Monday, January 16, 2017

James Martin - Something's Gotta Give (2017)

BY JAY MAZZA / thevinyldistrict

I have been seeing Martin since his earliest days on stages in New Orleans with Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and Orleans Avenue when the musicians were still in high school. His technique on the horn, his vocal ability, and his sense of stagecraft have grown as he has developed into a fully realized musician over the course of those fifteen years.

Now with the release of Something’s Gotta Give, his sophomore effort, Martin has come into his own as a songwriter and bandleader. The new album features all original compositions with the exception of two cuts that both reflect his deep roots in New Orleans.

The band on the album—Walt Lundy on drums, Devon Taylor on tuba, and John Marcey on guitar—is a well-honed unit due to playing regular gigs over the past year or so. Prior to forming his own band, Martin spent seven years with Orleans Avenue, much of it on the road, before deciding to focus on his solo career. While developing his own sound, he played with trombonist Glen David Andrews and other musicians including New Orleans R&B legend Ernie Vincent.

Martin is eagerly awaiting his return to the Maple Leaf Bar on January 28 for his album release party because it was where he made his stage debut fifteen years ago this month.

The tunes on the album represent the broad experiences that define the musician’s life and the artists he has worked with including other local legends like Ivan Neville and James Rivers. There is heavy funk that wouldn’t be out of place on a recording by Neville and jazz sax work that will make Rivers proud.

The choice of covers is significant relative to Martin’s influences. He arranges “Too Much Blues,” a song that was part of James Booker’s repertoire, for saxophone and tackles Allen Toussaint’s “Southern Nights.” In a testament to his approach, both of these piano-based tunes are recorded sans piano allowing his arrangements to shine.

Besides the strong production values on the album and the musicianship of his band, Martin’s songwriting is one of the album’s biggest strengths. His first album was mostly covers, for Something’s Gotta Give, the focus is on his original material. I strongly recommend getting your copy and checking it out live.

1. Same Old Same Old 5:48
2. Maintain Composure 5:23
3. Something's Gotta Give 5:45
4. Another You 5:06
5. Southern Nights 6:20
6. End of the Line 3:12
7. Too Much Blues 4:08
8. Last Call 3:29

Maarten Hogenhuis Trio - Mimicry (2017)

Maarten Hogenhuis (1986) is an Amsterdam-based saxophonist. He is a member of the exhilarating powerjazzgroup BRUUT!, The More Socially Relevant Jazz Music Ensemble (led by Reinier Baas), the two-drummer band Krupa & The Genes and leads his own quartet and trio.

Besides those bands, he is a sought-after sideman, which resulted in the collaboration with artists such as Pete Philly & Perquisite, The Four Tops, The Temptations, New Cool Collective Bigband, Caro Emerald, Ben van Gelder, Benjamin Herman, Jesse van Ruller, Joris Roelofs, Anton Goudsmit and many others.

In 2012 he reached the final of the Dutch Jazz Competition with his Maarten Hogenhuis Quartet, where he was granted the prize for Best Soloist. In that same year, BRUUT! was nominated twice for a Radio 6 Soul & Jazz Award in the categories Best Live Act and Best Talent and they were invited to play at the North Sea Jazz Festival (Holland), Tokyo Jazz Festival (Japan), Standard Bank National Jazz Festival Grahamstown (South Africa), Jazz a Ouaga (Burkina Faso) and Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa (Poland).

In 2013 Maarten won the prestigious Keep an Eye International Jazz Award with his Maarten Hogenhuis Trio (Best Soloist and Best Band) and in 2014, he was granted the Laren Singer Jazz Award.

He released his debut album ‘4/3’ in June 2014, which was very well-received by the press. In January 2017, his long-awaited second album will be released, featuring Thomas Rolff on bass and Mark Schilders on drums.

1. The Single Petal of a Rose / Le Sucrier Velours 07:20
2. Coko 05:12
3. Samuel 03:10
4. Tea for Two 04:10
5. Sonder 05:29
6. Vertigo 06:19
7. The Peter-Cat 03:57
8. Three Monkeys 02:53
9. Bucks 04:12

Thomas Rolff, bass
Mark Schilders, drums

John Abercrombie Quartet - Up And Coming (ECM 2017)

Guitarist John Abercrombie – who has recorded as a leader for ECM since 1974 – returns with a second album by his quartet featuring Marc Copland on piano, along with longtime rhythm partners Drew Gress and Joey Baron. Extolling 39 Steps, the group’s 2013 album, the Financial Times said: “The emphasis is on subtle intrigue, flowing lyricism and the interplay between the leader’s warm, cleanly articulated guitar and Copland’s piano… with bassist Gress and drummer Baron equally supple and sinewy companions.” The same virtues of lyrical melody and harmonic/rhythmic subtlety are apparent with the new Up and Coming, though with even more emphasis on the enduring values of song. Abercrombie’s liquid phrasing and glowing tone – enabled by the thumb technique he has honed since eschewing a plectrum in recent years – animate his five originals and the pair by Copland, as well as a take on the Miles Davis classic “Nardis” done in the spirit of Bill Evans. Up and Coming has a twilight atmosphere, with melodic flow the guiding light. Read more...

1.JOY (John Abercrombie) 04:09
2.FLIPSIDE (John Abercrombie) 02:50
3.SUNDAY SCHOOL (John Abercrombie) 07:15
4.UP AND COMING (John Abercrombie) 05:47
5.TEARS (Marc Copland) 07:34
6.SILVER CIRCLE (Marc Copland) 07:04
7.NARDIS (Miles Davis) 06:17
8.JUMBLES (John Abercrombie) 05:57

John Abercrombie   Guitar
Marc Copland   Piano
Drew Gress   Double Bass
Joey Baron   Drums

Colin Vallon Trio - Danse (ECM 2017)

The Colin Vallon Trio has found its own space in the crowded world of the piano trio by quietly challenging its conventions. On its third ECM album Vallon again leads the group not with virtuosic solo display but by patient outlining of melody and establishing of frameworks in which layered group improvising can take place. With this group, gentle but insistent rhythms can trigger seismic musical events. Although Vallon (recently nominated for the Swiss Music Prize) is the author of nine of the pieces here, the band members share equal responsibilities for the music’s unfolding.

The gravitational pull of Patrice Moret’s bass and the intense detail supplied by Julian Sartorius’s drums and cymbals are crucial to the success of Vallon’s artistic concept and the range of emotions the music can convey. Danse is issued in both CD and LP editions. Read more...

01. Sisyphe
02. Tsunami
03. Smile
04. Danse
05. L'onde
06. Oort
07. Kid
08. Reste
09. Tinguely
10. Morn
11. Reste (Variation)

Patrice Moret - double bass
Julian Sartorius - drums

Frank Kohl Quartet - Rising Tide (PONY BOY RECORDS 2017)