Savon Edwards - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://www.jazzreview.com Mon, 22 May 2017 16:21:34 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Sibylle by Martin Maheux Circle http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/sibylle-by-martin-maheux-circle.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/sibylle-by-martin-maheux-circle.html Sibylle by Martin Maheux Circle
It should come as no surprise to any "Jazz Cat" that Canada has been producing tons of incredible new progressive jazz bands and Unicorn Records has been responsible for…

It should come as no surprise to any "Jazz Cat" that Canada has been producing tons of incredible new progressive jazz bands and Unicorn Records has been responsible for putting many of them out into the world.

As with most progressive bands, the Martin Maheux Circle has plenty of talent, chops, and licks to go around and then some, but the thing that separates this group is that they don't do it in a show-offish way, but instead, they stay reserved and serve the music.

Martin Maheux, the drummer/keyboardist of the circle is what you might call a natural talent learning by ear at the age of seven to play the piano, and the guitar before finding his true instrument, the drums at age 11. He has made a name for himself playing in bands such as Space Out, before putting together his own project in 2001 with the release of Physics of Light, in the summer of 2002.

For his second album, Martin added a string quartet to his regular jazz quartet, adding elements of chamber and classical music.

The Circle is made up of some stellar performers; Rachel Duperreault, adds a welcome twist with the violin, which may not be a usual instrument associated with jazz, but then again this is not your usual outfit. Frederic Alarie is on the upright, Guy Dubuc on keyboards, and Jean-Francois Gagnon does the job of trumpet -- and quite nicely, I might add.

All in all the two quartets that Martin Maheux has meshed together not only can handle working together they also compliment each other and create something unique.

Sibylle, the Circle's second release, reminds me mostly of a independent romance film, there is plenty of drama, with highs and lows pulling at the heart strings. In addition to chamber, and classical this record also has elements of swing, rock, and straight-forward jazz. I can't think of any other group that I could compare the Martin Maheux Circle to, which I mean as a huge compliment.

My favorite track off of Sibylle would have to be "Metamorphose," which is supported by feverishly paced drums, then layered over by a smooth yet advanced melody. I hope to hear much, much more from this group, and my ears, and my soul would like to thank the Martin Maheux Circle.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Fusion - CD Reviews Tue, 06 Jun 2006 07:00:00 -0500
Sphere by Karcius http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/progressive-cd-reviews/sphere-by-karcius.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/progressive-cd-reviews/sphere-by-karcius.html As human beings we all have different feelings,emotions, and "moods" that we get in, and these change from time to time,even by the minute for some of us. Happy and joyf…

As human beings we all have different feelings,emotions, and "moods" that we get in, and these change from time to time,even by the minute for some of us. Happy and joyful calls for something up tempo with a good beat. Sad and lonesome might be something a little slower with more emotion.Nobody knows what fits your moods better than you, and sometimes even you're not sure. That is when it is time for Karcius ,a diversified powerhouse out of Montreal Canada. Karcius is made up of four excellent musicians dedicated to creating new textures, and sounds and should rest assured that they have delivered the "goods".

The problem with most progressive bands is that they overload the music with pretentious talent and forget about the emotion, of course musicians need a certain amount of aesthetic value to challenge the listener, but if it is not conveyed in a common language then it will only lose the listener. However this is not a problem for Karcius. Of course hard core jazz purist will not enjoy Karcius, they are not traditional jazz, they are not traditional anything. They have a definite heavy metal side to them ranging from the deep dark grooves of the heavy giants of the past such as Cream, and Deep Purple to modern metal masters like Tool, and Metallica. The flipside of this Canadian quartet includes influences that might remind listeners of Miles Davis' Bitches Brew line-up or even Weather Report.The bands that I am listing are only provided to give the reader some idea of what to expect, and that I am not trying to put my finger on the Karcius sound, King Kong would not be able to put a finger on that.

Karcius is a fun, and energetic band who are not afraid to push the musical boundaries which they are all well prepared to do. All four members of Karcius are well trained and schooled in the art of music making. Before falling in love with the bass guitar Dominique Blouin studied piano, his influences now range from Tony Levin to Les Claypool. Guitarist Simon L'Esperance started playing at age 11, he studies and plays all styles of music and also moonlights in a jazz-funk trio "Mangroove". Keyboardist Mingan Sauriol only recently fell in love with his instrument of choice and rapidly took to it like a fish to water, his influences range from Chick Corea to Beethoven. Thomas Brodeur started playing drums at a very early age exploring different genres such as Jazz, Latin, and Rock his influences seem to include anybody who has ever picked up a pair of sticks.

The bands objective is to develop different musical ideas and explore styles to generate a surprising and diversified music. In closing I would just like to thank Karcius for being themselves and following their passion.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Progressive - CD Reviews Tue, 18 Apr 2006 19:00:00 -0500
Natural Selection by Tunnels http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/natural-selection-by-tunnels.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/natural-selection-by-tunnels.html Within the wide world of jazz, there are many paths that one can take. Some may lead you to sunny streets, another will lead you to a smoke-filled nightclub. Other paths…

Within the wide world of jazz, there are many paths that one can take. Some may lead you to sunny streets, another will lead you to a smoke-filled nightclub. Other paths show you a way to the caves and caverns of the underworld. That is where you will find Tunnels. Once you are inside the tunnels, you must be very careful. It is extremely easy to get lost. The tunnels are dark and slowly winding. Sharp jagged edges poke out at you and the rough, unbalanced ground makes it hard to keep your footing, but like anything that is risky and mysterious, it is also exhilarating.

Natural Selections is the 5th release for Tunnels and we find them returning to the classic trio format with the "new guy" John O'Reilly Jr. on a very heavy rockin' drums. O'Reilly must have been a "natural selection" for this trio, as he fits in perfectly with bassist Percy Jones and his slappin' and poppin' and down right funkin'-it-up style. Jones could work within any funk, hard rock group and be a welcomed asset. Percy's wide range and immense talent has already taken the artist through different bands, such as Brand X, Phil Collins, Brian Eno and Suzanne Vega to name just a few. Together, Jones and O'Reilly make a rock-solid rhythm section that maybe more comparable to John Paul Jones and Bohnam than Ron Carter and Tony Williams, but I am sure Tunnels is not concerned with being a "standard" jazz group.

Marc Wagnon is somewhat of an enigma of sorts. I would personally consider him the "Jimi Hendrix of the midi vibes." I was a bit skeptical at first about a jazz trio without a piano or even a saxophone, but Wagnon somehow takes care of it all. Wagnons' style is refreshingly new, innovative to the point of pure brilliance. He has a technique and a dead-on feeling that can be described best in the words of Chuck Berry, "just like ringing a bell."

Together they are Tunnels. Together they will take you through tunnels to new worlds, places you never knew about, even places you might be a bit afraid of. My favorite track on Natural Selection is "Devils' staircase," which by the way is a most appropriate title. You feel as if you are walking or being pulled down a long dark winding staircase to meet the Devil himself. All I can say is thank you Tunnels.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Fusion - CD Reviews Mon, 27 Feb 2006 18:00:00 -0600
Jazz@ the Pan Cafe Vol.1 (maiden voyage) by The Pan Cafe Quartet http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/jazz-the-pan-cafe-vol.1-maiden-voyage-by-the-pan-cafe-quartet.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/jazz-the-pan-cafe-vol.1-maiden-voyage-by-the-pan-cafe-quartet.html I admit I do not much care for steel pan, I have respect for it as an art form, as a style of music, and for the musicians who perform it,but to me and my exposure of the p…
I admit I do not much care for steel pan, I have respect for it as an art form, as a style of music, and for the musicians who perform it,but to me and my exposure of the pan always seemed a bit repetitious, and a too "islandy" which is fine and dandy if your in Costa Rica with a rum punch in your hand and some sand between your toes. The only problem with that is that I live in northeast Ohio and do not get down to Costa Rica as much as I would like. Actually I put off reviewing this record because of how I feel about pan music, well you know what I was wrong and I am not afraid to say it. I am still not a big fan of the genre,but these guys are at the top of their game, they created something really original by simply combining a few styles that I never really heard together before. New Age jazz,a touch of Be-bop (and straight), modern, and of course centering around the steel pan, definitely a new sound.

The tracks on this 2005 release are basically a who's who of traditional jazz recordings.You have cuts like Birds' "Donna Lee","Song for my father", by Horace Silver, the title track "Maiden Voyage" from Herbie Hancock, and then one of my favorite selections on the album "Giant Steps", and I think you know who that is by, if not do some research and find out. As some of these song titles may sound familiar I can assure you that they will not be simple renditions like you may have heard before, it will be a new sound.

The personal tends to be as diverse as the music itself,no surprise there I guess. Jzules Maharaj the pianist, producer, and songwriter is a London based musician influenced strongly by jazz and reggae. He has also produced tracks for recognizable drum and bass labels. Maharajah has done some work in the performing arts and is currently studying a BA jazz degree. Alex Wheeler born in Trinidad and influenced by calypso,samba,and reggae is the bands drum programmer, and engineer.Do not let the fact that they have a drum programmer turn you off it is actually one the things that make them so unique. Kevin Dunford plays fender bass, and double bass and extremely well I might add.He is known as a first rate session player performing everything from soul,R&B,rock,and jazz.Dave Vine the creator,and brainchild of the group is the steel pianist, and arranger. He started his career with conventional steel bands in the U.K. he has performed as a soloist and also with top U.K. jazz bands his influences range widely from calypso, reggae, R&B, classical jazz, and Latin.

So as I write this review on February 5th in northeast Ohio it is somewhere around 0 degrees outside with a - 20 wind chill factor I would like to thank the Pan Cafe Quartet for two reasons. First for turning me on to a new style of music that I never gave much of a chance to in the past, and secondly for warming me up a bit.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Other - CD Reviews Thu, 13 Oct 2005 19:00:00 -0500
Bilbao Song by Available Jelly http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/bilbao-song-by-available-jelly.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/bilbao-song-by-available-jelly.html During the early 1900s', musicians had to be versatile, they had to be able to play a country hoe-down on one night and then a gospel show the next. With the media still…

During the early 1900s', musicians had to be versatile, they had to be able to play a country hoe-down on one night and then a gospel show the next. With the media still in its' infantile stage musicians had to be prepared to play anyplace they could, old-time favorites to the gentlemen at the barbershop, and also medicine shows,high-society dances, and juke joints, basically wherever there was to earn some money. Well, to say some things have changed would be an understatement.

Nowadays one of the first things a musician has to do is decide which genre they are interested in pursuing, then they practice, get good, and hopefully spend the rest of their career being pigeon-holed by the record companies, and the fans alike. For the most part we are all alright with this, if you want blues you turn on the blues channel, if you want reggae you tune it to reggae, but every once in a while a musician emerges without thinking about genre, with a concern only for entertainment.

Michael Moore is the alto sax, and clarinetist for Available Jelly, he is also one of the main composers, and arrangers along with cornetist Eric Boeren. Moore has also worked in such realms as commercial studio work, dance classes, theater, and concert designer. He has won many various awards including the "Bird Award", in 2000, he has his own record label, Ramboy Records. The track "Jewels and Binoculars" is a Bob Dylan tribute band that Michael is a part of, and there is more than 80 c.d.s' that Moore has written and/or played on. It is safe to say that the man is diverse, and so is Available Jelly. Each and every player in this group is amazing within their own and with each other.

"Bilbao Song" gathers inspiration from Duke Ellington to Cole Porter to Burt Bacharach, and Hoagy Carmichael. The album also touches upon a wide-range of themes such as Asian, Turkish, Portuguese, and Dixieland swing. There is not exactly one way to describe Available Jelly, except maybe "full of surprise" if you are a fan of jazz music you will love these gus.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Various Jazz Styles - CD Reviews Mon, 03 Oct 2005 01:00:00 -0500
Bossa Na Pressao by Haroldo Mauro http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/bossa-na-pressao-by-haroldo-mauro.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/bossa-na-pressao-by-haroldo-mauro.html Waiting...we all spend most of our lives waiting. Waiting in line, in traffic, musicians wait to make that perfect record, and fans wait to hear it. Well, for Haroldo Ma…

Waiting...we all spend most of our lives waiting. Waiting in line, in traffic, musicians wait to make that perfect record, and fans wait to hear it. Well, for Haroldo Mauro Jr. that wait is over.The 2005 release on Brazilian label Delira Musica Bossa Na Preesao is an instant classic.

Out of the twelve songs that make up Bossa Na Preesao, six are originals written by Mauro, the remainder are bossa nova standards, although there is nothing standard about these versions. Mauro employs an improvisational style that is simple, but intensely played. He incorporates a style that is derived from the philosophy of Eli Siegel known as "Aesthetic Realism", which states that everything has an aesthetic structure,"the oneness of opposites", or more simply stated by Haroldo himself, "I aim to convey the ideas of elements that are free,and loose,but are bound by a strong organization."

Three out of the six standards on Bossa Na Pressao are written by bossa nova legend Tom Jobim, most known for the classic, "Girl from Ipanema", Haroldo Mauro Jr. easily translates Jobims' velvety smooth voice onto the 88 keys creating rich tones that are classically linear, yet heavily textured at the same time.

There is an old saying for musicians that goes something like "the notes you don't play, are as important as the notes you do play", it is obvious that Mauro is familiar with this saying. He knows how to wait...waiting for that exact moment, he knows how to let the music breathe,and it does so, so beautifully.

Mauro is joined by two phenomenal players. Bassist Sergio Barrozo, who is solid thru-out the entire album, and the incredible Duduka da Fonseca on drums. Da Fonseca and Mauro do some tastey trading on "Rua Juquia" one of my more favorite tracks, also listen to Da Fonseca's solo on "Terra de Angara", very well done to say the least.

Mauro, Barrozo, and da Fonseca are all three very well trained musicians who know, love, and care for their craft and that always comes thru the music and straight into the listeners heart. Music worth waiting for.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Tue, 27 Sep 2005 01:00:00 -0500
The My Fourteen Songs by Claudio Scolari http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/the-my-fourteen-songs-by-claudio-scolari.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/the-my-fourteen-songs-by-claudio-scolari.html Every once in a while, we as music listeners are blessed to have someone come along who is not like anyone else. A musician who finds the bar and proceeds to go beyond t…

Every once in a while, we as music listeners are blessed to have someone come along who is not like anyone else. A musician who finds the bar and proceeds to go beyond that. A student of life and of music. A master craftsman, someone who is willing to dedicate their last breath for their passion. I believe that Claudio Scolari is this type of person.

The My Fourteen Songs, released on Principal Records in 2005, is a highly personal recording. There is more than plenty of emotions passed through from Scolari on this classic avant-soul-fusion record.

Upon the first couple listens, I admit that I did not "get it," but something must have got to me because I quickly found myself returning to it over and over, like someone hearing a foreign language for the first time. It sounded strange and beautiful and as I listened more and more, I explored the multi-textural music stylings that are incorporated. Everything from 70s big rock guitar to hip-hop beats, but there is more to it. There are elements that remind me of Miles Davis' On the Corner. That same sort of funkiness, that feeling of the music actually being inside of you. Also containing the spiritual side of, dare I say Coltranes' A Love Supreme." A sonic enlightenment. A spiritual journey. The My Fourteen Songs may typically be more of a Sunday morning listen rather than Friday night, but that's not set in stone.

Claudio is one half of the musicians on the record, taking responsibilities of drums, percussion, voice and synths. And let's not forget about composing the music, in which you will find the true strength of the music. Donnie Romano makes up the other half by contributing guitars and voice. You do not hear jazz guitar players like Romano. He is extremely talented in both theory and pure expressionism. Donnie plays with a fierce intensity on the one side, then on the other is cool and collective. This perfect mixture makes a challenging and welcomed addition to the "colours" of Claudio Scolari. In short, let me just say blessed are those who listen.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Fusion - CD Reviews Sun, 25 Sep 2005 19:00:00 -0500
Kinda Dukish by Ab Barrs http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/free-jazz-avante-garde-cd-reviews/kinda-dukish-by-ab-barrs.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/free-jazz-avante-garde-cd-reviews/kinda-dukish-by-ab-barrs.html The invention of the time machine is one that we have all wondered about at one point or another. Some of us would travel to the future to see what is in store for manki…

The invention of the time machine is one that we have all wondered about at one point or another. Some of us would travel to the future to see what is in store for mankind. Some of us would travel back to witness historical events, or to visit loved ones that we have lost. I believe that most of us are just looking for simpler times. Well, good news. The time machine does exist and it is affordable for anybody who is willing to travel. It's called Jazz and it can transport you to a time where things do not seem so fast and complicated. It is time travel and right now Ab Barrs is at the controls and he is taking us back to the glory days of Jazz royalty: Duke Ellington.

Anybody who is familiar with Ab Barrs already knows that he is one of the most unique reed players in the world today. Being more than familiar you might know that Ab Barrs has been at the center of Dutch Jazz and improvised music scene for nearly 30 years. This reed player hailing from Axel, Holland is best known for his involvement with Misha Mengelbergs' ICP orchestra, but since 1990 his main focus has been the Ab Barrs Trio with which he has released numerous albums and has toured worldwide, including Europe, Australia, and the U.S. The trio consisting of Ab Barrs on clarinet and tenor saxophone, Wilbert de Joode on double bass, and drummer Martin van Duynhoven has streched into a quartet with the help of long time collaborator trombonist, Joost Buis for their latest release, a superb homage to Ellington, titled Kinda Dukish.

The most refreshing idea about this tribute is that there is no piano player showing off how well they can reproduce the original music. The Ab Barrs Quartet make these songs their own, with a definitive twist, but not so twisted that it becomes something other than a true tribute. Some of the tunes on Kinda Dukish are more obscure than others but never to the point of deconstruction. One of the highlights on Kinda Dukish is the first track, "Solitude," in which Barrs indeed plays in solitude. It is a version that is slow, winding, and menacing and yes it is played note for note. It is also a song that transports you back in time and allows you to feel as if you are experiencing a true avant-garde Jazz genius for the very first time. To sum it up Kinda Dukish is kinda incredible.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Free Jazz / Avante Garde - CD Reviews Mon, 12 Sep 2005 07:00:00 -0500
Skin Tones by Samuel Torres http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/skin-tones-by-samuel-torres.html http://www.jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/skin-tones-by-samuel-torres.html Skin Tones by Samuel Torres
It comes as no surprise that the Columbian-born musician is exceedingly talented. You don't get the opportunity to play with Arturo Sandoval, and celebrated African perf…

It comes as no surprise that the Columbian-born musician is exceedingly talented. You don't get the opportunity to play with Arturo Sandoval, and celebrated African performer, Richard Bona, by being less than great. It also is no surprise that Torres comes from a family deeply rooted in music, his grandfather a trombonist, and his grandmother a self-taught guitarist, and singer. These great early influences also provided the jazz records in which the percussionist was first taken by. "I went to sleep with this music and the sounds floated in my head all night long," says Torres.

If there is any surprise, it comes with Samuels' sensitivity and maturity as a composer and band leader at such a young age. The musicians on Skin Tones, the 2006 One Soul Records release, were hand-picked by Torres. John Benitez has a warm, rich tone on his electric bass that goes tightly with the time-keeping skills of drummer Ernesto Simpson. Hector Martignon on piano brings out much of the classical elements of Skin Tones, and also beautifully accompanies the soft, silky voice of Julia Dollison, which floats brilliantly over the music on tracks such as "Observatory," and "The Key." Mike Campagna on tenor saxophone and Michael Rodriguez on trumpet and flugel horn are the dynamic horn section that take this immensely diversed band from Latin jazz, to shades of early bebop, to classical jazz. Rounding out the line up for Skin Tones are Edmar Castaneda on harp, Wolfgang Barros on Columbian maracon, and Ralph Irizarry on timbales.

Skin Tones showcases the textural melodies of Samuel Torres, but it is not a show-off album. Each player here contributes and leaves thier own mark, which in turn, makes this record a modern classic for all jazz lovers. Jeff "Tain" Watts has called Torres an "inventive, lyrical and special artist" and I could not agree more.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Savon Edwards) Latin Jazz / Latin Funk - CD Reviews Thu, 08 Sep 2005 01:00:00 -0500