Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Julian Argüelles - Tetra (2015)

Source & Label: Whirlwind Recorings

Esteemed British saxophonist Julian Argüelles brings his working quartet, Tetra, to Whirlwind in an immersive, hour-long sequence of material written specifically with his colleagues in mind: Kit Downes (piano), Sam Lasserson (bass) and James Maddren (drums).
Known widely as an original member of seminal big band Loose Tubes, as well as for his outstanding compositional and performing involvement with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, smaller creative ensembles have always been close to Argüelles’ heart, previously recording with such luminaries as Mike Walker, Dave Holland, Martin France and the late John Taylor. In this new release, his respect for, and collaboration with, today’s eclectic strain of younger jazz musicians kindles a mutually imaginative spark with an equal emphasis on composition and freedom of improvisation, often melodically or texturally blurring those divisions.
Having already worked successfully with Downes and Maddren, Argüelles knew that they would possess an innate ability to connect with the complexities of his writing, as well as the spirit to soar extemporarily – and bassist Lasserson was discovered as the perfect rounder of this creative circle. Tetra have toured variously over the last three years, developing and shaping their alliance into this vibrant debut recording which ripples and sings with unpredictability and consummate musicianship.At one stage conceived as a continuous suite (and, to some degree, still expressed that way in a live setting), the album’s eight tracks present an absorbing interconnected flow of grooves and ballads – from the rapid Portugeuse-influenced intensity of “Hurley Burley”, via smouldering “Yada Yada” which increasingly surges to latitudinous, gritty tenor, through to the charming soprano playfulness of “Hocus Pocus”. Argüelles’ writing revels in the thrill of diversity, the serene Spanish lilt of ten-minute “Nitty Gritty” contrasting markedly with the wide-swinging ebullience of “Iron Pyrite”; and beautiful, melodious “Asturias” has its origins in the leader’s transcriptions of solo vocal folk music from north-west Spain.
Kit Downes’ summation of the bandleader’s music – “there’s a lot of room for being myself, and being creative in it” – speaks volumes about Argüelles’ empathy with the distinguished musicians he surrounds himself with, especially when he also challenges with so many technically tricksy grooves and ideas. As Maddren puts it, “His compositions are so strong… they really affect and influence the way you improvise, which I find really exciting.”
This is just the beginning, as Julian Arguëlles has ambitions for Tetra to evolve, looking to achieve music which is accessible yet multi-layered, with real depth and interest which might engage intellectually and/or emotionally. “First and foremost, I’m an improviser, and this is a band I feel very comfortable with.”

01. Hugger Mugger 01:43
02. Yada Yada 06:13
03. Hurley Burley 07:38
04. Hocus Pocus 07:00
05. Nitty Gritty 10:36
06. Asturias 08:16
07. Fugue 05:40
08. Iron Pyrite 10:23

Julian Argüelles - saxophones
Kit Downes - piano
Sam Lasserson - bass
James Maddren - drums



Tim Peck Trio - Rivulets (2016)

Label: Self Released
Source: Tim Peck

Tim Peck is a noted composer and performer hailing from the Quiet Corner of Connecticut. Tim has composed over sixty original works, ranging from solo themes for improvisation to full ensemble scores. He has also created over 400 arrangements. His current project, Rivulets, contains ten new original jazz compositions performed by the Tim Peck Trio. This new album is in production and has an expected release in the fall of 2015. He released Ms. Matched, a collection of original music for jazz piano trio, in 2007. Tim has also been featured as a guest artist on numerous recordings, including Dave Maswick’s The News From Here in 2013, Joel Brown’s Places in 2011, and Planting Seeds with Maria Sangiolo in 2011.
Tim is an original founding member of several performance ensembles. The Tim Peck Trio is modeled on a traditional jazz piano trio. Incorporating acoustic and electronic instruments, the trio blends traditional and genre-bending song forms into engaging original and arranged pieces. By composing and arranging music specifically for this group, Tim showcases the band’s creativity, filtered through his compositional palette.
Tim’s other ensemble, Carte Noire, is a free music trio that explores the textural sonic possibilities and dynamic interplay of piano, flute, and guitar. Carte Noire performs widely throughout the Northeast. In addition to its active performance schedule, Carte Noire also presents concerts, discussions, and workshops in free music, active listening, and collaborative music-making in New England communities and schools.
Tim has performed with David Amram, Fernando Michelin, Mark Vinci, Charlie Kolhase, and Walter Cunningham Jr., among others. He has been featured at venues including Ryles, The Regatta Bar, The Lilypad, the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Helen Filene Ladd Concert Hall, and Pickman Hall. Tim has also toured in Cuba, Japan, Bolivia, South Africa, Ireland, and Italy.
Currently, Tim is Artist-in-Residence and Director of Contemporary Music at Pomfret School, a coeducation boarding and day school, where he guides students through a centuries-old musical conversation, teaching courses in Contemporary Music, musicianship, composition, and music production.
Tim received his Master of Music in Modern American Music from the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA. While at Longy, Tim studied classical piano with Robbie Merfeld and free improvisation & jazz piano with Dave Bryant, George Russel’s Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization with Ben Schwendener, and jazz composition and arranging with Greg Hopkins. Additionally, Tim has studied jazz piano and composition with Peter Cassino.
Tim received his Bachelor of Art in Music from Skidmore College in 2004, where he received the Periclean Award for his work composing music for an original nine-piece band. While at Skidmore Tim studied jazz piano with John Nazarenko, classical piano with Pola Baytelman, and jazz arranging with Mark Vinci.

1. Express With Change for Local Weekdays
2. John & Leo Walk Into a Bar
3. Detour
4. Rivulets
5. Metropolitan Avenue
6. Horse
7. The Split
8. Sketches of Summer
9. Increasing Rates of Flow
10. When It All Goes According to Plan It's Relatively Easy

Tim Peck- piano, keyboards & composition
Sean Farias- bass
Miki Matsuki- drums




Jerry Weldon - On The Move! (2016)

Label: Doodlin' Records
Source: MVD

Jerry Weldon is one of today's leading proponents of Soul Jazz who represents the 'bar-walkin', hard-blowing, tenor legends in our contemporary American Jazz scene. Jerry's tenure with the Lionel Hampton Band in the early 80's gave him the experience of his life: developing his performance skills and creating within him the energy and motivation to perform this great music for discriminating audiences worldwide. Today, Jerry continues his big band showmanship with the Harry Connick, Jr. Band where he is featured as a leading instrumentalist in various tunes and in several stage acts. Rarely heard on the west coast with his own bands, Jerry was brought to the west coast by the Jazz Organ Fellowship organization and teamed for this recording with a former Jimmy Smith guitarist, Steve Homan; the original drummer from Herbie Hancock's 'Head-Hunters', Mike Clark; and the remarkable jazz organist from Columbus, Ohio, once hailed as the 'next great Jazz Organist', Bobby Pierce. This stellar group was assembled at the 25th Street Recording Studio in Oakland, CA on Monday, August 10th 2015 and given ample time to discuss the particulars and experience the camaraderie . Tune selection for this recording was done by Jerry himself, from the Illinois Jacquet classic, 'Black Velvet', to the Meredith Willson classic, 'Till There Was You', made popular by Paul McCartney and the Beatles. The simpatico between these musicians was instantaneous as the groove was there from the onset and the shared love of Soul Jazz was evident in each track. Adding greatness to the ever-increasing list of contemporary jazz organ recordings, Jerry's 'On The Move!' will serve to strengthen his reputation as a top-shelf jazz performer and recording star, as well as, span the love for his music from coast to coast. Whether he is rockin' a room in Harlem or reelin' back his horn in an Oakland club, Jerry Weldon is the real deal with energy to spare while he's "On The Move!"

1 Do You Know a Good Thing When You See One?
2 Black Velvet
3 Donald Duck
4 Stringin' the Jug
5 You've Changed
6 There Are Such Things
7 Till There Was You
8 On the Move!

Jerry Weldon - sax
Steve Homan - guitar
Mike Clark - drums
Bobby Pierce - hammond



Valery Ponomarev - Our Father Who Art Blakey (2015)

Label: Zoho
Source: Allaboutjazz

Who is Russian-born trumpeter Valery Ponomarev's favorite musician? A clue may be found in the title of Ponomarev's first CD as leader of his New York City-based big band: Our Father Who Art Blakey. The first jazz recording he heard while still in Russia, Ponomarev recalls, was Blakey's Jazz Messengers with trumpeter Lee Morgan playing pianist Bobby Timmons' jazz touchstone, "Moanin.'" Later on, Ponomarev was able to play that song (and many others) as a member of the Messengers in the late '70s, wherein the irrepressible Blakey served as his friend, mentor and "jazz father."

Ponomarev continues to repay that debt, this time transposing tunes associated with the Messengers to a big-band format while adding a pair of his own emphatic charts (the brief curtain-raising "Overture" and spicy "Gina's Cooking") to the mix. The band is reinforced on two numbers ("Moanin,'" "Blues March") by another former Messenger, the illustrious tenor saxophonist Benny Golson (still swinging at age eighty-five), who composed "Blues March" for Blakey himself (drummer Victor Jones sits in admirably for the maestro on this new version). Completing the in-concert program are Freddie Hubbard's "Crisis" and a couple of winners by Duke Jordan, "Jordu" (publicized by the renowned Max Roach / Clifford Brown Quintet) and "No Hay Problemas."

Listening to Ponomarev's arrangements, it's clear that his roots are in bop. Not that anything sounds the least dated, but the harmonic designs and rhythmic patterns would have been right at home on a Blue Note album from the '50s or '60s. Ponomarev has taken those components and redesigned them for a twenty-first century audience. It's a strategy that works well throughout. Ponomarev's lively "Overture," which runs for less than a minute, leads seamlessly to "Moanin'" and the first of Golson's masterful solos. "Crisis," from the 1961 album Mosiac, is a mid-tempo groover that showcases trumpeter Josh Evans, tenor Steven Carrington and trombonist Stafford Hunter. "Jordu" is next (hermetic ensemble work underscoring bright solos by trumpeter Chris Rogers and tenor Peter Brainin), followed by the prancing "No Hay Problemas," featuring Evans, Carrington and drummer Jones.

Baritone saxophonist Anthony Nelson is eloquent on "Gina's Cooking," as are Rogers, alto Todd Bashore and pianist Mamiko Watanabe. Golson takes his second solo, and Ponomarev his first, on the iconic "Blues March," which ends the concert on a buoyant note punctuated by robust statements from Bashore, Watanabe, Jones and trombonist Corey Wallace. In sum, a splendid performance, one that embraces Ponomarev's tradition-bound stance while pointing inflexibly toward the future. Somewhere, Art Blakey must have been smiling broadly. Jack Bowers

1. Overture
2. Moanin'
3. Crises
4. Jordu
5. No Hay Problemas
6. Gina's Cooking
7. Blues March

Valery Ponomarev, trumpet, composer/arranger, musical director.
Victor Jones, drums
Ruslan Khain, bass
Mamiko Watanabe, piano,
Todd Bashore (lead), Chris Hemingway, alto saxes
Peter Brainin (lead), Steven Carrington, tenor saxes
Anthony Nelson, baritone sax
Stafford Hunter (lead), Alvin Walker, David White, Jack Jeffers, trombones
Rick Henly (lead), Eddie Allen, Josh Evans, Chris Rogers, trumpets



Phil Robson - The Cut Off Point (2015)

Label: Whirlwind
Source: Allaboutjazz

With four albums already to his name and another four by the band Partisans which he co-leads with saxophonist Julian Siegel, British guitar phenomenon Phil Robson hardly needs any introduction, save that his new musical departure is realised by an organ trio offering a smörgåsbord of exciting and imaginative compositions. 
"Thief" hits the ground running, with Phil Robson's lithe fast guitar running alongside nimble Hammond lines to carve out the melody and a subsequent brief but enticing organ solo ensues. The pulsating groove of "Second Thoughts" is facilitated by Ross Stanley's Hammond organ and Gene Calderazzo drums, providing a solid backing to Robson's articulate guitar phrasing.  
Dave Liebman's "Dimi And The Blue Men" has a spacey feel with echoey, oscillating stereo effects to the fore and even some touches of wah wah guitar before a consolidating theme resolves this captivating piece. 
"Vintage Vista" is most redolent of the high energy staccato outbursts first heard on the electrifying Tony Williams' Lifetime albums with John McLaughlin and Larry Young and is all the more engaging for that. By contrast "Astral" is a searching ballad where guitar and Hammond weave their respective bluesy solos. 
The title track, a more exploratory Lifetime-esque number, sees Robson on fuzz-laden guitar, taking an altogether more daring approach than previous tracks, culminating in a satisfyingly robust ending. "Berlin" is less frenetic and more measured, taken at a mid-to-fast pace with Calderazzo providing a keen rhythmic accompaniment. "Ming The Merciless" the final number, (all are penned by Robson with the exception of the Liebman track) has the guitarist stretching out with a funkier approach and is replete with blues licks and a sudden ending. 
Whilst comparisons with Lifetime or John McLaughlin's 1994 album, After the Rain with Joey DeFrancesco and Elvin Jones may seem inevitable, the vast majority of the music here owes little to these groups. Robson is his own man and this trio has successfully achieved what it set out to do, making for a very satisfying album indeed. Roger Farbey

01. Thief​
02. Second Thoughts
03. Dimi And The Blue Men
04. Vintage Vista
05. Astral
06. The Cut Off Point
07. Berlin
08. Ming The Merciless

Phil Robson: Guitar
Ross Stanley: Hammond Organ
Gene Calderazzo: Drums




Joris Roelofs - Amateur Dentist (2015)

Label: Pirouet
Source: Jazziz 

Joris Roelofs was born February 21, 1984 in Aix-en-Provence, France, but was raised in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Roelofs won the prestigious Pim Jacobs Prize in 2001, and in 2003 he was the first non-American to win the International Association of Jazz Education’s (IAJE) Stan Getz/Clifford Brown Fellowship Award. The IAJE also awarded Roelofs their First Level Prize. The Netherland’s Deloitte Jazz Award followed in 2004.
He has played with the likes of Brad Mehldau, Aaron Goldberg, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Matthias Schriefl, and Sonny Fortune.
In 2007 he recorded his debut album Introducing Joris Roelofs on Material Records.
In 2010, he made the switch to bass clarinet as his main instrument. Next year, on March 11, 2016, Roelofs will be releasing his second CD. Entitled Amateur Dentist, the album will be released on Pirouet Records, and it will be his second outing on the label.
The line-up that will be featured on the record is the trio he formed in 2011, with Ted Poor on drums and Matt Penman on bass, featuring Joris himself on bass clarinet. This has been his steady trio for the past few years, and it is the same trio with which he made his previous Pirouet outing, entitled Alien Deliberating, in 2014. On Amateur Dentist the trio once again aim to surprise and deliver music that reverberates with shimmering colors as they fathom the possibilities of this unique lineup. It all leads to an engaging world of sound – music that is both fun and captivating.  Matt Micucci

Snakes and Eagles
Pseudo Bebop
Para Poli
Amateur Dentist
Samurai Curtain
Such Sweet Thunder
Kyrie and Gloria

Joris Roelofs bass clarinet
Matt Penman bass
Ted Poor drums



The Watershed - Inhale / Exhale (2015)

Label: Shed Music
Source: The Watershed

Pierre Perchaud had the initial idea - form a group with friends who share a love of the Beatles, have firm roots in jazz and have a penchant for adventure. The first meeting was decisive and a band was born.

One rule was set from the beginning: No finished songs allowed! However, melodic fragments scratched onto scrap paper; a partial bass line captured on a cell phone and short guitar loops were welcome! And then, as is common practice with many rock bands, the music found itself by stretching the ideas, as a group, until only the essential remained.

Literally, a watershed is a turning point - a moment when everything changes and, for these four musicians, key players in a new generation of jazz in France, this band has a brand new feeling. It is a band in which everyone plays an equal role of leader and sideman. Their debut CD “Inhale/Exhale” breathes in four individual lives of concerts, rehearsals and late night listening sessions and breathes out music that challenges definition and was created in a state of bliss.

The Watershed’s combined resumé is as impressive as it is diverse having performed with musicians including Michel Legrand; Carla Bley; Orchestre National de Jazz; Brad Mehldau; Lee Konitz; Lionel Loueke; Vincent Peirani; Milk Coffee & Sugar; Kurt Rosenwinkel; Fredrika Stahl; Mark Turner; Randy Brecker and Steve Lehman. Individually they have toured all over the world and have played in pretty much every possible venue in France. In 2015 they founded the label Shed Music to house their individual and collective projects.

1. Watershred
2. Diana
3. Peter Hot Father...
4. Pas De Deux
5. Inhale_Exhale
6. Dark Water
7. Bright Sun
8. HKJ
9. Trickle-Down
10. Fat Burn
11. Running Water...
12. Vermilion Sky

Pierre Perchaud : guitar
Christophe Panzani : tenor sax, bass clarinet
Tony Paeleman : keyboards
Karl Jannuska : drums 



Fatbeat! - Animals (2015)

Label: Rock Cd Records
Source: Facebook

El grupo "Fatbeat!" nace en 2009 como un proyecto de cinco músicos que buscan un sonido propio y un repertorio original en la escena madrileña.
En su estilo encontramos multitud de referentes de estilos diversos desde el pop, el jazz, el rock, la música clásica del siglo XX, etc.
Siempre con un sello personal y una energía desbordante Fatbeat! busca texturas muy arregladas sin por ello renunciar a la improvisación como vehículo de desarrollo expresivo.
Cuentan con un primer disco titulado Fatbeat! y preparan la salida de su segundo disco también con música original.


1. NEW LIFE 06:43
2. BOWIE 08:09
3. CLOUDS 07:38
4. NEWKA 06:17
5. NORTE 04:48
6. ANIMALS1 04:27
7.A NIMALS2 01:27
8. ANIMALS3 05:52
9. STROMBOLI 07:13
10.PLAID 05:58

Alberto Morales- Piano
Mario Quiñones- Guitarra
Andres Miranda- Saxos
Daniel Moreno- Bajo
Miguel Benito- Batería
Lorea Aranzasti- Voz ( Animals1/ Animals 3)
Ana Torralba- Flauta (Plaid) 



Harry Allen - For George, Cole & "Duke" (2015)

There is no greater paragon of tenor saxophonist taste than Harry Allen. While the fickle winds of prevailing styles continue to blow this or that way, Allen stands tall like the mighty oak, unswayed by fad fashions and firmly rooted to the music of the Great American Songbook. 

On this appealing date, Allen visits the music of George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Duke Ellington. It's not a novel concept, and Allen has gone here countless times, both with single song nods to these men and, on at least two occasions, album-length tributes—Cole Porter Songs (BMG, 2001) and Plays Ellington Songs (RCA Victor/RCA, 2000). But does that really matter? Allen continues to find inspiration in the work of these masters—men whose respective compositional wells never run dry—and his interpretations of their music are things of beauty. You could even go so far as to call them gifts to the ears. 

For George, Cole, and Duke finds Allen working with a classy crew of like-minded traditionalists. Pianist Ehud Asherie delivers twinkling and sparkling solos, light and comforting comping, and beautiful beds of sound; Nicki Parrott provides balmy vocals ("In A Mellow Tone," "How Long Has This Been Going On?," and "Mood Indigo"), pleasing solos, and sturdy walking bass lines that act as the heartbeat of this music; and Chuck Redd proves to be a master of feel and economy whether providing a cheery swing pulse from behind the kit or gliding over his band mates with his vibes ("Who Cares?). The majority of the album is a quartet affair, pairing those three with Allen's attractive tenor, but percussionist "Little Johnny" Rivero drops in for the occasional guest shot, adding Latin seasonings to lively numbers ("Love For Sale") and slow roaming episodes of Ellingtonia ("Mood Indigo"). 

Harry Allen isn't likely to win any originality contests with this one, but that doesn't seem to bother him, nor should it. He's got his sublime saxophone, a group of top-notch musicians, and the music of the masters to work with. In this case, and throughout his career, that's proven to be a formula for success.

Always True To You In My Own Fashion
In A Mellow Tone
Happy Reunion
Silk Stockings
Purple Gazelle
How Long Has This Been Going On?
I Love You Samantha
Shall We Dance?
By Strauss
Love For Sale
They All Laughed
Who Cares? (So Long As You Care For Me)
Mood Indigo

Harry Allen: tenor saxophone
Ehud Asherie: piano
Nicki Parrott: acoustic bass, vocals
Chuck Redd: drums, vibraphone
"Little Johnny" Rivero: shakere, conga, bongo (5, 10, 13)