With Pushing The World Away, saxophonist Kenny Garrett has produced a work of tremendous musical depth and color. Garrett navigates diverse musical influences from Latin, African, Brazilian and even hip-hop on this effort and blends them all together so well. Likewise, the recording is a collage of moods from uptempo danceable rhythms to more mellow reflective tones. The production is aided by a great lineup talent, which includes Benito Gonzalez and Vernell Brown, Jr. on piano, Rudy Bird on percussion, Marcus Baylor and Mark Whitfield, Jr on drums, with Jean Baylor and McClenty Hunter providing vocal contributions. The project consists primarily of great new music written or co-written by Garrett. With this magnificent work, Garrett makes the case for adding his name to the league of saxophone legends right before our very ears .
Click to listen to a clip of “J’ouvert (Homage to Sonny Rollins)”:
Tracks: A Side of Hijiki, Hey Chick, Chucho’s Mambo, Lincoln Center, J’ouvert (Homage To Sonny Rollins), That’s It, I Say a Little Prayer, Pushing The World Away, Homma San, Brother Brown, Alpha Man, Rotation.
Jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer is among this year’s 24 Genius Grant winners. Iyer and 23 others fellows will each receive $625,000 over the next five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
The Monterey Jazz Festival is an annual event and an ongoing chronicle. Sure, Armstrong, Ellington, Miles and Coltrane all played there. But so-called “golden eras” are romantic notions, maybe even figments of historical imagination. Jazz continues, and Monterey does as good a job as any festival of documenting its current condition.
Last weekend’s 56th edition, a strong one, presented emerging artists (i.e. Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca), hot artists (singer Gregory Porter), overlooked artists (baritone saxophonist Claire Daly), respected mid-career artists (saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, son of John) and venerable artists (saxophonist/composer Wayne Shorter).
Singer Lorraine Feather’s engaging delivery and words combine to present a mesmerizing musical painting . Attachments is the latest of Feather’s wonderfully inventive productions, featuring songs of life and relationships of every kind. The singer again teams with producer/pianist Russell Ferrante to create tremendous arrangements to accompany her lyrical stories. Guitarist Eddie Arkin contributed 4 tunes to the production, which he wrote or co-wrote and arranged. Also adding to the depth of this work are pianists Shelly Berg and Dave Gruisin, who also arranged several tunes each, guitarist Grant Geissman, bassist Michael Valerio, percussionist Tony Morales, drummer Michael Shapiro, reed man Bob Mintzer and violinist Charles Bisharat, whose presence is particularly felt on a number of compositions. With her willingness to explore new musical places and thought, Feather is one of the most daring and creative modern jazz vocalists.
Click to listen to a clip of “I Love You Guys”:
Tracks: A Little Like This, Attachments, I Thought You Did, Anna Lee, 159, We Have The Stars, I Love You Guys, I Hope I Never Leave This Place, .
Article by: BRITT ROBSON , Special to the Star Tribune
Nearly a quarter-century ago, bassist Dave Holland released the record “Extensions,” a glorious mix of power and complexity, featuring guitarist Kevin Eubanks, that was voted Album of the Year in the jazz magazine Downbeat.
In the decades since, Holland enhanced his reputation as one of the premier bandleaders in jazz, while Eubanks became a familiar presence to millions of Americans as a member, then leader, of Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” band.
Bassist Christian McBride leads his trio in a solid outing on his latest recording Out Here. Joining McBride in this adventure are Ulysses Owens, Jr. on drums and Christian Sands on piano. The musical menu is quite diverse, and the sideman are a bit younger than their leader, but the trio takes the tunes on with cool of the true artisans they are.The set consists of a collection of standards arranged quite nicely to fit this jazz triumvirate. Included are tunes composed by Oscar Peterson, Dr. Billy Taylor, Brooks Bowman and Stanley Turrentine among others.The band is in complete sync and the album is a totally engaging listening experience.
Click to listen to a clip of “Easy Walker”:
Tracks: Ham Hocks abd Cabbage, Hallelujah Time, I Guess I’ll Have To Forget, Easy Walker, My Favorite Things, East of The Sun (and West of The Moon) Cherokee, I Have Dreamed, Who’s Making Love.
Seven-time Grammy winner Gary Burton joins NPR’s OnPoint host Tom Ashbrook to talk about his life as a jazz vibraphonist and his personal journey as an unannounced gay man in the jazz world, something he writes about in his new autobiography “Learning to Listen: The Jazz Journey of Gary Burton”.
Singer Gregory Porter moves over to Blue Note Records on his latest effort, but the power and magnificence of his awe-inspiring talent remains. Liquid Spirit continues the ascension of Porter as one of the great American singers. The depth of words is as poetic as ever and Porter’s delivery remain as soulful and enchanting as heard on his previous recordings. He can be as tender as a rose petal and at once wield the power of freight train. This production follows the “if-aint-broke-don’t-fix-it” axiom, with the same team of talents returning to the studio. Joining Porter again are pianist Chip Crawford, drummer Emanuel Harrold, bassist Aaron James, alto saxophonist Yosuke Sato, as well as tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott, trumpeter Curtis Taylor, and organist Glenn Patscha. Brian Bacchus again serves as producer, with longtime collaborator Kamau Kenyatta arranging and co-producing the effort. Porter is a musical marvel who continues growing his legacy as an amazing painter of word and emotion.
Click to listen to a clip of “Brown Grass”:
Tracks: No Love Dying, Liquid Spirit, Lonesome Lover, Water Under Bridges, Hey Laura, Musical Genocide, Wolfcry, Free, Brown Grass, Wind Song, The “In” Crowd, Movin’ , When Love Was King, I Fall In Love Too Easily .
Drummer and Grammy-winning producer extraordinaire Narada Michael Walden has a powerful new album. Thunder , the latest addition to the Mahavishnu Orchestra alum’s discography, blends rock fusion, blues, jazz and soul, to create a work of compelling musical intensity. Walden assembles an outstanding lineup of musicians to bring this great music to life. Joining him on the effort are Frank Martin on keyboards and organs, Matthew Charles Hewllit on guitar, Angeline Saris on bass and Nikita Germaine, who provides backing and lead vocals on numerous tracks along with Walden. The musicianship here is at an ultra-high level in every chair. Walden has produced yet another grand work to add to his museum of accomplishments.
Click to listen to a clip of “Miracle of Fatima”:
Tracks: Thunder, Throw Your Hands Up, Shake The House, 40 Days, Shirley Mae, New York City, We Belong Together, Down Low, Miracle of Fatima, Dragonfly, Movin’On, Dreams of Vinyl, Donna Wanna Let You Go, Power, Thunder/Angel Funk.