Saturday, September 2, 2017

Unhinged Sextet - Don't Blink (ORIGIN RECORDS 2017)

Comprised of six performers and composers, all with stellar resumes but based in far-reaching corners of the country, the members of the Unhinged Sextet were originally drawn together through long-standing mutual associations. After gathering in Arizona for their debut, 2015's "Clarity," they were compelled to further explore the writing, emotions, and aesthetic the grouping inspired. The resulting performance of eight original compositions displays the warm regard the players have for each other's talents and a collective group dynamic clearly moving forward. "...the elegant performances and imaginative writing make for a cohesive and uniformly enjoyable listening experience...sophisticated and charming jazz that also has a much-needed common touch." - Chicago Jazz Magazine

1. Don't Blink (Michael Kocour) 5:37
2. The Swinger and The Saint (Will Campbell) 5:34
3. Low Talk (Matt Olson) 6:55
4. None The Wiser (Vern Sielert) 5:14
5. Purple Lilac (Matt Olson) 7:12
6. Autumn Fall (Will Campbell) 5:49
7. Folk Tune (Jon Hamar) 6:51
8. Sense of Semantics (Michael Kocour) 6:37

Vern Sielert - trumpet & flugelhorn
Will Campbell - alto saxophone
Matt Olson - tenor saxophone
Michael Kocour - piano
Jon Hamar - bass
Dom Moio - drums

Dave Potter - You Already Know (SUMMIT RECORDS 2017)

Having recorded four albums with Jason Marsalis, Dave Potter is a ‘budding’ jazz musician that ‘you may already know’…

Referenced by fellow-musicians as “…one of the most talented young drummers on the scene today…”, Dave Potter is quickly becoming known as an impact musician. On “You Already Know”, Potter takes the listener on a delightfully diverse yet wonderfully cohesive ride of some really great tunes that encompass the jazz tradition. Together with a cast of world-class musicians (including; Jason Marsalis, Marcus Roberts and Rodney Jordan), Potter serves up a recording that capsulizes 17 years of the musical journey he has traveled.

Following graduation from Florida State University in 2005, he was chosen from a national pool of applicants to be a member of the Louis Armstrong Quintet at the University of New Orleans. Unfortunately, the tragedy of hurricane Katrina temporarily altered that and in the spring of 2006, he was awarded a full scholarship to the prestigious Julliard Jazz Program in New York City. He declined the offer however and returned to Florida State University, where he received his Master’s Degree in the winter of 2008 after further collaboration with his mentor Marcus Roberts.

In 2010, Potter was featured in a novel entitled “The New Face of Jazz” about the younger generation of Jazz musicians making an impact in the current scene. Dave is now located in Atlanta where he maintains a busy teaching and performing schedule while also touring the globe as a member of The Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet.

01 Night Dreamer
02 Country By Choice
03 My Blue Heaven
04 Ratio Man
05 Whisper Not
06 Played Twice
07 I'm Going To Heaven, And You Ain't!
08 Puppet Master
09 Lettin’ Loose
10 Bells Of Ascona
11 Beatitudes
12 Last Tune

Dave Potter: drums
Jason Marsalis: vibraphone (1, 3, 6, 10)
Austin Johnson: piano (1, 3, 6, 10)
Will Goble: bass (1, 3, 6, 10)
Miguel Alvarado: tenor saxophone (2, 5, 8, 9, 11, 12), soprano saxophone (4)
Darren English: trumpet (2, 8)
Marcus Roberts: piano (2, 7, 8)
Rodney Jordan: bass (2, 7, 8)
Louis Heriveaux: piano (4, 5, 9, 11, 12)
Craig Shaw: bass (4, 5, 9, 11, 12)
Andy Sioberg: trumpet (5, 11, 12)

John Beasley – MONK’estra, Vol. 2 (MACK AVENUE RECORDS 2017)

If one were to have access to a time machine and could go back to see legendary bandleader Thelonious Monk in concert during the 1950s and ‘60s, you’d likely see him so compelled by the music that he would retreat from his piano mid-performance and conduct his band, no matter how small or large, through an impassioned dance. But behind the joyous dance that overtook the stage lay the societal struggles a jazz musician endured to present that 90 minutes of musical freedom – a tale of police harassment, systemic oppression and constant battles for equality. Fast forward to 2017 and composer-arranger-pianist John Beasley is using Monk’s spontaneous movements and experiences as the basis for conducting radically reconceived versions of the late composer’s music for his critically acclaimed big band project: MONK’estra.