Glenn Astarita

Glenn Astarita

Last call for Happy Hour is followed by Matt Renzi's mood-evoking set, conjuring notions of a dimly lit barroom amid some joyous late-night impressionism and cogent theme-building exercises. Renzi's largely memorable compositions capture an atmosphere of a party that marches to the beat of a different drummer. With varying levels of intensity, the trio crafts an appealing sound design via interlocking movements and daintily constructed intricacies.

 

 

Canadian drummer Owen Howard is a veteran session musician, performing with the crème de la crème of modern jazz heroes. He's also an impressive solo artist, witnessed on his fifth release, Drum Lore.

Italian bassist Lorenzo Feliciati and his laudable band-mates take your listening space under siege with this hefty bag of jazz-fusion, electronica and avant-rock. They purport by a cataclysmic sequence of storylines, topped off by trumpeter Cuong Vu's scorching notes. Feliciati's booming, yet pliant lines help consummate a massive rhythmic element along with drummer Pat Mastelotto, of King Crimson and first-call session notoriety. Keyboardist Roy Powell rounds out the band makeup, where electronics, distortion and feisty improvisational segments ride atop pulsating backbeats, shadowy textures and expansive impressionism.

 

Profundity, variety and a multidimensional stance are a few striking attributes of the European Movement Jazz Orchestra's portfolio. With young Slovenian musicians lending their wares, the large ensemble casts a symphonic overture amid small ensemble breakouts and Kenton-like brashness. They explore the free-zone at times during various interludes, yet the musicians' collective imaginary powers intimate more than a few persuasive proposals.

 

A live recording culled from the quartet's appearance at a museum in Krakow, Poland., the album is an alignment of visionary musicians from France and Japan. Perhaps the more notable artist is pianist Satoko Fujii, revered for her compositions and laudable technical faculties within small, medium-size and large ensembles. Fuji and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura reengage on this expansive set, where the avant-garde is fused into an organization of captivating and in some instances, mind-bending pieces, sans any limiting factors.

 

Barcelona, Spain., native Dave Juarez is well-educated in the jazz vernacular amid studies with guitar great John Abercrombie and enrollment at SUNY Purchase upon his relocation to New York. Here, the artist conveys agility, focus, and a multidimensional line of attack with his estimable supporting lineup. He alternates moods, tonalities and shadings while shifting the stride and launching animated solos alongside pianist John Escreet and saxophonist Seamus Blake.

 

East meets West with an enlivening and entertaining form factor, thanks to Palestinian pianist and buzuq performer Tareq Abboushi. In effect, the New York-based quintet diminishes the mystery and places more emphasis on intrigue. It's a union that combines Middle Eastern traditional music with various forms of Western modalities.

 

Dr. Norman David gathers a world-class ensemble, here on this winning studio session. An arranger, composer and educator residing in the Philadelphia area, David also struts his impressive soprano saxophone faculties amid his hearty dialogues with saxophonist George Garzone, trumpeter Tim Hagans and others. Seasoned with memorable hooks and articulate thematic-engineering outbreaks, one of many highpoints is the robust piece, "Tuesday Overture."

 

Each of the two bands highlighted on this 2011 disc feature alto saxophonist Herman Hauge. Previously unissued, these sides were recorded in 1973 and 1984. And per the album notes, Hauge cites the improvisational vehicles with outlying influences and interfaces between [architectural] design and space as pertinent factors.

 

Orchestral jazz comes in many flavors and colors. Here, German trumpeter and composer Volker Goetze's arrangements teem with expansive tonalities, layered horns and emphatic soloing by his legion of artists.