Ode is the first recording from the Brad Mehldau Trio in 4 years. The project’s title references its musical odes to many different people, fictional and nonfictional, including the late, great saxophonist Michael Brecker, a character from the film Easy Rider, a comic book hero and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel. Pianist Mehldau has always been fantastic as something of a solo, high wire artist, but with the trio he demonstrates how he can ‘play well with others’, in this case, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jorge Rossy, both stellar talents in their own right. The trio clicks through the albums 11 tunes, all of which Mehldau composed, like a finely tuned watch. The tracks are balance of uptempo numbers and ballads, which provide a showcase for this latest episode in the artistry of the trio.
Click here to listen to a clip of “Aquaman”.
Tracks: M.B., Ode, 26, Dream Sketch, Bee Blues, Twiggy, Kurt Vibe, Stan the Man, WWyatt’s Eulogy for George Hanson, Aquaman, Days of Dilbert Delaney .
Vocalist Sara Leib makes a wonderful recording debut with Secret Love, produced by Matt Pierson. Leib delivers warm, inviting vocals over fresh new arrangements of classic and contemporary tunes. Covered are works by Cole Porter and Rodgers and Hammerstein, as well as tracks by Bob Dylan and Ben Harper. Leib devised the new arrangements most of the tunes, with the exception of the title track, re-crafted by her New England Conservatory of Music friends, vocalist Heather Masse (of the Wailin’ Jennys) and pianist Jed Wilson. The production is elevated by the presence of top-notch musician talents, including pianists Aaron Parks and Taylor Eigsti, drummer Eric Harland, bassist Harish Raghavan and saxophonist Dayna Stephen and percussionist Richie Barshay. This is a really nice debut of a great, new talent on the contemporary jazz vocal landscape.
Click here to listen to a clip of “To Make You Feel My Love”.
Tracks: It Might As Well Be Spring, Night and Day, Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye, So This Is Love, The Thrill Is Gone, With My Own Two Hands, To Make You Feel My Love, Some Day My Prince Will Come, The Way You Behold, Willow Weep For Me, Secret Love, All I Have To Do Us Dream.
On his latest, Meridies, pianist Dan Cray provides a fantastic portrait of contemporary quartet of musicians at work. Cray is joined by a terrific group comprised of Noah Preminger on saxophone, Clark Sommers on bass and Mark Ferber on drums, all whom provide solid musicianship in their respective chairs. The four musicians swing quite nicely on the uptempo tunes, and have a great sound on ballads as well. The recording is also a tremendous showcase of Cray’s considerable harmonic gifts as a composer. He wrote 6 of the project’s 8 tracks. The effort includes nice renditions of a Joe Henderson tune and the classic “Smile”. Cray is a terrific artist whose work should not be missed.
Click here to listen to a clip of “March of The Archetypes”.
Tracks: Smile, Worst Enemy, Amor Fati, Serenity, East 69, Winter Rose, At Least, March of the Archetypes.
Guitarmaster and legend Paco DeLucía puts on a quite show on his latest, En Vivo Conciertos Live in Spain 2010. The 2-disc recording captures DeLucia live in front a very enthusiastic home audience in his native Spain. The audience hangs on every note the iconic flamenco guitariist plucks, strokes or strums on the stage; it’s no wonder, as the foot-stomping, percussive energy is infective and quite affecting. DeLucia’s virtuoso playing is enhanced by the talents of guitarist Antonio Sánchez, bassist Alain Pérez, singers David de Jacoba and Duquende, harmonica player Antonio Serrano, and dancer Farru.Though it must have been an amazing experience to have been there for these shows, the power and beauty of DeLucia’s mastery comes across fantastically in this terrific recording.
Click here to listen to a clip of “Mi Antonia (Bulería Por Solea)”.
Tracks: (Disc 1) Variaciones De Minera (Minera), Mi Antonia (Bulería Por Solea),Tangos Con Cositas Buenas (Tangos), Moraito Siempre (Bulería) (Disc 2) El Cafetal (Rumba), Lagartijo (Siguirilla), Zyryab En Vivo, Vámonos (Rumba).