Another star in the British jazz world has joined CAM JAZZ. After his contributions to John Taylor’s and Kenny Wheeler’s recordings, “Circularity” is Julian Argüelles’s debut album with this label. Eight original pieces, all bearing the leader’s signature and performed with a tried and true quartet: Argüelles on tenor and soprano sax, Dave Holland on double bass, Martin France on drums and, obviously, John Taylor on piano.
Argüelles’ artistic path is that of a musician who has kept moving forward, looking for new expressive forms as well as sonic and textural shades for his tunes. On stage for nearly thirty years (even though he is still under 50), the British saxophonist released his first record as a leader in 1991. Since then, ongoing growth and development have made him a musician who is never the same but, nevertheless, clearly recognizable. In the opening track, “Triality”, his sax relies on the introduction by the rhythm section, then quickly launching into a long solo that shows Argüelles’ great improvisational verve. Enchanting “Circularity”, driven by a groove revealing a strong empathy within the quartet. On the other hand, with the exception of Holland (Mick Hutton used to be on bass), it is the same combo that recorded “Phaedrus” in 1991 and the title of both the above piece and the entire album most likely also refer to the closing of an artistic and human circle. Then there is “A Simple Question”, with its hypnotic introduction by John Taylor; exotic “Unopened Letter” and gentle “Wilderness Lane”, up to the soft closing track, “A Lifelong Moment”. This is an excellent album to best celebrate a new artist joining CAM JAZZ’s team.
Recorded at the Curtis Schwartz Studio in Ardingly, West Sussex, and mixed at Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg.
Chico Freeman showed a great deal of potential in the 1970s when the young tenor saxophonist recorded frequently. His profile has been a lot lower since that era, but he is still quite capable of playing rewarding music as he shows on this project, The Emissary, from 1995. Teamed with a group of San Francisco Bay-area musicians who form the Josh Jones Latin Jazz Ensemble, Freeman plays quite well on tenor, soprano, and bass clarinet. The music ranges from Latin jazz to world music, with a touch of reggae and pop, and a relatively straight-ahead "Seven Steps to Heaven." Since the Josh Jones group is essentially a rhythm section, Freeman is the main voice throughout and he comes up with plenty of creative ideas throughout this fairly accessible set.
Alex Baboian is an Armenian-American guitarist, composer, and teacher
from Boston, Massachusetts who has been described by music educator Hal
Crook as a "Future major voice in jazz" and in a review from
Allaboutjazz.com as "Forward thinking." Alex graduated from Berklee
College of Music in 2012 duel majoring in Performance and Electronic
Production and Design and being awarded the guitar department
achievement award twice. He has performed extensively at venues and
festivals in America, Asia, and Europe. Some of the wonderful teachers
Alex has studied with include Dave Tronzo, Hal Crook, Jon Damian, Dave
Fiuczynski, David Gilmore, Phil Wilson, Greg Hopkins, Jamey Haddad, and
Projects he has been involved with include Classical/Jazz crossover
trio Piano Bench which released their debut album in 2012 followed by a
European tour. Ludmila Stefanikova's quartet which released their debut
album "Be Beautiful" in 2011 followed by a European tour. And Rafael
Aguiar's quintet who's debut album is anticipated to be released on Greg
Osby's Inner Circle record label Fall 2014.
His debut album as a leader entitled "Curiosity" will be released in
Fall 2014 and features his original compositions and arrangements for
jazz trio and quintet.
Alex also produces music and has composed music and sound design for
independent films and animations as well as written scripts and musical
scores that have been performed in Boston. As a side project he creates
acoustic/electronic guitar music under the Psudonym of his Japanese
nickname "Babo". 'Curiosity' is his debut release.
When it comes to playing soulful jazz, few are in the same league as pianist Junior Mance (b. 1928), a master not only of blues but bebop.
Born in Chicago, Mance began playing piano when he was ten. He spent his early years working in Chicago with Gene Ammons (1947-1949). Mance performed with Lester Young and the Gene Ammons–Sonny Stitt Quintet before he was drafted. After his discharge he was the house pianist at the Bee Hive in Chicago, worked for a year with Dinah Washington, was a member of the first Cannonball Adderley Quintet, during 1958-60 was in Dizzy Gillespie’s group, and spent a few months with the Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis–Johnny Griffin quintet.
After leaving the Davis-Griffin band, Mance was mostly a leader of his own trios (other than a period working as Joe Williams’s accompanist). Sweet and Lovely reissues both The Soulful Piano of Junior Mance and Big Chief, a pair of trio dates from 1960-1961 that feature an appealing mixture of blues, hard bop, and ballads.
The Soulful Piano of Junior Mance is an album by jazz pianist Junior Mance which was recorded in 1960 and released on the Jazzland label.