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Entries from May 2012

Keith Pray: Confluence

When not leading the 17-piece Big Soul Ensemble, the Soul Jazz Revival group or the New Orleans-style Mohawk Brass Band, bandleader, educator and alto saxophonist Keith Pray fronts a hard-swinging quartet performing at venues in Albany and throughout the Capital District of upstate New York. Confluence is his fifth recording as leader, a project he designed for his working quartet but modified with the addition of guitarist m: Chuck D’Aloia , an idea that remained percolating after seeing a 1994 gig of the m: Joe Henderson trio with m: John Scofield as the fourth player. The result, of course, is the perfect gathering necessary for the Confluence of a well-designed and appealing musical endeavor…

Date: May 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Ralph Peterson: The Duality Perspective

Balance is often overlooked in music criticism, yet it’s such an important aspect in music-making and life. Light doesn’t exist without dark, bold only takes shape when placed next to bland and earthbound realities are only truly understood by those who also know how to take flight. Drummer/educator Ralph Peterson understands this better than most, and The Duality Perspective documents his balanced outlook for all to hear…

Date: May 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos: Carrera

In his first recording since the magnificent arrangements of music of by Cuchi Leguizamon, Domador de Huellas (Sunnyside 2010), pianist Guillermo Klein has reassembled his main musical vehicle, Los Guachos, for Carrera. Here, Klein once again shows why he is such a master of manipulating the voices of the instruments he uses, bringing out subtle variations in tone and color. Moreover, like his mentor, m: Gil Evans , he is able to nominate the voices he wishes to use to express his art using a unique vocabulary and language. The result is an exercise in instrumentation and vocal gymnastics reminiscent of the great impressionists, and the creation of music that is unlike anything produced in Argentina or the United States.

Date: May 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Dan Clucas’s Lost Iguana Ensemble: Do You Know The Ways

There is nothing conventional in the sound worlds of Los Angeles-based composer and cornetist/flutist Dan Clucas. He rarely release an album; his last official release with his Immediately quintet was Exile (pfMentum, 2006), though he released four albums in 2011 on his Bandcamp page, two of which were solo recordings and solos/duos with a computer program. Do You Know The Ways features unique instrumentation for quintet: cello, two drums, tuba and Clucas (on cornet and flute), performing two long compositions that evolve intuitively, with a distinctive, loose structure…

Date: May 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Rhett Frazier, Inc: Every Day is Saturday

Rhett Frazier, Inc. might be based in East Los Angeles, but its music was first baked in the working class breadbasket of the American Midwest: Songwriter and vocalist Rhett Frazier grew up in Oklahoma, less than half an hour’s distance from the home or birthplace of legendary soulmen m: Roy Milton (“the father of modern R&B”) and m: Lowell Fulson (“Reconsider Baby”)…

Date: May 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Ben Riley: Grown Folks Music

Ben Riley is best-described as a drummer who has always been the epitome of great taste, elegance and almost certainly possessed of a higher musical intelligence. There is no better recommendation for this than the fact that m: Thelonious Monk hired him as a drummer, but if further proof were requested , then all that needs doing would be to spin Grown Folks Music, this eloquently bluesy albeit seemingly short session with a rising star on the saxophone, m: Wayne Escoffery . The album also pays a not-so-oblique tribute to Riley’s old boss, Monk, not just because Riley has included two Monk compositions and a standard the great pianist used to play, but for all the right reasons the drummer and Escoffery conjure–despite the absence of a pianist–not just the spirit, but also the late pianist’s spectacularly rarified language. This, of course, has everything to do with the pairing of the drummer and the saxophonist…

Date: May 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Federico Ughi: Songs For Four Cities

Drummer/composer m: Federico Ughi presents a collection of songs dedicated to four cities in which he has lived and that have made an impact on his music. His gentle and beautiful approach bridges European and American jazz, but mostly it filters the current New York scene through a silky translucent gauze…

Date: May 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews