Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The South Florida Jazz Orchestra presents The Music of Gary Lindsay: Are We Still Dreaming from SUMMIT RECORDS 2018


Although Grammy-nominated arranger GARY LINDSAY has written big band charts that have been performed by everyone from Maynard Ferguson and The Atlantean Driftwood Band to the Airmen of Note and the Florida Philharmonic, THE MUSIC OF GARY LINDSAY: ARE WE STILL DREAMING (Summit Records, July 20, 2018) is the first CD devoted entirely to his big band arrangements. Lindsay is an alto sax player and performs, records, and arranges for the Miami Saxophone Quartet. The group has recorded five critically acclaimed CDs and performs regularly around southern Florida. He garnered a Grammy-nomination for jazz arranging for Arturo Sandoval’s album, I REMEMBER CLIFFORD. 

ARE WE STILL DREAMING was recorded by THE SOUTH FLORIDA JAZZ ORCHESTRA. Created and directed by bassist CHUCK BERGERON, the orchestra includes some of the best jazz and studio musicians, as well as jazz educators, in the southeastern part of the United States. The members of the SFJO have performed and toured with many of the greatest artists in jazz and pop music. Lindsay and Bergeron are both educators. Lindsay is Director of Studio Jazz Writing and Jazz Composition at the Frost School of Music, which is part of The University of Miami, and Bergeron is Professor of Jazz Bass and Jazz History at the University of Miami. ARE WE STILL DREAMING, the orchestra’s third album, was produced by Grammy-winning trombonist JOHN FEDCHOCK. Lindsay has appeared on all of the orchestra’s CDs.  

Several guest artists joined the SFJO for this project, including acclaimed vocalist JULIA DOLLISON. A graduate of the Frost School and currently a member of the jazz studies faculty at The University of Northern Colorado, Dollison is featured on two tunes. The first is the medley “Spring Is Here / Up Jumped Spring.” According to Lindsay, “I like to write counterpoint, and when I arrange for vocalists, I don’t write arrangements where the vocalist sings the melody and the band plays the accompaniment. I prefer to write arrangements where the singer and the band are in a contrapuntal conversation with one another.” Dollison’s large vocal range and pure tone fit perfectly with the light-hearted, fluid, and swinging arrangement. The arrangements for either tune in the medley can stand on their own, and Lindsay actually created a standalone, radio mix for “Up Jumped Spring.” 

Dollison also sings a wordless vocal on “Are We Still Dreaming,” the title tune. Written by Lindsay, the composition was inspired by a guest appearance by trumpeter Kenny Wheeler at the Frost School a number of years ago. The tune also features solos by guitarist JOHN HART, who has performed with many jazz legends, including Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, Lou Donaldson, and James Moody.

The tune also features a solo by saxophonist GARY KELLER, who is not only a member of the Miami Saxophone Quartet but has also backed up legends like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Johnny Mathis, as well as touring with many jazz luminaries.  NICOLE YARLING is another guest vocalist on this CD. A stalwart on the southern Florida jazz scene, she often appears with the South Florida Jazz Orchestra. She’s heard on the standard “Easy Living.” “When I wrote this arrangement, I had in mind a movie score for a hot, languid day down South,” says Lindsay. “Nicole is a true jazz singer who can scat with the best of them.” This tune also features trumpet player GREG GISBERT, a top New York City jazz and studio player.

Beside the title tune, Lindsay composed two other numbers for this project, including “Moment in Time,” which features a flugelhorn solo by ALEX NORRIS, another guest artist from New York who has extensive big band experience, which includes stints with the Village Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Toshiko Akiyoshi’s Jazz Orchestra, and Maria Schneider’s Orchestra. Lindsay also wrote “Toward Hope,” an exciting composition with a classical influence that features guest saxophonist Rick Margitza, now a resident of Paris.  

Lindsay has been a fan of Pat Metheny for many years and included his arrangement of Metheny’s “Better Days Ahead.” The band played this arrangement with Metheny when he performed at the University. Guitarist Hart is once again the featured soloist. 

Monk’s “Round Midnight” is the oldest arrangement on the CD. Lindsay wrote it in 1977 with Stan Kenton in mind, after completing a Master’s Degree. It features a solo by sax player ED CALLE, a member of the Miami Saxophone Quartet, who is a five-time Grammy-nominee who also won a Latin Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album.

Lindsay closes the set with “UMMG” (Upper Manhattan Medical Group), the Billy Strayhorn tune. He gives this widely recorded number his own twist by introducing a distinctive opening groove that he inserts throughout the piece, creating a very different feel from the original or from any other recorded version. 

THE MUSIC OF GARY LINDSAY: ARE WE STILL DREAMING is a project that’s long overdue. The music is serious but very approachable. Lindsay’s arrangements and compositions are unique, beautiful, and satisfying on every level.

Woodwinds: GARY LINDSAY (alto sax, clarinet) 
GARY KELLER (alto & soprano sax, flute) 
ED CALLE (tenor sax, flute)
PHIL DOYLE (tenor sax, flute)
JASON KUSH (tenor sax, flute) 
MIKE BRIGNOLA (baritone sax, bass clarinet)
RICK MARGITZA (tenor sax)



Rhythm Section: MARTIN BEJERANO (electric & acoustic piano)
JOHN HART guitar
CHUCK BERGERON (acoustic & electric bass)
BRIAN POTTS (shaker, pandeiro)
KSENIJA KOMLJENOVI (vibes & xylophone)

French Horn: (special guest) RICHARD TODD

All arrangements by GARY LINDSAY

1 Moment in Time (feat. Alex Norris) 9:12
2 Spring is Here/Up Jumped Spring (feat. Julia Dollison) 8:43
3 Toward Hope (feat. Rick Margitza) 8:41
4 Easy Living (feat. Nicole Yarling) 7:16
5 Better Days Ahead (feat. John Hart & Chuck Bergeron) 8:25
6 Are We Still Dreaming (feat. Julia Dollison, John Hart & Gary Keller) 11:31
7 'Round Midnight (feat. Ed Calle) 8:22
8 Ummg (feat. Mike Brignola & Major Bailey) 6:25

Jeremy Ledbetter Trio - Got A Light? (ALMA RECORDS September 21, 2018)

The trio’s debut album is a controlled explosion of big musical ideas, stylistic variety, vivid colours and compelling musical storytelling.  This new project features three Canadian virtuosos -- pianist and bandleader Jeremy Ledbetter, drummer Larnell Lewis of Snarky Puppy fame, and bassist Rich Brown (Steve Coleman, Dapp Theory) -- at the top of their game. 

Ledbetter has made a fine career so far out of travelling to remote corners of the globe from Venezuela to Myanmar in search of musical inspirations. As the leader of acclaimed Caribbean jazz ensemble CaneFire and calypso legend David Rudder’s producer and musical director, Ledbetter is used to working with large bands and more rigorous definition. So it was a welcome change of pace not to have to leave his home city to create his first jazz trio record. 

“Working with killers like Larnell and Rich, you don’t have to play it safe,” says Ledbetter. “They inspired me to really work without a net, and let my own compositional personality shine through. Whereas most of my music so far has been rooted in ideas inspired by traditional music, this album is about painting my own pictures and creating a cinematic kind of atmosphere. It's a contemporary jazz album that's telling stories I hope anyone would be able to understand and relate to. This record is the first truly original representation of my own musical soul, and that’s a great feeling.”

Eight of the songs are Ledbetter’s original compositions, plus a cover of “Gift Shop” by The Tragically Hip as a tribute to the great Gord Downie, recorded a week after his passing. Venezuelan world-jazz diva Eliana Cuevas makes a guest appearance on "Her New Wings", and the exquisite "Suspirito" features a duet between Ledbetter's piano and Reimundo Sosa on Afro-Cuban batá drums. 

1 Amanecer 7:13
2 Got a Light? 4:04
3 Her New Wings (feat. Eliana Cuevas) 4:10
4 About Climbing Mountains 8:02
5 Mais Um 5:30
6 Suspirito 5:35
7 Gift Shop 3:42
8 The Pepper Drinker 5:22
9 The Tightrope Walker 6:52

Scott Marshall and the Jazztice League - Dream Logic Project (September 21, 2018)

DREAM LOGIC PROJECT is is Scott’s fifth release of original music under his own label SMT Music.

This project consists of five men, five instruments, and eight compositions each taking the listener on a different journey. Moody strait eight funk, strait up swingers, latin swing, soulful slow jam, driving three feel, and a beautiful final statement.

Marshall’s compositions pay homage to tradition and yet are full of surprises! Masterfully recorded by Jeremy Darby at Canterbury Studio in Toronto this recording has the sound and feel of a live performance with Marshall’s compositions allowing each musician to shine, and shine they do!

Scott Marshall and the Jazztice League  is Scott’s newest ensemble. Comprised of players he has worked with over the years that he found exciting and inspiring to play with.

Scott D Marshall

“I wanted to put a dream band together”

…and what a dream band it is, joining Scott, who plays tenor sax on this outing, is an elite group of Canadian jazz masters. Featuring Juno Award winner Mike Rud on Guitar (Herb Ellis, Kenny Wheeler), David Restivo on piano (Boss Brass, Marc Jorden), Nick Fraser on drums (Tony Malaby, Michael Moore), and legendary bassist and Juno Award winner Dave Young (Oscar Peterson, Lenny Breau).

Scott Marshall and the Jazztice League  DREAM LOGIC PROJECT will be officially 

and will be celebrated with two nights at Toronto’s legendary jazz club, The Rex

on October 23rd and 24th, 2018 at 9:30pm.

1. The Anthropocene 06:07
2. The Jazztice League 05:13
3. Ken and Fernan 07:17
4. Dream Logic 07:53
5. Sunday Afternoon Blues 04:42
6. Super Slo Mo 06:04
7. Bruiseberry Pie 05:37
8. The Last Word 05:46

Steve Davis / Jeanfrançois Prins - Light (GAM MUSIC 2018)

This pure jazz guitar trio album was recorded just a few days after the September 11, 2001 attack on NYC. The trio felt that even though it was hard to think about anything else, it was therefore even more important than usual to focus on sharing music without concessions, artifices and judgements with each other, and ultimately to send all that positive energy out in the world.

"This CD is very much like a set we would play live, as we recorded most of the tunes in one take, and the sequence of the tunes is in the order in which we recorded them. I guess one could say "recorded live in the studio"".
- Jeanfrançois Prins

"After each tune, we would find ourselves talking about the events of September 11th. It seemed to me that because of our raised consciousness, there was a real sense of abandonment to our playing that resulted in a real looseness in the music. We play because we have a burning and passionate love for music".
- Steve Davis

Jeanfrançois Prins guitar
Steve Davis drums
Larry Kohut bass

1. Someday My Prince Will Come 06:28
2. I Hear A Rhapsody 05:17
3. Leaving 05:44
4. It Ain't Necessarily So 07:02
5. Iris 03:16
6. How Deep Is The Ocean 05:03
7. My Main Man 05:34
8. The Peacocks 09:43
9. Footprints 08:36

Playlist for Tom Ossana – The Thin Edge – August 30, 2018 MST 7:00 to 9:00p.m. ~ Use this link to access the show online.

Jeanfrançois Prins + Judy Niemack & Fred Hersch - Beauty & The Prince (GAM MUSIC 2018)

Guitarist Jeanfrancois Prins has once again created a rich, multi-textured musical tapestry with a collection of grooving jazz standards, originals, and fusion tunes. The interaction between Prins and his band, each a world-renowned player in his own right, shows the intense listening and mutual inspiration felt by all. Note that he cut here the first guitar version of Jimmy Rowles' magnificent melody "The Peacocks" 

Judy Niemack appears as a guest vocalist on 8 tracks, and sails through tricky arrangements, scats like an angel, and delivers lyrics with heartfelt emotion. 

Piano master Fred Hersch appears on 7 tracks, as brilliant and interactive as ever, whether weaving his luxuriant harmonies around Niemack's voice or co-composing intricate fugue-like lines in real time with Prins. 

Very enjoyable listening, from start to finish!

Jeanfrançois Prins guitar
Judy Niemack vocals
Fred Hersch piano
Hein van de Geyn bass
Bruno Castellucci drums

1. Meaning Of The Blues 08:12
2. The Blessing 07:04
3. Love Will Grow (Beauty and the Prince) 03:49
4. Stolen Moments 05:14
5. The Peacocks 10:16
6. Three Views of a Secret 06:19
7. Bjudyful 06:41
8. I Think of You (Thinking of You) 08:46
9. Ladies in Mercedes 04:21
10. Body and Soul 05:56
11. That's What I Say (Jordu) 02:53
12. Sojourn 05:19
13. Young Folks 02:26

Putter Smith Quintet - Night Song (GAM MUSIC 2018)

During a lovely, long train ride from Amsterdam to Berlin, recently, I had the pleasure to listen to some very nice music created by Putter Smith, a fine bassist and composer.

With Gary Foster, a long time spiritual buddy who plays better everytime I hear him, and John Gross, a cross between Warne Marsh and Coltrane (a very expressive player on the tenor sax), Peter Donald and Joey Baron sounding very involved (alternate dates), and Patrice Rushen and Dave Frishberg adding some musical harmonies, and an assortment of nice tunes.

They manage to take the sic(k) out of the music, and add a lot of the muse! (muse sick!!).

Thanks Mr. Prins for thinking enough of this program to make it available to us. - Lee Konitz

Putter Smith bass, compositions
John Gross tenor & soprano sax
Gary Foster alto & soprano sax
Dave Frishberg piano
Patrice Rushen piano
Joey Baron drums
Peter Donald drums

1. The Story Of O 04:53
2. White Flight 04:28
3. Valse Hot 06:38
4. Morbid Data 04:57
5. Teef 05:10
6. Time 05:11
7. Along Came Betty 05:54
8. Marlene 05:28
9. Giant Steps 03:36
10. Night Song 03:10
11. Putt's Blues 05:47

Lee Konitz & Jeanfrançois Prins Trio - Live at the Manhattan Jazz Club (GAM MUSIC 2018)

In the short history of jazz there's only been a small handful of truly creative, inventive improvisers. Lee Konitz stands out as one of the most beautiful poets in this expansive music.

His playing and concepts have been a big part of my development. He's been an inspired improviser all his life and it comes through his horn in every breath!!

I've seen Jeanfrançois Prins develop so fast in the last few years (I'm really proud of him).

He's becoming a real voice on the guitar with a warmth that's all his own. His trio with Bruno Castellucci and Sal La Rocca is a perfect match with Lee. They ask the musical question "Is Now The Time?" Now Is The Time everytime when all when all the elements fall in place, as they do here.

Great tunes, with sensitive, creative improvisers that play with a deep sense of history and swing as they explore new places within the music. Joe Lovano

Lee Konitz alto sax
Jeanfrançois Prins guitar
Bruno Castellucci drums
Sal La Rocca bass

1. How Deep Is The Ocean? 11:54
2. Is The Time Now? 09:43
3. Lover Man 12:25
4. Solar 12:42
5. You Don't Know What Love Is 11:09
6. Body and Soul 08:43