Paul Oberlin - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection - jazzreview.com - Your Jazz Music Connection http://jazzreview.com Tue, 23 May 2017 07:36:54 -0500 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Other Tongues by Paul Carlon Octet http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/other-tongues-by-paul-carlon-octet.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/latin-jazz-/-latin-funk-cd-reviews/other-tongues-by-paul-carlon-octet.html Paul Carlon has been a part of the New York and Latin jazz for over fifteen years. He completed a Master’s in music composition at The City College of New York, and now …

Paul Carlon has been a part of the New York and Latin jazz for over fifteen years. He completed a Master’s in music composition at The City College of New York, and now teaches at the College of Staten Island. His performance credits are numerous and distinguished, too lengthy to list here entirely. Phil Woods, Arturo Sandoval, Chucho Valdes, Giovanni Hidalgo, and Steve Turre are some of the jazz luminaries he has performed with.

The music on Other Tongues is a spicy blend of Jazz, Afro-Cuban, and Latin. Carlon has assembled an impressive octet, whose members fire on all cylinders. He uses the color palette at his disposal to maximum effect. The use of two trombones, especially when muted and growling is remarkably effective. Heana Santamaria, daughter of legendary percussionist Mongo Santamaria, provides vocalization and chant in a pleasing alto. Max Pollak pioneered Rumbatap, a mixture of tap, vocals and dancing, heard on "Rumbatapestry" and "Extraordinary Rendition." Search Youtube for "Rumbatapestry" to see an amazing video of Carlon’s Octet performing Rumbatap live. Buddy Terry contributes his steeped in blues tenor to "Street Beat" and trades solos with Carlton, one of my favorites on the disc. Other highlights include a moving piano solo by John Stenger on "Smada" and Carlon’s flute and Mbira (aka Thumb Piano) playing. Excellent sound quality provides icing on the cake for this enjoyable album.

Carlton has succeeded in combining a plethora of musical art forms, creating a lush atmosphere that both swings and energizes. Other Tongues is warmly recommended and we eagerly await Paul Carlon’s next release.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Latin Jazz / Latin Funk - CD Reviews Sun, 04 Jun 2006 07:00:00 -0500
Tenor Madness by Sony Rollins http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/tenor-madness-by-sony-rollins.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/tenor-madness-by-sony-rollins.html Prestige has recently reissued a spate of 1950s classics remastered by legendary producer Rudy Van Gelder. It’s incredible to imagine RVG recording this date almost 50 y…

Prestige has recently reissued a spate of 1950s classics remastered by legendary producer Rudy Van Gelder. It’s incredible to imagine RVG recording this date almost 50 years ago, and now re-mastering with today’s technology. The band is Miles Davis’ band sans Miles. The rhythm trio had already agreed to record with Rollins when the idea to invite Coltrane in for a battle arose, hence the title track "Tenor Madness." The tenor titans each have their say; I’ll let you decide if there is a winner.

The tempo moderates on the bluesy "When Your Lover Has Gone." Garland follows Rollins with a short but elegant solo, then Chambers and Jones both solo briefly before ending. "Paul’s Pal" starts with a Rollins solo followed by Chambers and Garland. Rollins and Jones trade fours to finish off the number. Rollins displays a gorgeous, breathy tone on the ballad "My Reverie," and "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" closes the album on an upbeat note.

If you’re a first time buyer of this album and budget allows, indulge on the RVG edition. The improved sound and expanded liner notes are worth the few extra bucks. This is classic Rollins from a classic era on a classic label. You can’t go wrong!

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Sun, 23 Apr 2006 07:00:00 -0500
Workin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet by Miles Davis Quintet http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/workin-with-the-miles-davis-quintet-by-miles-davis-quintet.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/workin-with-the-miles-davis-quintet-by-miles-davis-quintet.html Borrowing a page from the Blue Note marketing folks, select albums from the Prestige vaults will be remastered by legendary producer Rudy Van Gelder. A question many rea…

Borrowing a page from the Blue Note marketing folks, select albums from the Prestige vaults will be remastered by legendary producer Rudy Van Gelder. A question many readers may have about this new edition is, do I need to upgrade to the RVG edition? Well, it depends.... If you are on a budget, or already own Workin’ and have limited resources, you don’t need to shell out for the new version. If, however, your budget allows and you like to have every version available, or you like the prestige of owning the RVG editions, then by all means go ahead and splurge.

Is the sound quality better on the RVG edition? Yes, but the improvements are minor and may not be noticed by all listeners. The recording was done in mono and remains so. Compared to the original release, the soundstage seems to have more space around the instruments, and some upper frequencies are boosted a bit.

The album opens with the ballad "It Never Entered My Mind." The pace picks up on the next track "Four," but the overall mood of the album remains laid back. "Ahmed's Blues" is a trio with Garland, Chambers and Jones. Joe Goldberg’s liner notes inform us that Miles let the trio play at club gigs so he could take a break. An added bonus is hearing more of Garland’s classy pianism.

Workin’ has long been considered a classic by jazz fans and critics alike. If you’re unfamiliar with early Miles Davis or 50’s era jazz, don’t hesitate to snap up this new version with revamped liner notes and remastered sound.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Sun, 16 Apr 2006 19:00:00 -0500
Gordon Jenkins Presents Marshall Royall by Jenkins and Marshall Royal Gordon http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/gordon-jenkins-presents-marshall-royall-by-jenkins-and-marshall-royal-gordon.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/gordon-jenkins-presents-marshall-royall-by-jenkins-and-marshall-royal-gordon.html Saxophonist Marshall Royal was widely regarded as a section player in the Count Basie band, with a sound influenced by Benny Carter or Johnny Hodges. Gordon Jenkins, arr…

Saxophonist Marshall Royal was widely regarded as a section player in the Count Basie band, with a sound influenced by Benny Carter or Johnny Hodges. Gordon Jenkins, arranger, conductor and pianist, admired his solo capabilities and initiated this recording project to showcase his seldom heard talents. The music, a mix of popular tunes and standards, is lushly orchestrated by Jenkins. A string section, choir, and guitar are all part of Jerkin’s sonic arsenal. Royal’s solos are all done tastefully and his tone is luxuriant, matching the orchestration. The twelve tracks are brief at 41 minutes and 55 seconds total. The music, however, is perfect for listening when in a mellow mood, and there’s plenty of variety to keep it interesting.

Everest were pioneers in stereo recording, and the first to market a stereo LP. They pioneered the process of recording on 35mm movie film, utilized in this recording. This is the same process Mercury also employed for their "Living Presence" series of LPs. The sound-stage is wide and deep, however, positioning of the instruments is limited to left, right or center. Clarity and signal to noise is superb. Everest touted their albums as the "pinnacle of achievement in recorded sound," and as you listen, you’ll agree it’s not marketing hyperbole.

The music is not Big Band or Hard-bop, but rather, as previously mentioned, orchestrated pop tunes and standards with Royal improvising solos within. This set will appeal to not only fans of ‘60s era jazz and popular music, but audiophiles as well. Highly recommended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Other - CD Reviews Fri, 07 Oct 2005 19:00:00 -0500
Ballads by Charles Evans http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/ballads-by-charles-evans.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/ballads-by-charles-evans.html Baritone saxophone player Charles Evans is a new artist on the scene and a welcome discovery. Ballads, recorded in March of 2004, is the first release in Evans’ d…

Baritone saxophone player Charles Evans is a new artist on the scene and a welcome discovery. Ballads, recorded in March of 2004, is the first release in Evans’ discography. Evans holds a bachelor’s degree in jazz from the University of Arts in Philadelphia, and has studied with David Liebman. You might think this is another standards album by the new kid on the block to show off his chops. However, Ballads reveals Charles Evans as talented musician and composer, not just another sax-wielding wunderkind.

Evans’ tone is warm and breathy. He plays in the upper registers of his instrument, sounding a lot more like a tenor than baritone at times. Still, an underlying trace of throaty growl and plenty of excursions into the instruments lower registers assured me I was listening to a baritone saxophone. Evan’s band mates, all long time acquaintances, supply marvelous support, and solo skillfully when called upon.

The disc begins and ends with a pair of lovely duets (written by Evans) with guitarist Erik Dulko, "Alas Dances" and "For Ta." Dulko’s guitar tone is airy and reverberant (think early Pat Metheny) with a twinge of distortion for added color. Further highlights include Evans’ plaintive, albeit similar, reading of Wayne Shorter’s "Infant Eyes," with a delicate solo by bassist Elliot and a brief cadenza by Evans. Jimmy Van Huesen’s "Like Someone in Love" is treated to a fresh arrangement by Evans, who nudges the tempo up a bit, imparting some welcome variety to the program. On "Body and Soul," Evans teams up with pianist Shah where they give Johnny Green’s wonderful tune a plaintive and soulful reading.

Aside from the scant bio and press sheet sent with the review copy, little information is available about Charles Evans. Likewise, a search of the Internet for a retailer from which to purchase Ballads yields just one source. Perhaps one of the major jazz labels will add Evans to their roster so he gets the recognition and distribution he deserves.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Wed, 08 Jun 2005 07:00:00 -0500
Range of Motion by Jo Ann Daugherty http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/range-of-motion-by-jo-ann-daugherty.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/range-of-motion-by-jo-ann-daugherty.html Jazzreview.com readers who live outside of the Chicago area will probably be unfamiliar with Jo Ann Daugherty and her music. Raised as a Midwestern farm girl, she attend…

Jazzreview.com readers who live outside of the Chicago area will probably be unfamiliar with Jo Ann Daugherty and her music. Raised as a Midwestern farm girl, she attended Truman State University in Missouri. Daugherty moved to Chicago in 1998, where she got involved with the Chicago Jazz Composers Collective, a group of local musicians who perform monthly at the famous Green Mill jazz club.

Range of Motion is Daugherty’s second release and a significant evolution from her debut, a trio outing of standards and originals. Daugherty wrote all nine tracks and the instrumentation has been expanded to include guitar, saxophones, trumpet and trombone. The key element here is diversity. The instrumental groupings include two trios, four quartets, two quintets and a sextet. But it’s the myriad of styles and influences that show off Daugherty’s creative style.

The album begins and ends with a couple of quartet tunes featuring guitarist Neal Alger. "Out of Round" has a modern Monk-like flavor; while "Heading Out" has a blues/gospel influence in the spirit of the Gene Harris Quartet. Daugherty is a selfless composer; the piano doesn’t dominate the music here at all. Both piano trios highlight the rhythm section and the interplay of the instruments. The funky "Harold’s Tune" has a terrific bass solo from Lorin Cohen, while "Still" highlights graceful bass playing from Larry Kohut and delicate brush and mallet work from Ryan Bennett. Mitch Paliga plays tenor and soprano sax on five of the tunes, while Tito Carillo (trumpet) and Tom Garling (trombone), contribute to two tunes each. One small error: the notes have the trumpet and trombone reversed on tracks two and seven.

Range of Motion signals the maturation of Jo Ann Daugherty as a musician and composer. Her playing is sensitive and restrained, never flashy. She writes accessible, intelligent music that you enjoy immediately, yet subtle details are uncovered with repeated listening. For jazz fans that enjoy discovering new and talented artists, Range of Motion is warmly recommended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Sun, 01 May 2005 07:00:00 -0500
Minor Changes by Liam Sillery http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/minor-changes-by-liam-sillery.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/straight-ahead-classic-cd-reviews/minor-changes-by-liam-sillery.html This is Liam Sillery's debut album, a tribute to his mentors who include Red Rodney and Joe Henderson. Sillery plays trumpet and flugelhorn and has been active in New Yo…

This is Liam Sillery's debut album, a tribute to his mentors who include Red Rodney and Joe Henderson. Sillery plays trumpet and flugelhorn and has been active in New York for some time. He also attended the University of Florida and the Manhattan School of Music. The supporting musicians include David Sills (tenor sax), Jesse Stacken (piano), Thomas Morgan (bass), and Richard Huntley (drums). I have not heard Sillery's name or any of his sidemen before, but I certainly hope to hear more from them in the future.

All of the songs were written by Sillery, except track 6, "You Are So Beautiful," a Billy Preston/Billy Fischer tune. The songs consist of three upbeat numbers, two mid-tempo numbers, a ballad and a blues. Since Sillery wrote this music as tribute to musicians like Joe Henderson and Red Rodney, it's no surprise that it has a strong 60's Blue Note/Jazz Messengers feel. Still, Sillery and crew inject their own manner and keep the music fresh. Sillery's tone is bright and articulate on boppish numbers, warm and lyrical on ballads. His style and sound is his own. In addition to Sillery's excellent writing and playing, this album benefits from strong playing by the rest of the band.

Highlights include the title track which opens the album, a hard-charging, up-tempo number. Sillery and Sills solo over changes, followed by Stacken and Huntley. David Sills' tenor solo on "Dial D for Dial" swings nicely and he trades fours with Sillery in the opening and close of the tune. "Cecil's Bridge" features some outstanding drumming from Huntley. Huntley deftly adds colorful cymbal work and accents around a funky rhythm. Pianist Stacken contributes a thoughtful, lyrical solo to "Prana." Bass player Thomas Morgan doesn't get any solo time; his playing however, is faultless throughout.

Sillery's solid writing, the band's superb musicianship, and great sound from engineer Manfred Knoop combine to make Minor Changes highly recommended.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Straight-Ahead - CD Reviews Mon, 25 Apr 2005 13:00:00 -0500
She’s On The Right Train by Andreas Baer http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/shes-on-the-right-train-by-andreas-baer.html http://jazzreview.com/cd-reviews/other-cd-reviews/shes-on-the-right-train-by-andreas-baer.html Andreas Baer hails from Switzerland, where he studied classical piano before he became interested in jazz. Baer cites Oscar Peterson and Monty Alexander as primary influ…

Andreas Baer hails from Switzerland, where he studied classical piano before he became interested in jazz. Baer cites Oscar Peterson and Monty Alexander as primary influences, but you’ll hear many more players and styles infused into Baer’s musical persona. Baer deftly switches from barrel-house boogie to blues to gospel to bop. He also wrote five of the thirteen songs listed here. The subtitle for She’s On The Right Train is "Boogie Woogie & Blues," and that’s exactly what you’ll hear.

Baer is accompanied by Ueli Muller on drums with no bassist. Muller provides capable, but not overly flashy support. The absence of a bass player is not detrimental to the music, as it provides more focus on Baer’s left-hand accompaniment. Highlights of the program include Baer’s solo interpretation of "Georgia On My Mind," where he demonstrates his ability to be wistful, virtuosic, and rhythmic simultaneously. The title track, written by Baer is a showcase for his stride/boogie playing.

Listening to She’s On The Right Train straight through may provoke a feeling of sameness to some listeners. However, the songs are mostly brief, at around three and a half minutes each, which keeps things moving along nicely. Fans of the genre will certainly want to investigate She’s On The Right Train.

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morrice.blackwell@gmail.com (Paul Oberlin) Other - CD Reviews Mon, 31 Aug 1998 19:00:00 -0500