Thursday, February 4, 2016

Steve Kuhn Trio - At This Time (2016)

Source & Label: Sunnyside Records

Any chance that one has to hear a master musician in his or her preferred setting is a gift. For all the one-offs and ensemble by committee type of gigs that spring up, it is the reunion with familiar collaborators for a stint of a few nights that really becomes integral for the best performances.

On his new recording, At This Time, pianist Steve Kuhn found himself just in the right time and place to record a trio record that feels timeless and truly inspired. The ensemble, which features legendary bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Joey Baron, was happy to find itself in an extended engagement at Birdland Jazz Club in New York in September 2015 and found time to get into the recording studio before heading to Europe on tour.

Of course, Kuhn has been one of jazz’s foremost pianists for over half a century. He has been fortunate to accompany some of the most important voices of his generation, including John Coltrane, Sheila Jordan and Kenny Dorham, but it is his work in the trio setting that has been where he has made his name.

Kuhn’s current trio features a contemporary, and an important innovator of a later generation. Steve Swallow has been at the forefront of contemporary music for decades. Whether performing alongside Jimmy Giuffre, Paul Bley or Carla Bley, Swallow has been one of the most important figures on both the acoustic and electric bass. Though twenty years younger than Kuhn and Swallow, drummer Joey Baron has cemented himself as one of the most well rounded musicians, at home in the most classic of jazz ensembles and in the most raucous of the avant-garde.

The material for the recording came from the recent set lists from Birdland. The songs comprise a good mix of standards and a couple of Kuhn penned originals.

The recording begins with an exuberant rendition of the Arlen and Mercer classic “My Shining Hour,” which is followed by Al Cohn’s “Ah Moore,” tastefully done by the trio. Quincy Jones’s “The Pawnbroker” is a perfect example of nuance in performance, as is Kuhn’s “All The Rest Is The Same,” which also accelerates in a mid tempo Latin bounce. The pianist’s “The Feeling Within” is a rich and brilliant solo piece.

The trio’s take on Duncan Lamont’s “Carousel” is leisurely paced and has a great solo feature for Swallow. Bernstein’s “Lonely Town” is subtle yet poignant, while the Weill chestnut “This Is New” is an upbeat swinger. The program closes with Gil Fuller’s “I Waited For You,” a lush and mellow ballad performed with great beauty.

Fortunately for the jazz world, Steve Kuhn and his fantastic assemblage found the time to record At This Time, a testament to the importance of dynamics within an ensemble and tasteful performance.

01.My Shining Hour   6:28
02.Ah Moore   9:19
03.The Pawnbroker   6:10
04.All The Rest Is The Same   7:33
05.The Feeling Within   5:47
06.Carousel   5:51
07.Lonely Town   5:46
08.This Is New   5:44
09.I Waited For You   6:07




Eric Platz - Life After Life (2016)

Label: Allos Documents
Source: Cdbaby
Genre: Modern Creative Jazz 

Like maps, all music has a scale. Not just a set of pitches but a spatial corollary. The amount of time one gives a note, or puts between two of them, correlates directly with the scope of the landscape imagined by the listener. A drone becomes a vista, the edges of the sound like the measureless horizon. More frenetic arrangements evoke something closer to the pace at which we experience our lives, a musical expression of our inability to hold on to any one moment before it is subsumed by the next, gone as quickly as an unsustained note.

On his adventurous and cinematic debut, Life After Life, drummer and composer Eric Platz moves seamlessly between these imagined scales, juxtaposing them against one another like some cartographic impossibility. This movement becomes a sort of narrative device, the start of a chapter, or its end, and the tension and drama in the shifting perspective begins to tell a story of its own.

Platz composed the music on Life After Life for its three principal players: Chicago-based clarinetist James Falzone (KLANG, Allos Musica, The Renga Ensemble); cellist Leanne Zacharias (Music for Spaces, Correction Line Ensemble); and himself. A veteran improviser, Platz is a drummer and percussionist of incredible nuance, a skill he honed over several decades as a sideman, touring with acts in and outside the jazz world. If the music on Life After Life is a descendant of the Third Stream and contemporary improvisation, it is also a natural culmination of Platz’s prismatic interests, refracted through his affinities for jazz, classical, folk, and world musics.

He began playing drums at age 10, shortly after his family moved to Wilmington, Delaware. Despite his age, he began studying with a percussionist from the Philadelphia Orchestra, who turned him on to Tony Williams. He fell in love with Miles Davis’s The Complete Concert 1964: My Funny Valentine + Four and More. “I remember listening to the drumming, and it was so musical,” Platz says. “It was this continuous narrative. That’s what I wanted to do.”   Read More...

1. Life After Life One 02:26
2. Seeds of Doubt 07:54
3. Redwood Vesper 05:36
4. Life After Life Two 02:39
5. Blood Meridian 21:39
6. Life After Life Three 01:33
7. Marrakesh High Line 11:35

Eric Platz: drums, percussion, mbira
James Falzone: clarinet, shruti box
Leanne Zacharias: cello
Don Benedictson: electric bass


Peter Horvath - Absolute Reality (2016)

Label: Foreign Matter
Source: Smooth Jazz
Genre: Jazz-Fusion, Smooth-Jazz

Hungarian-born pianist and keyboardist Peter Horvath performs with the who­is­who of jazz such as Victor Bailey, Lenny White, Arturo Sandoval, Randy Brecker, Marcus Miller, and many more. While he is a in demand recording musician on numerous albums his solo career has only seen two albums yet. His debut album Foreign Matter (1995) and his sophomore album Absolute Reality.
Peter has assembled for the recordings of his new album a great amount of luminaries Victor Bailey, Marc Van Wageningen and Larry Kimpel (bass), Ricky Lawson and Lenny White (drums), Dean Brown and Ray Orbiedo (guitar), Norbert Stachel (sax), Randy Brecker (trumpet) among many others.
Peter Horvath has composed all tracks, some in collaboration with Norbert Stachel. The album shows up with Absolute Reality. A funky horn arrangement in the style of Tower of Power or East Bay Soul is the launching platform for Peters' rocket like journey over the keys of his grand piano.
Carla comes smoothly like silk with Horvath's intimate Rhodes piano and Bob Mintzer on tenor saxophone. Escape From Oakland is without any doubt a tour de par force. All musicians perform with great speed without neglecting melody, arrangement and improvising.
On Nassau Nights Peter reveals his affinity for smooth jazz and the influence of Fourplay on his work. Elegant performance on Rhodes piano, a harmonic horn arrangement and Kenny Washington on vocals are clear pluses. Waltz For Ella fosters in the contemporary jazz realm, while Latin rhythm elements and Marc Van Wageningen on bass give this fast paced piece some pepper. The tune is dedicated to his daughter Ella Nicole Horvath.
When Victor Bailey on bass, Ricky Lawson on drums, Ray Obiedo on guitar meet Peter Horvath on Rhodes then Fake Out gets a big dose of funk. Norbert Stachel on various brass and flute delivers a fine garnish. Miss You walks the line between jazz and melody, a musical journey with a deep expression of sadness and missing, dedicated to his mom, Matrai Zsuzsa, a great Hungarian singer.
Sardegna is an ode to the Italian island. Elegant Rhodes improvisation and a brass arrangement in the style of EWF are the highlight of this tune.
Foreign Matter dives into the bebop roots and when Peter begins to improvise, it can get a fast and wild ride. Final tune is a solo piano piece entitled Braden's Song and dedicated to his son Braden Michael Horvath.
With Absolute Reality Peter Horvath has put his whole personality and passion into this work. An eclectic album of the deserving wider recognition category. 

1  Absolute Reality
2  Carla
3  Escape from Oakland
4  Nassau Nights
5  Waltz for Ella
6  Fake Out
7  Miss You
8  Sardegna
9  Foreign Matter
10 Braden's Song

Peter Horvath - piano,keys,organ
Victor Bailey - bass
Lenny White - drums
Randy Brecker - trumpet
Bob Mintzer - sax
Dean Brown - guitar
Ray Orbiedo - guitar
Norbert Stachel - sax
Ricky Lawson - drums
Larry Kimpel - bass
Marc Van Wageningen - bass
Karl Perazzo - percussion
Walfredo Reyes Jr - drums



Collado.García.Benito - Suite II (2016)

Label: Self Released
Source: Bogui Jazz

Marcos Collado (guitarra), Ander Garcia (bajo eléctrico) y Miguel Benito (batería) son tres músicos de referencia en el jazz contemporáneo realizado en el país.
Habituales colaboradores en un gran número de proyectos y estilos diversos, muestran en esta ocasión la música en directo de su segundo disco, “Suite II”, ofreciendo un cuidado concepto de trío, de gran originalidad y frescura, donde la interacción, la energía y la experimentación confluyen de manera equilibrada.
Afincados en Madrid, estos tres músicos son habituales en la escena de la ciudad, colaborando con los proyectos más representativos de estilos como el blues, el jazz, el latin y el funk. Cada uno goza de una extensa lista de colaboraciones musicales con los principales músicos de jazz, en la que se incluyen Perico Sambeat, Bob Sands, Chris Kase, Patax y festivales de jazz como el Jazzaldia, el Festival de Jazz de Madrid, y un largo etcétera.
El trío Collado • Garcia • Benito ha tocado la música de su anterior disco “Suite” en el festival Asejazz de Sevilla, en el ciclo de la Asociación Alamisa de Salamanca, el Ciclo Raqueros del Jazz de Santander, el Bogui Jazz de Madrid y el Jimmy Glass de Valencia, entre otros lugares.
En esta formación se suman la amplia experiencia y una química innegable, fruto de muchos años de camino juntos experimentando musicalmente. El concierto ofrecido por el trío está concebido de la misma manera que el disco predecesor, “Suite I”, como una obra completa a modo de suite moderna, que bebe del rock y del jazz a partes iguales, y que se desarrolla en completo equilibrio entre la interacción, la energía y la experimentación sonora.

“All sound beautiful, really nice composing and playing. I especially like the solo guitar section in the middle of the suite, very nice.”  Steve Cardenas

1. Pan y Boli 04:21
2. Mov.1 06:02
3. Síncope 03:18
4. Flores 03:24
5. Tiza 01:09
6. ba-ha-ma-nas 03:28
7. Cruzando el Mississippi 03:22
8. Flash 03:52
9. Looper 03:55
10.Cachirulo 04:03   
11.Si y No 02:34
12.I + D 04:52

Marcos Collado (guitarra)
Ander Garcia (bajo eléctrico)
Miguel Benito (batería)



Scot Ray, Steuart Liebig, Alex Cline - Time Estimation Error (2016)

Label: Self Released
Source: Cdbaby

I have long wanted to take the lap steel guitar into these territories, and wrote the pieces with Steuart and Alex in mind, as a kind of poem to the planet.  Scot Ray

1. Parable Of Dreams 03:46
2. Memory Drawings 05:45
3. Sculpting In Time 06:00
4. Bloviate 03:18
5. Ring Of Bone 06:38
6. Night Has No Outlines 05:37
7. Bloviate Some More 04:36

Scot Ray - lap steel guitar, compositions
Steuart Liebig - fretted and fretless bass
Alex Cline - drumset  



Beledo - Dreamland Mechanism (2016)

Label: Moonjune
Source: Beledo
Genre: Jazz-Fusion

New York guitarist, pianist, and composer, Beledo was born in Montevideo Uruguay. He began formal music and piano study at age six. As the British Invasion began to take hold of airwaves around the world, influenced by the Beatles and other emerging pop rock bands, he gravitated towards and discovered a natural proficiency for guitar.

Beledo gained guitar-hero status in his teens, playing every theatre in his hometown of Montevideo, and captivating audiences in Uruguay and Argentina.

After a brief tenure with Uruguayan rock and blues super-group, Dias de Blues, Beledo pioneered the jazz-rock band, Maytreya, and later on, the mythical Siddhartha, inspired by the burgeoning jazz-fusion movement (Chick Corea, Weather Report, Soft Machine & etc.). His fusion efforts of the early 80’s in South America, during which he appeared at top venues and recorded with Pedro Aznar (formerly with Pat Metheny Group), Ruben Rada, and the legendary band, Opa, attracted media attention in the U.S., where he gained recognition as an upcoming talent in GUITAR PLAYER and JAZZIZ magazines.

Formal music studies continued throughout his college career. He performed classical music recitals on National Public Radio and in numerous theaters. While attending the University School of Music in Uruguay, he was a founding member of The University Conservatory Jazz Quartet, the university’s first jazz ensemble, sponsored by the school in an effort to integrate jazz into the traditional curriculum.

Beledo is the guitar player on the album, FORWARD MOTION, by the South African Jazz band, Ojoyo, featuring saxophonist and band leader, Morris Goldberg; drummer, Anton Fig and bassist Bakithi Kumalo.

In 1996 Beledo toured Europe and the Caribbean with the TROPICAL TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES, featuring Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Tito Nieves, Cheo Feliciano, and an all-star line up of Latin artists.

In 2007, Beledo released MONTEVIDEO JAZZ DREAMS (Gudari Records), featuring Stefon Harris, Randy Brecker, Manolo Badrena, Mark Walker, Andy Middleton, David Finck, Jorge Camiruaga and Chris Komer.

Beledo's latest project, ON A MISSION, with his band, The Avengers, won critical acclaim on tour in South America through Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, gaining excellent reviews and strong CD sales in Japan, the U.K., France, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Australia and more. The Avengers are Beledo on guitar, Adam Holzman on keyboards, Lincoln Goines on bass, and Kim Plainfield on drums.   The band toured Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and played in Racife Porto Alegre, Montevideo Jazz Festival, Buenos Aires Jazz Festival, Cordoba Jazz Festival, Neuquén.  They finished with an unforgettable concert at the Teatro Lavalleja in Minas, Uruguay, Beledo's hometown.

Beledo signed with Moonjune Records – NYC in 2013, and traveled to Canada to record with Romanian keyboardist, Gia Ionesco, alongside guitarist Alex Machacek, drummer Virgil Donatti and bassist Anthony Crawford. A subsequent Ionesco session was scheduled in New York, which included Mauro Pagani on violin, Jimmy Haslip on bass, Asaf Sirkis on drums, Johnny Johnson on sax, and Mino Cinelu on percussion.

Additional outstanding Moonjune Records collaborations included work with the extraordinary Indonesian World Jazz Fusion band, Simak Dialog, with pianist Riza Arshad and guitarist Tohpati at Orion Studio, Baltimore, MD (09/07/13). Beledo also performed in a duo with Indonesian superstar guitarist, Dewa Budjana in Princeton and Burlington in a Southern New Jersey mini-tour on Dewa's last visit to the States, and recorded with Indonesia's premiere pianist, composer/ arranger/ conductor/ producer, Dwiki Dharmawan.

Versed in classical theory, composition and technique, adept in the traditional styles of his birthplace, drawing inspiration from vast and diverse modern musical forms, Beledo has earned his place among the most sophisticated, versatile, and gifted artists of our time.  

1. Mechanism
Beledo - electric guitar, violin, keyboards.
Lincoln Goines - electric bass
Gary Husband - drums

2. Bye Bye Blues
Beledo - electric guitar, fender rhodes, mini moog solo
Lincoln Goines - electric bass
Gary Husband - drums

3. Marilyn's Escapade
Beledo - acoustic piano, violin, accordion, electric guitar, keyboards.
Lincoln Goines - electric bass
Gary Husband - drums

4. Lucila
Beledo - Spanish guitar, fretless bass, electric guitar
Endang Ramdan - Sundanese kendang percussion
Cucu Kurnia - Sundanese kendang and metal percussion

5. Sudden Voyage
Beledo - electric guitar, archtop electric guitar
Tony Steele - electric bass
Doron Lev - drums

6. Big Brother Calling
Beledo - electric guitar
Lincoln Goines - electric bass
Gary Husband - drums

7. Mercury In Retrograde
Beledo - electric guitar
Lincoln Goines - electric bass
Gary Husband - drums

8. Silent Assessment
Beledo - electric guitar, archtop electric guitar
Lincoln Goines - electric bass
Gary Husband - drums

9. Budjanaji
Beledo - acoustic guitar, voice, fretless bass melody, archtop electric guitar, 1st electric guitar solo, keyboards
Dewa Budjana - 2nd electric guitar solo, background electric guitar
Rudy Zulkarnaen - electric bass
Endang Ramdan - Sundanese kendang percussion
Cucu Kurnia - Sundanese kendang and metal percussion

10. Front Porch Pine
Beledo - electric guitar
Tony Steele - electric bass
Doron Lev - drums 



George Adams - Finest (2016)

A compilation of the finest by the late saxophone player George Adams. Get introduced into the world of avant-garde and postbop jazz.

Following the releases of Pharoah Sanders and Chet Baker, Dopeness Galore recovered recordings from George Adams. All tracks were originally released on Timeless Records in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They showcase the love for contrast prominent in the Adams/Pullen quartet and a synergy and energy between the members that just can’t beat.

The songs clearly demonstrate Adams’ dramatic way of playing the saxophone. Skilfully gliding along his instrument, blowing out from the lowest to the highest tune in one breath. On the grand piano Don Pullen now and then makes use of the highest octaves in a haunting way, almost like he’s using his knuckles instead of his fingertips. The drive drummer Dannie Richmond brings to the plate result in tight rhythmic sessions. All the while bassist Cameron Brown wields his way through the songs, easily picking along in high gear.

Take note of the care taken of the album sleeve for the release. The artwork was done by Belgian artist Alex Deforce and the in depth liner-notes were written by Dutch flutist Han Litz.

“A deeply focused, spiritual journey guided by the late George Adams”: George Adams - 'Finest

01. Intentions (Conclusion)
02. Earth Beams
03. Nature's Children
04. City Gates
05. Decisions
06. Paradise Space Shuttle
07. Playground Uptown And Downtown
08. Send In The Clowns
09. Reflexions Inward
10. Newcomer Seven Years Later
11. Trees and Grass and Things