Styles - CD Reviews Fri, 15 Jun 2007 07:00:00 -0500
Beatle Jazz by Beatle Jazz http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/beatle-jazz-by-beatle-jazz.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/beatle-jazz-by-beatle-jazz.html This album tries very hard to take one of the best known catalogs in music and convert it to a smooth jazz recording. The album opens with "Fool on the Hill", which bene…

This album tries very hard to take one of the best known catalogs in music and convert it to a smooth jazz recording. The album opens with "Fool on the Hill", which benefits from the addition of Toots Thielemans on harmonica and the complementary playing of Dave Kikoski on keyboards, they give the song a real smooth feeling to it that is a pleasure to listen to. "Lady Madonna" is almost unrecognizable and goes from being a rock number to contemporary jazz and in the process loses its edge.

This recording is the fourth in the series, and while it has its high points, to often it tires to bend songs to it's will that just do not want to go, and perhaps shouldn't. To be fair to all concerned this is a nice listen, the players among the finest working today, the album flows from one number to the next with out so much as a hiccup. The song selection is eclectic going from some of the better know songs such as "Fool on the Hill", "Lady Madonna", "All You Need Is Love" and "The Night Before" to some of the more obscure, such as "Waterfalls", "Beautiful Boy" and "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Hill".

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Thu, 25 Jan 2007 18:00:00 -0600
Homework by Richie Barshay http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/homework-by-richie-barshay.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/homework-by-richie-barshay.html It is never a good thing when a recording arrives and the first line of the press release refers to it as "Genre Defying". I always think that is like when you go on a b…

It is never a good thing when a recording arrives and the first line of the press release refers to it as "Genre Defying". I always think that is like when you go on a blind date and your date is said to have a "good personality", but she would, in reality, frighten the dog if he got a glimpse. So it was with some trepidation that I played the debut recording by AYVA records musician Richie Barshay, Homework. The result? Imagine if you will that you are standing at the foot of an enormous dam. As you look up you see the first little trickle of water coming over the top, then you hear a rumble from deep within the dam. Before you know it there is a roar and a powerful cascade of water rushes over you and sweeps you off of your feet. You tumble end over end, first twisting this way then that , breathless you are finally dropped off at the shore, heart racing, gasping for air and aware of the great joy that comes from being alive and very grateful for the ride. That will give you some idea of the feeling you will get after hearing this recording and being exposed to this young mans talent and vision.

Homework is very difficult to explain and even harder to categorize, but is that not what makes music great? The ability to expand boundaries and defy conventional wisdom that says you must make hits and nothing but hits. This album is a hit, don't get me wrong, just not in the traditional sense of the word. It makes up its own rules and then follows only some of them. Its creator himself believes in keeping things new and exciting, he likes to keep on stretching, never resting on the things you have done before. Of the thirteen tracks on here each is able to stand on its own and make its own private statement, but when put together they make a eclectic tapestry of sound that makes you stand up and listen and even , dare I say it, feel something. This is not cookie cutter music, this is the real thing played and composed by someone who knows how it is to be done, even at the age of 23.

Maybe if we had a word from the man himself, it would help to explain some of the different styles on this album. "Trinkle Tinkle" "Dan Blake and I used to have a group called the Tabla Underground; we regularly put jazz standards over tukras, these long Indian rhythmic compositions. And the Monk tune that fit the best with a tukra was 'Trinkle Tinkle'. That was really using the traditional instruments to explore a jazz context and really improvise and let loose."

This is not something that you can give a casual listen to, for each time you hear it, you are really hearing it anew. There are little things that seem to come foreword each time you start the disk, different rhythms and little beats that you somehow missed the first time through. One of my personal favorites on the album is "Peacock", it starts slow with this low almost guttural sound that the beat seems to build upon and grow from. Just when you seem to have it in your mind there is this male chorus that suddenly appears from no where and they add a new level then disappear, amazing stuff Homework.

Barshay says that the recording is about "exploring esthetic's than playing and blowing. I was going for more of a compositional thing , combing tabla and exploring esthetic's, rethinking where it is all coming from. As a drummer I am going for something brand new with the rhythms. It is more trying to sound original using old ideas". There is something for everyone here. Indian, Afro-Cuban, Be-Bop, straight ahead Jazz, and things that defy a label.

This is a stunning debut by a major new talent, do yourself a favor stand before the dam and let the water wash you away, you will so very glad you did. Homework by Richie Barshay on AYVA records is what good, no make that great , music is supposed to sound like.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Other - CD Reviews Wed, 03 Jan 2007 06:00:00 -0600
Willie Poochs Funk and Blues by Willie Pooch http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/blues-cd-reviews/willie-poochs-funk-and-blues-by-willie-pooch.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/blues-cd-reviews/willie-poochs-funk-and-blues-by-willie-pooch.html Tupelo Mississippi has always been know as the birthplace of the King of Rock and Roll, but now it can also be known as the birthplace of the new King of the Blues, Will…

Tupelo Mississippi has always been know as the birthplace of the King of Rock and Roll, but now it can also be known as the birthplace of the new King of the Blues, Willie Pooch. If you need proof of this try listening to the new recording on Chicken Coop Records Willie Pooch's Funk and Blues and there will be no doubt in your mind. This is one of those move the furniture-turn up the volume until the neighbors bang of the walls -kind of recording. The old school kind where the singer has earned the right, not bought the right, to sing the blues. In short Willie is the real deal.

Produced by organ marvel, producer and funk from the soul master Tony Monaco, this is a set of songs that grabs a hold of you from the first note and leaves you shaking you head with pure joy at the end. Eleven soul filled tracks, including the proper recordings of the classics "The Thrill is Gone" and "Georgia On My Mind" as well as five new gems penned by Pooch, "House Arrest Blues," "Cross My Heart Blues," "In My Lonely Room," "Buckeye Steel Mill Blues" and "Willie Rap," Willie Pooch's Funk and Blues is the blues at its best.

Born in 1936 in Tupelo, Willie has lived one of those lives that just makes for great music. From playing baseball in the cotton fields with playmate Elvis Presley, to playing the blues with the likes of Hound Dog Taylor, Elmore James, Luther Allison, Magic Sam and Muddy Waters, Willie Pooch is the living embodiment of the Delta Blues. At the age of 13, Willie and his family moved to Chicago's south side, where he began studying with Luther Allision. Working in the stockyards during the day and playing the blues at night, Willie dreamed of being the next big blues legend.

During the 50's Willie really lived the blues day in and day out. Be it in Chicago or touring the Midwest, he learned what it means to have the blues. "There's lots of blues to be learned out on the road, three months at a time, five guys in a beat up station wagon, I tell you that'll teach you about the blues." In 1962, Willie was recruited by Sam's Bar and Grill in Columbus, Ohio to be their house band, where he earned the nickname the "Godfather of Blues." Willie performed at night and worked at the Buckeye steel mill during the day, a job he held until his retirement in 1999 after 30 years and 30 days. The song "Buckeye Steel Mill Blues" plays tribute.

This is a recording that should find its way into the hearts and minds of all those who love not only the blues, but good honest music. Not the cookie cutter type that to often passes for music, this is authentic American Delta blues, the kind they don't hardly make no more. Give this man a listen. My bet is you will be hearing a lot from him very soon. By the way, if you want to hear more from Tony Monaco, the organist extraordinarie on this recording, check out East to West and Fiery Blues, both on Summit Records.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Blues - CD Reviews Sat, 15 Jul 2006 13:00:00 -0500
Make It Happen by Winard Harper http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/make-it-happen-by-winard-harper.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/make-it-happen-by-winard-harper.html Winard Harper's newest recording Make It Happen, on Piadrum records is simply not for everyone. It is only for those who really love music, have a real taste fo…

Winard Harper's newest recording Make It Happen, on Piadrum records is simply not for everyone. It is only for those who really love music, have a real taste for jazz and cannot think of anything that makes their lives worth the living more than spending time listening to a real master of their instrument. If you do not fall into any of those categories, you can stop reading now and save yourself some time. If on the other hand you are someone who does fall into that group well read on and enjoy.

Winard Harper is known as not only one the hardest working jazz musicians today , he is also a respected band leader and sideman. Make It Happen is an astonishing journey into the mind and soul of this artist, and with Harper you get a little of everything. African percussion, Caribbean Soul, lush ballads , bop, you name it he can play it. Backed by some exceptional players in the sextet this recording embraces you from the start and feels like a spiritual experience as much a jazz record.

The album opens with Charlie Parker's "Segment" and from the very first beat you sit up and take notice. The other worldly percussion playing mixed with the brass and piano leave you breathless at the end. "This music is all about heart. You have to reach out and be able to pull things out of yourself and touch people. Your heart has to be right. That is different for everybody. I get there by connecting with the Creator through prayer, connecting with people, connecting with myself. I can most certainly hear it if a musician doesn't have heart. Can't you? Sometimes you hear a musician who has the music in his head, but it ain't in their heart yet." Truer words were never spoken, and if there is one thing that this man does not lack is heart.

"Make It Happen" the title track goes from the sound of a didgeridoo and balafon and slowly works its way up to a crescendo then back down again to just where it all started, a fun number and one that I think you should play loudly and often. From there is the really heartfelt and lovely ballad "Tamisha". This song is a love song to the saxophone and is a very intimate respite from the harder driving numbers around it. "I've Never Been In Love Before" is a great companion number, a gentle swing and again some stand out horn playing here as well, each number on this album has a gem or two or three hidden among songs, the joy is finding a new one with each listen.

OK so I enjoy listening to drummers, I myself have no rhythm but that does not mean I cannot appreciate those who do, and envy them at the same time. "BangBangBoomBoomBapBap", (the longest title on the disk) is the showcase number. An amazing solo performance that makes you stand there with your mouth open at the shear joy of it. What makes it better is that it is all improvised. Says Harper, "That is the beauty of jazz music,it is all conversation". Amen to that.

"After Hours" a real bluesy number with stand out piano playing by T.W. Sample, conjures up some smoky nightclub in New York on a hot and steamy Saturday night. You can feel the crowd spilling into the streets and people just swaying to the music. If you listen close enough you can hear the players calling out during the number, the beat is infectious and impossible to resist.

The disk closes with "The Prayer" this has a heavy Afro-Caribbean beat and it is another one of those numbers that permeates this recording with the joy of living and the magic that is music. I'll let Mr Harper explain. "Jazz is a very spiritual and powerful music. I think about the lives that I am around and that I see the music touch. Those people hold jazz dear and it helps them. You don't see a bunch of negativity in jazz. As Jimmy heath once told me. 'Jazz is the greatest example of democracy that you will ever see'. With jazz you see every race and ethnicity on stage working to create one thing. Whatever you put yourself around, that is what rubs off on you and influences you."

Make It Happen by the Winard Harper Sextet is not only good music it is good for what ails you, and the world.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Tue, 20 Jun 2006 19:00:00 -0500
En El Aire (On The Air) by Alain Perez http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/en-el-aire-on-the-air-by-alain-perez.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/en-el-aire-on-the-air-by-alain-perez.html Alain Perez learned about his Cuban musical heritage the same way most other boys of his generation did ,by listening to his grandfather sing tonadas and gu…

Alain Perez learned about his Cuban musical heritage the same way most other boys of his generation did ,by listening to his grandfather sing tonadas and guarachas while relaxing in a hammock. Now this 29 year old musician composer is helping to not only continue the long heritage of Cuban music but helping it find a new direction as well. En El Aire, on the Barcelona based AYVA label is a wonderful introduction to this multi talented artist. For he is not simply satisfied to be a bass player, Perez is a threat on more levels than that. How? Do you say? Well Perez manages this by being a multiple threat in being a composer, bass player, keyboardist, percussionist and singer. The electric bass , something not always heard as the primary voice on Latin recordings, is Perez main choice of instrument. But he has masterful command of the keyboard and he has a emotional and plaintive voice that is a perfect match for the soulful Cuban sound that is captured on this recording.

This is one of those recordings that even though you have no working knowledge of the language, you get the message just by the emotion. I think that maybe knowing what is being said might just take away something from it all. Often compared to Jaco Pastorius, whom Perez spent a lot of time listening to, Perez took what he heard filtered it through his own voice and came up with s style that is purely his own.

Part big band, part intimate group, part heartfelt songfest, En El Aire is a tightly woven tapestry of music and emotion played by a young man with a clear vision and a deep respect and love for the Cuban tradition that makes this a stand out recording. It is usually folly to try and pick out selections that rise above the rest, first it makes it sound as if the others were somehow lacking, which is not the case. Second each song, as it should, speaks to each person differently. Now having said that there is one number that does make a different kind of impression on you. "A Mi Abuelo Tata" which translates to "My Grandfather Tata". This track is just voice and bass nothing more, and again the language barrier has no meaning. It is a love song between grandson and grandfather, it reflects the deep family ties that enrich not only the lives of those who call Cuba home, but to those whose voices we hear so eloquently on En El Aire. Never mind the fact that it also shows off the virtuoso playing of Mr Perez, and if you listen closely enough you can hear the soft breezes and feel the afternoon sun.

En El Aire displays the full range of this young artist and leaves you with warm feeling knowing that this an artist that is only just starting to come into his prime, that we as fans and listeners came rest easy knowing that there are many more such recordings to come.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Latin Jazz / Latin Funk - CD Reviews Tue, 20 Jun 2006 01:00:00 -0500
Simpatico by Brian Lynch http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/simpatico-by-brian-lynch.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/simpatico-by-brian-lynch.html Simpatico by Brian Lynch
Brian Lynch gets complaints about his music.It usually comes from the guys trying to play his music, but it is not something that bothers him. "Conrad Herwig the trombone p…
Brian Lynch gets complaints about his music.It usually comes from the guys trying to play his music, but it is not something that bothers him. "Conrad Herwig the trombone player on this project told me one day that the part he was trying to play had to be the hardest he had ever seen for a trombone. Was he really upset, or just kidding. Kidding, maybe." So Brian Lynch does not tend to write cookie cutter music, instead he writes emotional, powerful, if slightly complex music. The kind that stays with you for a long while. So it is on his new recording Simpatico on the Artist Share label. Simpatico, is a collaboration with his long time mentor and equally long time friend Eddie Palmieri. The music is contagious and tightly played by a group of musicians well versed in the field of Latin Jazz.

Lynch either wrote or co-wrote all but one of the tracks on this disk and each number is stamped with his very definite and unique musical vision. The disk opens with "The Palmieri Effect" a tribute number to his mentor and this shows off the complexity of the music and the raw emotional power of the music. In fact if you listen hard enough you can hear Palmieri in the background half singing along with music. As a leader Lynch takes the musical high road, leading this large group through all of the twists and turns , highs and lows that well written Latin Jazz can have.

"Que Sera La Vida" written along with vocalist Lila Downs is a haunting , heartfelt ballad that one does not really need to speak the language to understand. "What would life be? Without the sadness of the soul no explanations, without the cold what would life be? Without the darkness, would there e light, without discussion, would there be truth, without the pain would there be joy. Sung slowly and very emotionally by Downs, the music is a wonderful counterpoint to her poignant lyrics.

It is very hard to pick out one or two of the numbers as favorites, first of all they are all to good to be able to pick one or two out, and second why bother when it is this well done who cares. But if I had to try and pick a couple I would say perhaps "Jazz Impromptu" and "the above mentioned "Que Sera La Vida" and "Slippery". "Slippery" sounds pretty much as it is tilted, with Lynch's playing racing along in spots that a man on a ice covered hill, it also features some outstanding bass playing by Boris Kozlov. I could go on and on about this recording but I think you get the idea, it is one of the best Latin Jazz albums out in a long while.

Latin Jazz can be one of two things, either a wonderful reminder why we are all alive and the joy that even heartbreak can bring, or in the hands of those concerned more with profits that emotions just plain awful. Simpatico is , lucky for us, in the first category a wonderful reminder of how music can lift spirits and make us all glad we are alive and lucky enough to have heard music such as this. Simpatico is on Artist Share.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Latin Jazz / Latin Funk - CD Reviews Mon, 19 Jun 2006 13:00:00 -0500
Sonny, Please by Sonny Rollins http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/sonny-please-by-sonny-rollins.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/sonny-please-by-sonny-rollins.html For the first time in nearly five years the colossus of the saxophone is back, and not a moment to soon. Sonny Rollins has a new label and a new recording and those of u…

For the first time in nearly five years the colossus of the saxophone is back, and not a moment to soon. Sonny Rollins has a new label and a new recording and those of us who love to listen to jazz can now rejoice for in all the world there is but one Sonny Rollins, and on Sonny, Please, he proves he is still at the top of his game. From the very first song, the title track "Sonny, Please", Rollins and his group are off and running and there is no let up. "Sonny , Please" has a very strong bass line provided by Bob Crenshaw and this is backed up beautifully by the drums of Steve Jordan who with the rest of the band play with a style that lets you know that they more than just play music they live it. Rollins tears into the song full tilt and the result is breathtaking.Add in the percussion work of Kimati Dinizulu and a healthy dose of Clifton Anderson on trombone and you have the best of the best at work here, it rarely gets any better.

Rollins,who shows no signs of slowing down, not only demonstrates his immense power on the saxophone but also as a composer, having created four out of the seven tracks on this recording, each with its own unique flavor and style. He still finds the time to give new life to an old classic , such as his soulful rendition of Noel Coward's "Someday I'll Find You". I am sure the Coward would have been impressed for this is a flawless recording, the players here are the masters of their craft and with Rollins as their leader reach amazing new heights.

"Nishi" is a straight ahead jazz number that has a real gift in the duel horn playing of both Rollins and Clifton Anderson , backed up by the bass of Bob Crenshaw and the guitar of Bobby Broom. "Nishi" swings and if you listen hard enough you can hear the calling out of the musicians themselves, this is music so good you cannot help out shout about it all. "Stairway to the Stars" is a love ballad that is Rollins gift to his fans, it allows him to just soar above it all, the sound is so deep and so ingrained in him that you wonder how one person could get that much sound from just one instrument. From the high notes to the low, Sonny Rollins has complete and total control of his instrument and shows us all how it should be done. With the gentle added percussion of Kimati Dinizulu, who knows exactly where to fill in the little gaps that appear and does so without you even knowing. Dinizulu is a craftsman of the highest order as are his band mates and they provide us with an amazing joy ride of sound.

"Remembering Tommy" is a generous and beautifully played number that again combines the effortless playing of Bobby Broom on guitar and Steve Jordan on drums capped off with the virtuoso playing of Rollins and Clifton Anderson. "Serenade" (Ballet Les Millions D"Arlequin) introduces us to a new band member Joe Corsello on drums and to a number that sounds pretty much like its title, there is a kind of light and airy sound to it all almost as if a ballerina was dancing right in front of the bandstand. The song sways and seems to be lighter than air.

The album closes out with "Park Place Parade" a sort of lighthearted tribute to the city of New York complete with whistles and a real jaunty beat that makes you want to get up and dance around your room, (not recommended if you are listening to this while driving however).On the whole Sonny,Please is a welcomed return by one of the legends of jazz and it shows that this is someone whose talent and artistry knows no bounds or limits, welcome back Mr Rollins.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Wed, 29 Mar 2006 18:00:00 -0600
New Voice : Old Voice by Joshua Bayer http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/new-voice-old-voice-by-joshua-bayer.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/contemporary-jazz-cd-reviews/new-voice-old-voice-by-joshua-bayer.html It is very difficult to say anything really bad about the new recording from Joshua Bayer , New Voice: Old Voice, the reason is very simple, it is as close to p…

It is very difficult to say anything really bad about the new recording from Joshua Bayer , New Voice: Old Voice, the reason is very simple, it is as close to perfect as you can get. Joshua Bayer has crafted a singularly wonderful recording that invites you in from the very first cord and makes you want to stay long after the final note has faded away. The opening track , "Nostalgia In Times Square" is a Charles Mingus classic that sways and and swings in a way that would make its composer proud. The number is driven along by the extraordinary saxophone playing of Marty Nau and Lyle Link and backed by the expert and soulful bass playing of Mr Bayer.

"Skating" by Vince Guaraldi from the perennial Christmas favorite "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is a warm inviting song that again displays the tight playing of the members of this group, these men make it sound all so good that one can only imagine the number must have been written with them in mind. The five players compliment each other and their interaction is the key to the albums overall cohesive and smooth sound, the whole recording is flawless.

Every once in a while there is a song that when you see the title on the album cover your first reaction is one of confusion, as in why did they pick that one? "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" at first glance may sound like a strange choice, but in the hands of Mr Bayer and company it is a great lush number that sweeps you along on a strong wave of rhythm and sound so strong you find that you cannot help but get swept away, it is by far one of the best numbers on this album.

Besides being the driving force on the bass , Mr Bayer is also a standout composer , and he contributes no less than five of the numbers here. "Off Kilter" a straight ahead jazz number that again features the saxophone playing of Messrs Nau and Lyle Link, "New Voice" and "Society's Blue" which features Bob Sykes on the Rhodes. There is the emotional and expressive "Bounce" that showcases Bayer's amazing dexterity on the stand up bass as he not only compliments the saxophone but leads and guides the song along on an air of sophistication and grace. "Bethena's Bridge" in which Mr Bayer takes a moment to share the arranging spotlight with none other than Scott Joplin, is next and the song is a jazz lovers dream full of the kind of playing that comes from a deep and abounding love for not only the music but the history that goes with along with it.

The recording closes out with "Old Voice", the last of the Bayer compositions and it bookends the "New Voice" number beautifully, Mr Bayer is at his finest here and the song swings and if you close your eyes and really listen you are instantly transported to a small jazz club on the left bank of Paris in the wee small hours of the morning and you remember this is why you listen to jazz in the first place, to hear this kind of music making. New Voice : Old Voice by Joshua Bayer is one of the finest recordings you will come across this year, masterfully played, brilliantly composed and expertly executed this is one to be played over and over again.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Mcelroy) Contemporary Jazz - CD Reviews Sun, 26 Mar 2006 18:00:00 -0600