viernes, 24 de octubre de 2014

Louis Smith & Jodie Christian - The Very Thought of You (1995)

During the “Silvering” session, trumpeter Louis Smith cut one track just with pianist Jodie Christian playing a quiet ballad. This track was not included in the release but the idea of making a duo album stayed with him. Thus, this reflective and melodious recording materialized.

“ This is music to refresh the mind, body and spirit at the close of a fraught day. It’s pure ear balm, in fact. Beautiful jazz, too, of course .” (Mark Gardner)

Louis Smith, trumpet
Jodie Christian, piano

1. My ideal (Whiting/Chase)
2. Don't take your love away from me (Nemo)
3. Mihoko's tune (Louis Smith)
4. I will wait for you (Michel Legrand)
5. But not for me (George Gershwin)
6. A cottage for sale (Robbins/Conley)
7. The very thought of you (Ray Noble)
8. A child is born (Thad Jones)
9. I should care (Jimmy Van Heusen)

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Mack Avenue Superband - Live! From The Detroit Jazz Festival - 2013 (2014)

Source & Label: Mack Avenue

Mack Avenue SuperBand’s Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2013 documents a concert at the Motor City’s capacious Hart Plaza by an ensemble of leaders culled from Mack Avenue Records’ extraordinary artist roster. It’s the second configuration of the group, which debuted at the 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival, mixing veteran stars with mid-career leaders and up-and-comers. The resulting album, Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival – 2012, received critical kudos for the fiery chemistry and soloistic derring-do contained therein.
For the follow-up, Al Pryor, Mack Avenue’s Executive Vice President for A&R, assembled a slightly pared-down unit. Back for round two are vibraphonist Gary Burton, trumpeter Sean Jones, guitarist Evan Perri, and the rhythm section of pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist (and music director) Rodney Whitaker and drummer Carl Allen. Joining the mix are veteran soul/jazz saxophone giant Kirk Whalum and the sensational vibraphonist-marimbist, Warren Wolf. The results are no less scintillating—a program as cohesive and precise as a studio recording, but infused with energetic vibrations emanating from the several thousand hip, enthusiastic fans who attended the free concert.
Whitaker attributes the bandstand discipline and simpatico in part to his determination to follow collective, inclusive principles in organizing the program. “I solicited everyone’s input,” he says. “With artists at this level, you don’t need to dictate every moment. Sometimes it’s more important to listen and facilitate, and not always try to be the boss. When you have a conversation with everyone about what music we’re playing and the direction we want to go, everybody buys in, and they make it sound like a band. We put together a set list two months before the concert took place.”
Whitaker discerns several common denominators that promoted camaraderie. One is the role of gospel music in the musical development of Whalum, Jones, Wolf, Diehl, Allen and himself during formative years. “Everyone—not just those who grew up in church—tries to tell a story in the way they play, in the way they try to touch an audience and say something to them,” he says. “They put together their solos to get across a message that music is not just about notes, but has some greater meaning, whatever you may translate that to mean.”  Read more...

1  Soul Sister     Mack 9:12
2  Of Mars and Venus 6:39
3  Speak to My Heart 8:52
4  Blue Nude 9:02    
5  Chick's Tune 6:49
6  Señor Mouse 7:34    
7  Relativity 9:37    
8  Troublant Bolero 6:12
9  I Want Jesus to Walk with Me 6:46
10 Two Bass Hit 5:09    
11 Band Introductions 0:29     

Rodney Whitaker, bass & direction
Kirk Whalum, saxophone
Warren Wolf, vibraphone/marimba
Sean Jones, trumpet
Evan Perri, guitar
Aaron Diehl, piano
Carl Evans, drums
Gary Burton, vibraphone

"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington - 


Michael Eaton - Individuation (2014)

Source: Cdbaby

Saxophonist and composer Michael Eaton launches his debut album as a leader, Individuation (Destiny Records), in the company of his hero and mentor Dave Liebman. Joined by his working rhythm section, the Missouri native and Brooklyn resident delivers a set exhibiting his artistic and personal development, bridging the worlds of lyrical themes, intricately rhythmic minimalistic vamps, bracing freebop, Cageian prepared piano, and multi-layered open terrains.

The title refers to a core tenet of Jungian psychology, whereby the unconscious elements of the individual are brought into conscious life. “Individuation refers not only to my growth as a person,” remarks Eaton, “but also what it means to be an artist.” Jazz musicians are endeavored to immerse themselves in the tradition of their craft while still developing their own unique voice—a duality Eaton addresses throughout the album.

Growing up in the rich heritage of Kansas City jazz followed by a formative period in the fertile jazz and creative music scenes in Bloomington and Indianapolis, Indiana, Eaton moved New York in 2008 to begin his next phase as an artist. After working with Liebman in a 2012 summer workshop, Eaton knew that recording with the master musician was a logical next step. "This recording was about the opportunity to record with a model of mine and to experience something like the apprenticeship system, which our generation isn't able to live."

“I first heard Dave Liebman when I was 16," Eaton recounts, "playing on a blues track. I was blown away. It opened my mind to possibilities I wasn’t aware existed before, particularly rhythmically. I consider him one of the most advanced conceptualists in jazz, with one foot in the traditional harmonic world and one foot in the avant-garde.” Fast-forward to the present, and their encounter is a bit like trial by fire in the crucible of heated post-Coltrane catharsis. On "Alter Ego," "Prickly," and "Lifecycle," Eaton responds to the language of a master with his own story, forging a more personal artistry in the process. In “Alter Ego,” as Liebman’s tenor saxophone makes its entrance, Eaton is momentarily face to face with his 16 year old self where his aspirations become a reality and the sound of the two saxophones briefly intertwine before Liebman takes the lead. The interplay is quickly renewed and expanded on “Prickly,” where Eaton’s tenor and Liebman’s soprano freely exchange ideas over a swing tempo with no harmonic constraints.  Read more...

1. Interior Designs 05:42
2. Guru 07:23
3. Me, But Not Myself 10:26
4. Alter Ego 07:26
5. Prickly 04:31
6. Centrifuge 04:54
7. You're My Mystery 03:28
8. Individuation: Part 1 03:22
9. Individuation: Part 2 03:04
10.Individuation: Part 3 04:51
11.Individuation: Part 4 04:38
12.Individuation: Part 5 08:48
13.Lifecycle 06:20

Michael Eaton, tenor and soprano saxophones
Jon Crowley, trumpet (1, 3, 6)
David Liebman, tenor and soprano saxophones (4, 5, 13)
Brad Whiteley, piano and prepared piano (1-4, 7-13)
Daniel Ori, bass (3, 4, 6, 8-12)
Scott Colberg, bass (1, 2, 5, 13)
Shareef Taher, drums (1-6, 8-13)

"The most important thing I look for in a musician,
 is whether he knows how to listen."
  - Duke Ellington - 


Louis Smith Quintet - Silvering (1994)

Even after the re-entry to the recording scene with his first SteepleChase recording SCCD 31096 “Just Friends” in 1978 ending his two decades’ silence since his Blue Note recording days, trumpeter Louis Smith has been hard to catch on the band stand. He chose to leave Horace Silver’s group in 1958 in favour of full time teaching job.

However, this situation is now changed for good. Louis retiring from his job as a music teacher, resumed his career as musician with this new recording which took place in Chicago October 1993. With the Windy City’s legendary tenorman Von Freeman in the backing group, Louis the hard bopper tells his story in his warm, beautiful tone with unflagging intensity and impeccable technique.

1. I'll Remember April (DePaul/Raye)
2. Au Privave (Charlie Parker)
3. Roadies (Louis Smith)
4. What Is This Thing Called Love? (DePaul/Raye)
5. Body and Soul (Johnny Green)
6. Silvering (Louis Smith)
7. Stella by Starlight (Victor Young)
8. Blues for Alice (Charlie Parker)

Louis Smith, trumpet & flugelhorn
Von Freeman, tenor sax
Jodie Christian, piano
Eddie de Haas, bass
Wilbur Campbell, drums

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Louis Smith Quintet - Just Friends (1991)

Louis Smith’s first session in 18 years turned out to be a “ rewarding hard-bop outing of outstanding freshness ” ( Melody Maker )

Louis Smith, trumpet & flugelhorn
George Coleman, tenor sax
Harold Mabern, piano
Jamil Nasser, bass
Ray Mosca, drums

01. Blues for Jimmy
02. Lulu
03. Vaughn's Bounce
04. Quiet Nights
05. I Remember Clifford
06. Oleo
07. Minor Bit

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Louis Smith Sextet - Strike Up The Band (1991)

Here's a wonderful, straight-ahead hard bop date from the early 90s, featuring the solid front line of trumpeter Louis Smith, tenor man Junior Cook, and alto saxist Vincent Herring. Smith is excellent on his solos during up-tempo outings (STRIKE UP THE BAND, IT'S ALL RIGHT), his tight, somewhat confined tone shooting out dizzying runs. Junior Cook is in excellent form as well, his approach reminiscent of his earlier days as an upstart hard bop master player. Vincent Herring also shows he can play in the classic bop tradition. The rhythm section is very solid. Modern jazz fans, especially of the hard bop school, will find much to admire in this CD.

Louis Smith: trumpet
Vincent Herring: alto sax
Junior Cook: tenor sax
Kevin Hays: piano
Steve LaSpina: bass
Leroy Williams: drums

1. I Hear a Rhapsody
2. It's All Right
3. Don't Misunderstand
4. Edwaa
5. Stablemates
6. Lover
7. Night and Day
8. Strike Up the Band

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Thomas Hass - Trio's & Beyond Lotus Energy (2014)

The packaging starts you thinking. There's a painting showing what looks like ectoplasm, or perhaps a space alien, playing two musical instruments at the same time, like Roland Kirk used to do. Then the cunning addition of an apostrophe in the Trios of the title, to render it meaningless, or perhaps abstract. 

Inside there's a selfie shot from low down of a bearded Thomas Hass looking God-like and grim, alongside text explaining his music: "Trio's & Beyond is a musical concept where I can experience the 'spontaneous combustion' in various musical settings and explore the trio format in various forms." 

It gets worse. "On this album I have tried letting a special mood that always has lived inside me unfold through nine different compositions. You could call it ballads or melancholic but I see it more like an inner canvas behind the different musical paintings."

Lotus Energy may give the game away. The lotus has great religious significance in the Orient. So, is Hass a Zen Buddhist trying to propel the listener into a new state of awareness, perhaps even satori itself? 

It's more than possible. Though the actual music is really quite accessible; no problem at all for anyone with prior experience of John Coltrane, the Dane's principal influence. Like Coltrane, he plays both tenor and soprano sax. 

He also credits himself, along with Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, as having composed "Gimbo." Other numbers include "Bibo No Aozora, The Beauty Of A Blue Sky," by Japanese composer and acid house pioneer Ryuichi Sakamoto. 

All the rest are meandering originals, except for the closer. This is—believe it or not—Harold Arlen's "Come Rain Or Come Shine." It comes as quite a shock to hear a recognizable tune. But that's obviously part of guru Hass's fiendish plan. 

Pretentious, moi? 

Or to put it another way, "He's from Copenhagen."

Thomas Hass: tenor and soprano saxophones
Nikolaj Hess: piano
Lennart Ginman: bass
Frands Rifbjerg: drums

1. Angel Park
2. Gimbo
3. Short Free
4. Anti - Freeze
5. Lotus Energy
6. Bibo No Aozora
7. False Waltz
8. Clark's Heavenly Blues
9. Come Rain or Come Shine

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins


Michael Cochrane - Discovery (2014)

After a 7-year hiatus from the recording scene pianist Michael Cochrane has come back strong with his trio consisting of two Johns: Steve Johns, who's been Cochrane's colleague in the Sonny Fortune band, on drums and his prodigious 17-year-old son Daryl on bass.

"His music has sincerity and polish...Its execution within an honoured tradition is so error-free that piano-trio addicts (and there are many out there) can simply trust it and relax. We can rely on it at any time of the day or night for sustenance and consolation. Not junk food. Comfort food." - Thomas Conrad, JazzTimes


01. Yesterdays
02. Visitation
03. How Deep Is The Ocean
04. Quiet Now
05. Discovery
06. M. C.'s Bossa
07. Oblivion
08. Fantasy
09. Erie Blues

"Hearing is Everything" Peter Watkins