Jim Shulstad - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 11:59:07 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Enclave Diaspora by Rebecca Cline and Hilary Noble http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/enclave-diaspora-by-rebecca-cline-and-hilary-noble.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/enclave-diaspora-by-rebecca-cline-and-hilary-noble.html Enclave Diaspora is the second energetic release by the quartet known as Enclave. The group consists of Rebecca Cline and Hilary Noble along with Fernando Huerg…

Enclave Diaspora is the second energetic release by the quartet known as Enclave. The group consists of Rebecca Cline and Hilary Noble along with Fernando Huergo and Steve Langone. Enclave Diaspora is an adventurous Afro-Latin concoction of creative chemistry, spirituality, and transcendental artistry.

As the title implies, the quartet draws on an enormous wealth of geographic influences, religious deities, and exuberant rhythms to express the dispersion of people and their cultures. With eleven original instrumental pieces, Enclave blends folk tunes reflecting religious characters from Africa to the Caribbean and beyond with complex combinations of intricate rhythms. Most of the tracks imply a journey to or an experience within sacred places with Afro-Latin energy and excitement. Ancient chants and folk tunes serve as an undercurrent upon which the listener is transported across the sea as in "Iya Modupue". Or to the majesty of the sand sculptures of Utah in Moab considered to be sacred land. "Nameless" instills an anonymous character as it laments the many nameless travelers lost or taken from their land. Blue Cross breaks away from standard rhythmic repetitions with an unmistakable bluesy quality. It shares this rhythmic concept with "Crossroads", both sizzle with rhythmic vitality.

Cline’s use of both piano and Rhodes keyboard provide depth and variety to the collective groove of the quartet. Like Noble, Cline adds to the percussive nature of the music by doubling and tripling on percussion instruments. Hilary Noble’s tenor sax and flute playing are refreshing reminders of how effective a great melody can be. His creative lines are tastefully integrated into each tune. Fernando Huergo and Steve Langone seem to operate as one. The bass lines and percussive direction work seamlessly throughout and add multiple layers of intensity to this superb ensemble.

Enclave Diaspora is a Latin Jazz treasure anchored in tradition, soaring into the future.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Latin Jazz / Latin Funk - CD Reviews Mon, 05 Jan 2009 00:00:00 -0600
Struttin South by Damon Sawyer http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/ http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/fusion-cd-reviews/ Damon Sawyer’s new CD Struttin’ South is a straight-ahead, fusion influenced package featuring some of Europe’s finest jazz musicians. Mr. Sawyer, a polished drum…

Damon Sawyer’s new CD Struttin’ South is a straight-ahead, fusion influenced package featuring some of Europe’s finest jazz musicians. Mr. Sawyer, a polished drummer and accomplished producer and recording engineer hails from England where he runs his own studio. Struttin’ South captures his early influences of Weckl and Gadd combined with his experience in numerous blues bands. The result is a powerful, raw statement of high energy material in the hands of an incredible line-up of talent.

Saxophonist Anatoliy Vyacheslavov provides a strong leading voice on the majority of tunes. "Cakewalkin’" and "Look-Ka Py Py," however, feature the guitar more prominently. Rhodes keyboards add layers of sound to the ensemble, especially in the composition "In the Basement" by Nova, Taylor and Sawyer. All but one tune is original material by Sawyer and/or other members of the group. Latin and funk grooves wind their way through the gritty mix of blues infused pieces. Monk’s "Well You Needn’t" is treated with a refreshing groove with the melody played by the bass. "On Lombard Street" also features a tasteful, melodic bass opening before giving way to an up-tempo groove.

Struttin’ South features Damon Sawyer’s prominent drumming, but as he intertwines with the entire ensemble, the drums are transformed into a melodic instrument streaming through the music. Conversational texture and instrumental interplay make Struttin’ South a refreshing, intensely positive, no nonsense fusion of great writing and great playing.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Fusion - CD Reviews Fri, 02 Jan 2009 12:00:00 -0600
The Cheap Lanscape Trio by Sebastian Cruz http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/the-cheap-lanscape-trio-by-sebastian-cruz.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/the-cheap-lanscape-trio-by-sebastian-cruz.html Sebastian Cruz moved from Columbia to New York City in 1997. He has since performed in Los Angeles, Madrid, Berlin, among other cities, and a host of venues in New York.…

Sebastian Cruz moved from Columbia to New York City in 1997. He has since performed in Los Angeles, Madrid, Berlin, among other cities, and a host of venues in New York. His latest project Sebastian Cruz and the Cheap Landscape Trio is an imaginative and playful concoction of Columbian influences and urban electricity.

The trio includes Cruz on guitar, the powerfully rhythmic bass of Ruben Samama, and the drive of drummer Joe Saylor. Less orchestrated than previous projects, the trio presents more interplay and exploration. Cheap Landscape offers minimized compositions that allow for inventive avenues of expression. Three tracks in particular, "Recuerdo Muerte", "Mi Esquinita", and "Cometa de Pluma" are thought provoking with pensive textures and relaxed grooves. The majority of Cheap Landscape is gritty, electric, and fused with elements of cumbia, champeta, and fandango. An entirely live recording, incredible creativity and spontaneity thrive in the hands of this multifaceted trio. "Graffiti" has a certain grit expressed in the energy of Cruz’s guitar. His use of effects on "Paradis Quarter"present yet another layer of tenacious excitement.

Powerful, creative, Columbian, and highly charged only begin to describe Sebastian Cruz and the Cheap Landscape Trio. Highly recommend for those looking for Columbian Latin/fusion jazz.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Latin Jazz / Latin Funk - CD Reviews Thu, 15 May 2008 01:00:00 -0500
More To Come by Jonathan Voltzok http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/bebop-hard-bop-cd-reviews/more-to-come-by-jonathan-voltzok.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/bebop-hard-bop-cd-reviews/more-to-come-by-jonathan-voltzok.html Bebop is alive and well in the hands of trombonist Jonathan Voltzok. Not only does he play, he commands the trombone through blistering tunes like Shawnuff. He th…

Bebop is alive and well in the hands of trombonist Jonathan Voltzok. Not only does he play, he commands the trombone through blistering tunes like Shawnuff. He then spins the warmest of gorgeous lines on 'Round Midnight and his own beautiful Shadows. As a composer, Voltzok is in that space between tradition and breaking new ground, a truly fresh and contemporary voice firmly planted in bop.

More to Come is loaded with highlights. Among them are the appearance of trombone legend Slide Hampton and world-renowned saxophonist Antonio Hart. Each play, on two tracks, contribute indescribable dimensions to an out-of-this-world ensemble. The rhythm section is phenomenal. Pianist Aaron Goldberg thoroughly cooks on every track with precise clarity. Bassist Barak Mori provides an unwavering foundation and rises to melodic moments with ease and conviction. Drummer Ali Jackson lays down the most tasteful support with energy and drive.

Five of Jonathan Voltzok’s compositions appear in the More to Come collection. Each hold their own in a lineup of classics from Parker, Gillespie, Monk, and Silver. The addition of Slide Hampton and Antonio Hart only elevate an already hard-swinging CD to a "must have" album of bop-inspired mastery. The only thing wrong with More to Come is that it needs a sequel. More of it, and fast.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) BeBop / Hard Bop - CD Reviews Wed, 14 May 2008 19:00:00 -0500
Comet Ride by Willie Williams Trio http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/comet-ride-by-willie-williams-trio.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/comet-ride-by-willie-williams-trio.html Comet Ride is stratospheric. Saxophonist Willie Williams is out of this world with drummer Rudy Walker and bassist Gary Wang. Williams, an award-winning performer…

Comet Ride is stratospheric. Saxophonist Willie Williams is out of this world with drummer Rudy Walker and bassist Gary Wang. Williams, an award-winning performer, composer, arranger, and educator, has been a busy sideman with Arthur Taylor, Art Blakey, Clifford Jordan, the Mingus Dynasty, T.S. Monk, and a host of pop artists. Comet Ride is the 5th CD by Williams as a leader, and will hopefully not be the last.

Playing in a piano-less trio presents certain challenges. In some ways, it leaves the slate wide open for creative improvisation, but that openness can be a long, dark journey into oblivion. In the competent hands of Williams, Walker, and Wang, it’s certainly the former. Wang and Walker completely lock in the time, while Wang and Williams fill the harmonic gaps so well, one almost doesn’t notice the absence of a comping instrument.

Williams composed eight out of the ten tracks on Comet Ride. Right from the start, the title track is stellar bound as it soars with lightning speed into another universe. "Mo’ Grits" is a soulful, New Orleans second-line style tribute to the South’s most favored dish. With a Celtic flavor, "Leprechaun’s Dance" is nothing but fun. The trio seems to move as one on every track, feeding off of the other’s energy and direction. Of the many highlights on Comet Ride, Williams’ arrangement of "Freedom Suite" is particularly fine. Paying tribute to Eddie Harris and Jimmy Heath, Williams fuses "Freedom Jazz Dance" with "Gingerbread Boy" and "CTA". Taking the tribute one step further, he introduces the Suite with his two saxes played simultaneously ala Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Comet Ride closes with a truly heartfelt rendition of Ellington’s "Caravan".

Like fire and ice blazing through the stars, Comet Ride is more than an adventure. Great feel, great time, great playing from three energetic cosmic travelers.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Various Jazz Styles - CD Reviews Mon, 02 Jul 2007 19:00:00 -0500
Air by Frank Kimbrough http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/air-by-frank-kimbrough.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/air-by-frank-kimbrough.html Frank Kimbrough is based in New York where he honed his craft as a solo pianist. He has been involved with the Jazz Composers Collective, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, …

Frank Kimbrough is based in New York where he honed his craft as a solo pianist. He has been involved with the Jazz Composers Collective, the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and Dewey Redman’s quartet among others. Kimbrough has toured extensively and has had radio appearances on Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz and All Things Considered. He has also found time to educate other musicians at some of our finest universities.

Air is Frank Kimbrough’s new CD on which he revisits his solo piano background with imagination and color. His flowing compositions are featured on Air along with those of Paul Motian, Duke Ellington, and Thelonious Monk. Kimbrough concocts a brilliant palette of hues and thoughtful moods as he explores a deep and curious landscape of tone and expression. Filling every space with meaning and direction, his playing is inviting and captivating. The title track is like a journey into the heart of a warm soul, while his "Ca’lina" is a romp of stride, bop, and good-timing swing. Articulated with pinpoint precision, his "Quickening" and "The Spins" are of intricate design, but move with flowing ease. His rendition of Monk’s "Coming on the Hudson" steams along with churning excitement propelled by a relentless bass line.

Frank Kimbrough’s Air should not be missed. Color and expression like this is hard to hear in a club over the chatter and clinking of glasses. Superb writing and flawless playing only begin to describe Kimbrough’s depth and intriguing style.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Other - CD Reviews Fri, 29 Jun 2007 07:00:00 -0500
Parallel Lives by Rob Lockart http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/parallel-lives-by-rob-lockart.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/parallel-lives-by-rob-lockart.html Refreshing, engaging, and stimulating only begin to describe Rob Lockart’s debut CD Parallel Lives. Lockart’s inventive solos reveal the style, class, and soul of…

Refreshing, engaging, and stimulating only begin to describe Rob Lockart’s debut CD Parallel Lives. Lockart’s inventive solos reveal the style, class, and soul of a finely polished musician. He says more in one chorus than the rest of us say all day. Parallel Lives is a solid winner!

Lockart’s saxophone is not new to our ears. He is a regular in the Los Angeles scene where he has recorded for TV, movies, and commercials. He has performed with the Woody Herman Orchestra, the Tom Harrell Big Band, Doc Severinsen, and many more too numerous to mention. Aside from his musical training at the University of Texas and the Eastman School of Music, Lockart has also studied with Dave Holland, Dave Liebman, Al Regni, Joe Allard, and Ramon Ricker.

Parallel Lives demonstrates an astounding sense of artistry. Lockart’s tenor sax is backed by an ensemble swinging with talent. "All Or Nothing At All" and "Everything Happens To Me" are well known standards that shimmer in the hands of this group. The other six tracks are Lockart originals. His writing is unbelievably fresh, but so sublime, resplendent, and flowing, reminiscent of the great standards we already know and love. Let’s hope this is not the last we hear of Rob Lockart.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Wed, 27 Jun 2007 19:00:00 -0500
Cry For Peace by Peter Lerner http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/cry-for-peace-by-peter-lerner.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/cry-for-peace-by-peter-lerner.html Cry For Peace by Peter Lerner
Chicago based guitarist Peter Lerner has come forth with another tasteful CD showing his class and style with a versatile lineup of colorful tunes and an ensemble to mat…

Chicago based guitarist Peter Lerner has come forth with another tasteful CD showing his class and style with a versatile lineup of colorful tunes and an ensemble to match. Cry For Peace demonstrates Lerner’s skills as a flawless guitarist and composer. Lerner has toured and played with Ramsey Lewis, Lee Konitz, Gladys Knight, and Patti Labelle, just to name a few, and he is a faculty member at Columbia College in Chicago.

Listening to Cry For Peace, one gets the sense of being part of an important search. Lerner’s arrangements seem to probe through the space and time usually reserved for personal reflection and contemplation. Pulling on the heart of humanity, the search for tranquility is endless, but comes to rest, even if temporarily, in the warmth of Cry For Peace. With purpose and direction, the ensemble offers an inner peace with exquisite mastery, pure tone, and beautiful inflection on lush ballads like the title track, and on straight ahead swingers like "Lerner Burner" and "Minority."

Cry For Peace features an ensemble of extremely talented artists including David Hazeltine on piano and organ, Ed Howard on bass, and Victor Lewis on drums. The horn line is composed of Jim Rotondi on trumpet, Jerry Dodgion on alto sax and flutes, Eric Alexander on tenor sax, and Steve Davis on trombone. Peter Lerner’s guitar playing is refreshing and original. The arrangements on Cry For Peace highlight the depth of each musician’s versatility.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Wed, 27 Jun 2007 01:00:00 -0500
Invitation by Pattie Cossentino http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/invitation-by-pattie-cossentino.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/various-jazz-styles-cd-reviews/invitation-by-pattie-cossentino.html Pattie Cossentino delivers a refreshing dish of originals, standards, and straight ahead jazz in Latin and swing styles on her debut CD Invitation. The versatile …

Pattie Cossentino delivers a refreshing dish of originals, standards, and straight ahead jazz in Latin and swing styles on her debut CD Invitation. The versatile Nashville-based Cossentino is blessed with a warm and inviting singing voice that she compliments with her flute, and the soprano, alto, tenor, and bari saxophones. Among her many credits are performances with Randy Brecker, Al Vizzutti, and Steve Houghton. Invitation features exceptional musicians like Rick Jackson on piano, Nioshi Jackson on drums, and trumpeter Rick Savage. Other musicians include Dan Immel and John Owny on bass, Dale Armstrong on drums, Joe Gross and trumpet, and Billy Huber on trombone. The arrangements are a particular highlight of Invitation, especially "Summertime" and "Blue Bossa".

Invitation kicks off with a straight ahead cooker called "Doug’s Minor" that features Cossentino on tenor sax, as well as trumpeter Rick Savage and Rick Jackson on piano. "You Let My Love Get Cold" features Cossentino’s beautiful voice along with a soulful horn section. "Bewitched", "Just Squeeze Me", and "You Don’t Know What Love Is" are sung with sweet tenderness, but "You’d Be So Nice To Come To" offers more edge with a fiery Latin flavor. Sonny Rollins’ "Doxy" and Kenny Dorham’s "Blue Bossa" are given the vocal treatment, but it’s Cossentino’s instrumental work that make these tunes come alive. "Summertime" features Cossentino’s soprano sax on an arrangement that shifts back and forth from a lively three to a hard swinging four. A captivating feature of Invitation is Cossentino’s flute playing. The title track is beautiful with interaction between the flute and piano. "Danza por Belle" is an original by Pattie Cossentino and Ken Ozimek with the flute in a Latin setting.

Invitation offers something for every jazz fan. Singing that stays true to beautiful melodies, blazing straight ahead solos, and Latin excitement by an ensemble of extraordinarily talented musicians.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) Various Jazz Styles - CD Reviews Tue, 26 Jun 2007 07:00:00 -0500
Cuanto Tardaré by The Café Olé http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/world-music-cd-reviews/cuanto-tardare-by-the-cafe-ole.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/world-music-cd-reviews/cuanto-tardare-by-the-cafe-ole.html The Café Olé blends jazz elements with a unique twist of Spanish flamenco music. Based in Toronto, Canada, The Café Olé’s debut CD Cuanto Tardaré is the result of…

The Café Olé blends jazz elements with a unique twist of Spanish flamenco music. Based in Toronto, Canada, The Café Olé’s debut CD Cuanto Tardaré is the result of a grant from the Ontario Arts Council, and has gained award-winning recognition in songwriting and Latin-Jazz categories. See their great website for upcoming events.

Cuanto Tardaré is a brilliant display of The Café Olé’s blend of soul, rhythm, and interplay. Bassist Dustin Shaskin, whose compositions dominate the CD, is joined by percussionist Diego Las Heras, pianist Scott Metcalfe, and vocalist Celia Palli to form the core of The Café Olé. The addition of Mike Murley on saxophone, flamenco guitarist Benjamin Barrile, and drummers Max Senitt and Mark Kelso complete the larger Flamenco-Jazz Band on Cuanto Tardaré. Diego Las Heras contributed the gorgeous title track, and Celia Palli’s lyrics are hauntingly beautiful, imaginative, and sung with angelic grace. Shaskin’s Mujer de Ojos Color Triste explores the distress and grief of lonely love, while Café Olé and Penta explode with rhythmic Latin-Jazz excitement. Powered by a rhythm section with great time and feel, stellar soloing abounds throughout the CD, particularly by Metcalfe and Murley.

The originality of The Café Olé’s compositions create a refreshing sound embracing the traditions that led the group to the inviting thrill of their CD Cuanto Tardaré. Like the city of Toronto, The Café Olé offers a diverse concoction of beauty and energy interwoven with heart wrenching lyrics and the often underutilized richness of flamenco music.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Jim Shulstad) World Music - CD Reviews Sat, 02 Jun 2007 07:00:00 -0500