Monday, August 5. 2013
Music: Current count 21822  rated (+43), 579  unrated (-1).
Much of the rated count went into Recycled Goods, both last week's post and a Beach Boys binge for September's planned 1960s special. Jazz Prospecting is lagging a bit: I decided last week to hold back reviews until release week, with August slow and September coming up I may have picked a time when I have an exceptional number of advance copies. Still, it's rather nice to know that I have a jump on future posts.
Most disturbing realization for the week: I just stumbled across a website called jazzystence. The blog's current page lists 20 jazz records (1 from 2012, the rest from 2013), and I've only received one of those (Daniel Rosenboom's Book of Omens). Under previous entries: 4 of the next 20 (Convergence Quartet, Hashem Assadullahi, Zs, Gary Peacock/Marilyn Crispell). Average seems to be closer to that, but not higher -- I did find one batch of 20 I had 8 of, but it was followed by a 2. Noticed a couple albums I could find on Rhapsody, so I'll make up part of the deficit there, but obvious a lot of new jazz slips past me, and most likely everyone else.
Patrick Cornelius: Infinite Blue (2013, Whirlwind): Alto saxophonist, fourth album since 2006. Mostly quartet, with Frank Kimbrough on piano, Michael Janisch on bass, Jeff Ballard on drums, plus trumpet (Michael Rodriguez) on three tracks, trombone (Nick Vayenas) on those and two more. Bright postbop, moves along briskly, would be more impressive but seems like there's a lot of that going around these days. B+(**)
Mark Dresser Quintet: Nourishments (2013, Clean Feed): Bassist, b. 1952, a major one although I've often had trouble getting the hand of what he's up to, especially on his own albums. Quintet includes Rudresh Mahanthappa (alto sax), Michael Dessen (trombone), Denman Maroney (hyperpiano), and either Tom Rainey or Michael Sarin on drums -- more options than he normally employs as he develops a complex mystery, with occasional touches of tango. B+(***)
Paquito D'Rivera and Trio Corrente: Song for Maura (2012 , Sunnyside): Clarinet player, b. 1948 in Cuba, played in groups like Irakere there, then defected to US in 1981. Close to 50 albums, including a major interest in Brazilian as well as Cuban jazz. Also plays some alto sax here, backed by a piano trio -- Fabio Torres, Paulo Paulelli, and Edu Ribeiro. B+(**)
Aaron Lebos: Reality (2013, self-released): Guitarist, based in Miami, third album, calls his group "The Aaron Lebos Reality" -- Eric England (bass, probably electric), Jim Gaslor (keyboards), Rodolfo Zuniga (drums). Fusion, or as the website puts it: "encompasses styles of Jazz, Funk, Rock, R&B, Latin and World Music." I'm inclined to read "air quotes" into those caps -- that's just the way those eclectic, unmediated influences come off, or you could just say "fusion" -- the rut everything else wrecks into. B-
Christian McBride Trio: Out Here (2013, Mack Avenue): Bassist, fifteen albums since 1994, leads a piano trio here with Christian Sands -- two previous albums -- on piano and Ulysses Owens, Jr. on drums -- one previous album, Unanimous on Criss Cross, a quintet with Sands, McBride, and a couple horns. So, young guys with similar tastes and ambitions to the leader two decades ago. Two originals (one shared with Sands), seven covers: standards, piano jazz fare (Billy Taylor, Oscar Peterson), a dab of funk to close ("Who's Making Love"), the centerpiece a long meditation on "My Favorite Things." Leader earns his bass solos. B+(***)
Roscoe Mitchell Quartet: Live at "A Space" 1975 (1975 , Sackville/Delmark): The Art Ensemble of Chicago's saxophonist's arsenal includes alto, tenor, and B-flat soprano sax, the latter featured in the centerpiece here, contrasted with George Lewis' trombone. Also present are pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, who seems peripheral, and guitarist Spencer Barefield, but the main thing is the showcase for Lewis. Reissue adds 19:36 to the 1975 LP. B+(**)
Scott Neumann Neu3 Trio: Blessed (2011 , Origin): Drummer, from Bartlesville, OK, based in New York. second album, a couple dozen side credits since 1996, all over the map -- including saxophonist Michael Blake's post-Loung Lizards debut in 1997. Blake is back here, along with bassist Mark Helias, playing eight Neumann originals, one from Helias, and one from Roswell Rudd ("Keep Your Heart Right"). All three are terrific, with Blake in an expansive R&B honking mode, the rhythm section pushing him on and running interference. A-
Susana Santos Silva/Torbjörn Zetterberg: Almost Tomorrow (2012-13 , Clean Feed): Trumpet-bass duo; the trumpet player, from Porto in Portugal, studied there and in Rotterdam, has previously recorded in the group Lama. The bassist is from Sweden, has ten records according to AMG. Free jazz, has moments of clarity, also a lot that sounds like flatulence -- not sure if that's the bass or trumpet, possibly both. B
Deborah Shulman & the Ted Howe Trio: Get Your Kicks: The Music & Lyrics of Bobby Troup (2013, Summit): Singer, fourth album since 2004, backed by pianist Howe and his trio, on eleven songs by Troup -- "Girl Talk" is one of the better ones. B
Thisbe Vos: Under Your Spell (2012 , Prime Productions): Singer, Dutch-born, UK-based, wrote 7 of 12 songs on this her debut album, the others well known standards ("I Thought About You," "Round Midnight," "He's a Tramp," "Always," "Ain't Misbehavin'"). Pianist Gary Matsumoto is music director. The pieces with his trio plus occasional horns are snappy, but he throws some to the Pasadena String Ensemble, which smothers them like a wet blanket. In English, but "Rue de la Huchette" stands out among the originals. B+(**)
Denny Zeitlin: Both/And: Solo Electro-Acoustic Adventures (2003-12 , Sunnyside): Pianist, has an M.D. in psychiatry but also studied with George Russell and has thirty-some albums since 1964 -- mostly solo or trio, especially since 1978. From 1968-78 he experimented with synthesizers and sound-altering devices for acoustic instruments, culminating in the soundtrack for a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This album marks a return to his electro-acoustic shtick, and while he's credited as solo (instruments not listed) this sounds nothing like a solo recording. The sound pallette is rich, orchestral even, which leads to the only problem I see: occasional dramatic use of neoclassical motifs -- nothing that triggers my gag reflex, but a relatively ordinary use for otherwise daring sound. B+(**)
Unpacking: Found in the mail last week: