Archive for the New on the Playlist Category

Two New Releases from Posi-Tone Records

Posted in CD Reviews, New on the Playlist, Under The Radar, Who's New in Jazz with tags , , , , on November 11, 2017 by curtjazz

West Coast based producer Marc Free, heads up one of the best little labels in jazz today, Posi-Tone Records. They consistently release high quality jazz, featuring respected vets, such as guitarist Ed Cherry and trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and also some of the finest up and coming names on the scene today. Here’s our review of the latest from a couple of those new(er) faces.

Bruce Harris – Beginnings

bruce harrisNew York native Bruce Harris makes an impressive debut as a leader, with this album. The trumpeter is a graduate of SUNY Purchase and a protégé of the great Jon Faddis. He has paid his dues over the last few years, playing with Barry Harris, T.S. Monk and Jimmy Cobb, among many others. On this joyous album, he has gone with a nice mix of jazz standards and a few originals that demonstrate his solid compositional skills.

Harris utilizes an accomplished rhythm section of Michael Weiss on piano, Clovis Nicolas on bass and drummer Pete Van Nostrand; along with a talented group of rotating saxophonists, including three of my personal favorites, Dmitry Baevsky, Jerry Weldon and Grant Stewart. Mr. Harris’ tone is what immediately draws you in; it is positively ebullient and clear as a bell, reminiscent of a young Clark Terry.  “Ask Questions” a jubilant Harris original kicks off the proceedings, with strong solos from the leader, Baevsky and baritone saxophonist Frank Basile. Prince’s “Do U Lie” is reborn as a fabulous, up-tempo, 4/4 feature for Harris, who drops one his best solos on the record. I’d never heard such a lively take on “Ill Wind” before now. I liked it, a lot, with Harris and Weldon playing musical tag over the rhythm section’s insistent beat. Harris’ “The Step” is a finger-snapping joyride, which lets Weiss and Nicholas in on the solo fun, in addition to the horns.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars – Beginnings is a fine start for Bruce Harris. I enjoyed every minute and I look forward to what’s next.

 

Behn Gillece – Walk of Fire

behn gilleceVibraphonist Behn Gillece has been a Posi-Tone mainstay for the past couple of years, co-leading a group with saxophonist Ken Fowser, guesting on the albums of label mates, such as Walt Weiskopf and Michael Dease and leading his own group, which released impressive projects in 2015 (Mindset) and 2016 (Dare to Be). Keeping up that album per year pace, Mr. Gillece has released Walk of Fire, which is his most mature and fully realized project to date.

For this album, Mr. Gillece was inspired by the instrumentation on Joe Henderson’s Blue Note classic, Mode for Joe, on which Henderson used a septet of three horns, plus vibes and a traditional piano, bass, drums rhythm section. Walk of Fire replicates that sound on most of its tracks, with Dease on trombone, Weiskopf on tenor and another label mate, the brilliant Bruce Harris on trumpet. The rhythm section is Adam Birnbaum on piano, bassist Clovis Nicolas and drummer Jason Tiemann.

The ten compositions are all by Gillece and there’s not a bad one in the bunch. Things get started with the title cut, which sounds like a Mode for Joe, lost track with Gillece contributing a driving solo over the hard-swinging theme. This cat has grown exponentially over the last few years, to the point where I would now place him in the upper echelon of vibraphonists working today.  Gillece then gives way to strong, brief statements by Weiskopf and Dease. “Fantasia Brasileira” is a beautiful bossa, with an infectious head and tasty ‘bone from Dease. “Bag’s Mood”, is, as you would suspect, a tribute to that soulful master of the vibes, Milt Jackson. Gillece swings hard in the pocket and this time Harris joins in on the fun with some high-flying trumpet work. It’s a feel good track that I had on repeat for about 30 minutes. On “Celestial Tidings”, the horns lay out and you get to hear Gillece very much in a Bobby Hutcherson bag, with shifting rhythms and terrific solos that will keep you engaged.

When I first heard Behn Gillece a few years back, I was immediately impressed by his potential. Now, on Walk of Fire, he has arrived.

Rating: 4 ½ out of 5 Stars: Highly recommended straight ahead jazz. One of the best albums that I’ve heard this year.

A New Gift from JLCO: “Big Band Holidays”

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues..., Video Vault with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2015 by curtjazz

Big Band HolidaysMy late father often said “The best thing to do in a hurry, is nothing.” As I’ve grown older, I’ve begun to truly appreciate the enduring wisdom in those words – for I’ve so often discovered that I make my biggest errors, when I do things for speed and not for pleasure. Such is the case with my post a couple of days ago about my favorite new Holiday Jazz Albums.

Since I decided last weekend that I was going to write something every day for the rest of the year to atone for my lack of activity over the last six months, I’d became totally focused on putting something out there, even if I hadn’t really thought it through. So when I completed the post on new Christmas Jazz, I dropped a few words and a couple of videos, and declared my mission accomplished, even though I felt as if I was missing something…it didn’t matter; at least I was making my self-imposed deadline.

I was missing something. Something that I had heard and enjoyed more, , than most of the albums in the original post – it was the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s Big Band Holidays; an album far richer and more complex than its simplistic title (and pedestrian cover art) would suggest.

Every December for over a decade, Wynton Marsalis, and the JLCO have come together with some of the great vocalists in jazz to perform their arrangements of some of the classic songs of the season. Thankfully many of these concerts were recorded. This year, Blue Engine Records, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s house label, assembled some of the choice selections from 2012 – 2014 concerts and released them as a compilation – featuring three of the best vocalists in jazz today, Rene Marie, Gregory Porter and Cecile McLorin Salvant and strong arrangements from some of the bands in house pros like Victor Goines, Sherman Irby and Ted Nash, plus a nod to the new testament Basie Band by including Ernie Wilkins classic arrangement of “Jingle Bells”. Big Band Holidays is a terrific jazz album first and a good Holiday album second, which is why I will probably be listening to it beyond next Friday night.

As you can see, these performances were also caught on video, so we can share a few of them with you. May these performances prove to be as timeless as my dad’s words.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

 

New Holiday Jazz Albums 2015

Posted in New on the Playlist, The Jazz Continues... with tags , , , , , , on December 15, 2015 by curtjazz

When I first started featuring Christmas and Holiday Season Jazz on my web station, Curt’s Cafe Noir, in 2005, it took a bit of work to find sufficiently diverse jazz content to allow the station to run all Holiday music. Now, ten years later, there’s so much music to choose from, from so many different sources, that I can program 24 hours of Holiday Jazz and afford to be selective.

From Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra’s Joyful Jazz, “Merry Christmas John Coltrane”

And this season has brought another crop of strong and varied Christmas Jazz Albums. Here are samples from a few of my favorites that you’ll hear on Curt’s Cafe Noir’s 24/7 JazzMas Party, through December 26. As an extra bonus, we have the album that is my favorite new seasonal offering, Etienne Charles’ Creole Christmas, in an exciting live version, recorded at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, in New York City.

From the Count Basie Orchestra’s A Very Swingin’ Basie Christmas! “Good Swing Wenceslas”

Enjoy the samples, pick up a copy of the full albums, if you dig the tracks and tune in to Curt’s Cafe Noir WebJazz Radio, for great Christmas Jazz.

From David Benoit Trio’s Believe; “The Christmas Waltz” (feat. Jane Monheit)

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Recorded Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC; trumpeter Etienne Charles with a concert version of his new album Creole Christmas

 

Curt’s Cafe Radio Playlist Adds Week Ending 2/20/10

Posted in New on the Playlist on February 25, 2010 by curtjazz

Curt’s Café WebJazz Radio

Playlist Additions Week Ending 2/20/2010

 

Song Artist Album
Charade Angela Hagenbach The Way They Make Me Feel
Cinnamon and Clove Angela Hagenbach The Way They Make Me Feel
Slow Hot Wind Angela Hagenbach The Way They Make Me Feel
Dear Lord Avishai Cohen The Trumpet Player
Idaho Avishai Cohen The Trumpet Player
The Fast Avishai Cohen The Trumpet Player
Bo-Peep Barbara Dennerlein Take Off!
Fly Away Barbara Dennerlein Take Off!
Hot House Barbara Dennerlein Take Off!
Flo n Mayn Spirit Carl Fischer Adverse Times
Kirican Afternoon/Sonho Medley Carl Fischer Adverse Times
Caracas Charlie Apicella Sparks
Sparks Charlie Apicella Sparks
Sweet and Sounded Charlie Apicella Sparks
The Eraser Christian Scott Yesterday You Said Tomorrow
On The First Day David Marriott, Jr. Septology: In The Beginning
On The Second Day David Marriott, Jr. Septology: In The Beginning
On The Sixth Day David Marriott, Jr. Septology: In The Beginning
Introspection/Thelonious Geri Allen Twenty-One
Lullaby of the Leaves Geri Allen Twenty-One
Old Folks Geri Allen Twenty-One
Tea For Two Geri Allen Twenty-One
Dotty’s Dream Harold Vick Steppin’ Out!
Laura Harold Vick Steppin’ Out!
Trimmed in Blue Harold Vick Steppin’ Out!
Appointment in Milano Orrin Evans Faith in Action
Faith in Action Orrin Evans Faith in Action
Why Not Orrin Evans Faith in Action
Less Is More Ralph Bowen Due Reverence
Phil-osophy Ralph Bowen Due Reverence
This One’s For Bob Ralph Bowen Due Reverence
The Song That Lives Inside Seamus Blake Bellwether
Wail March Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins, Vol, 2
Why Don’t I Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2
You Stepped Out of a Dream Sonny Rollins Sonny Rollins, Vol. 2
Lullaby of Birdland The Drummonds When You Wish Upon A Star
The Sound of Silence The Drummonds When You Wish Upon A Star
When You Wish Upon A Star The Drummonds When You Wish Upon A Star
Big Brother Vijay Iyer Historicity
Helix Vijay Iyer Historicity
Mystic Brew Vijay Iyer Historicity
Somewhere Vijay Iyer Historicity
Blue n’ Boogie Wes Montgomery Full House
Cariba (Take 2) Wes Montgomery Full House
Come Rain or Come Shine (Take 2) Wes Montgomery Full House
Full House Wes Montgomery Full House

 

Curt’s Cafe Radio Playlist Adds Week Ending 2/13/10

Posted in New on the Playlist on February 22, 2010 by curtjazz

Curt’s Café WebJazz Radio

Playlist Additions – Week Ending 2/13/2010

 

Song Artist Album
I Won’t Dance Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong Ella and Louis Again
I’m Putting All My Eggs in One Basket Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong Ella and Louis Again
Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong Ella and Louis Again
Our Love is Here to Stay Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong The Best of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
April’s March Fred Fried & Core Core 3.0
Henry Fred Fried & Core Core 3.0
Sadie Fred Fried & Core Core 3.0
Autumn Leaves Gia Notte Shades
I Wish You Love Gia Notte Shades
Speak Low Gia Notte Shades
Appointment in Ghana Jackie McLean Jackie’s Bag
Melonae’s Dance Jackie McLean Jackie’s Bag
Quadrangle Jackie McLean Jackie’s Bag
Let There Be Love Jackie Ryan The Best of Love Songs
Seasons of the Heart Jackie Ryan The Best of Love Songs
This Heart of Mine Jackie Ryan The Best of Love Songs
Delaunay’s Dilemma Modern Jazz Quartet MJQ 40
Milano Modern Jazz Quartet MJQ 40
Bags’ Groove Modern Jazz Quartet & Sonny Rollins MJQ 40
Get Yourself Another Fool Sam Cooke Night Beat
Lost and Lookin’ Sam Cooke Night Beat
You Gotta Move Sam Cooke Night Beat

Curt’s Cafe Radio Playlist Adds Week of 2/6/10

Posted in New on the Playlist on February 22, 2010 by curtjazz

Curt’s Café WebJazz Radio

Playlist Additions Week Ending 2/6/2010

 

Song Artist Album
Conversation With Martin Ben Adams Quintet Old Thoughts for a New Day
Ghost at Infancy Ben Adams Quintet Old Thoughts for a New Day
Pocket Fiction Ben Adams Quintet Old Thoughts for a New Day
A Night in Tunisia Mario Bauzá 944 Columbus
Chano Mario Bauzá 944 Columbus
Heatwave Mario Bauzá 944 Columbus
Beep Michael Janisch Purpose Built
Lost Creek Michael Janisch Purpose Built
Love is a Many Splendored Thing Michael Janisch Purpose Built
Circumstantial Steve Colson The Untarnished Dream
Iqua’s Waltz Steve Colson The Untarnished Dream
The Untarnished Dream Steve Colson The Untarnished Dream
My Love Tobias Gebb Free At Last
Spitball Tobias Gebb Free At Last
Tomorrow Never Knows Tobias Gebb Free At Last

Curt’s Cafe Radio Playlist Adds 11/5/09

Posted in New on the Playlist on November 6, 2009 by curtjazz
SONG ARTIST ALBUM
Don’t Be That Way Anita O’Day Sings the Winners
Four Brothers Anita O’Day Sings the Winners
Interlude (A Night In Tunisia) Anita O’Day Sings the Winners
Peel Me A Grape Anita O’Day & Cal Tjader Time for Two
Ill Wind Ben Webster Soulville
Lover, Come Back to Me Ben Webster Soulville
Makin’ Whoopee Ben Webster Soulville
Where Are You? Ben Webster Soulville
Cold Duck Time Brother Jack McDuff Bringin’ It Home
Girl Talk Brother Jack McDuff Bringin’ It Home
Summertime Brother Jack McDuff Bringin’ It Home
A Night In Tunisia Dizzy Gillespie Birk’s Works
Cool Breeze Dizzy Gillespie Birk’s Works
Dizzy’s Business Dizzy Gillespie Birk’s Works
Doodlin’ Dizzy Gillespie Birk’s Works
Tin Tin Deo Dizzy Gillespie Birk’s Works
Bluesette Jimmy Smith Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
John Brown’s Body Jimmy Smith Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf – Pt. 1 Jimmy Smith Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf – Pt. 2 Jimmy Smith Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Asi No Papa Mario Bauza My Time is Now
Azulito Mario Bauza The Tanga Suite
Son Cubano Mario Bauza The Tanga Suite
Tanga (Mambo) Mario Bauza The Tanga Suite
Blues on the Corner McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy
Passion Dance McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy
Search for Peace McCoy Tyner The Real McCoy
Dancing in The Wings Melissa Walker May I Feel
Miss Otis Regrets  Melissa Walker May I Feel
What A Little Moonlight Can Do Melissa Walker May I Feel
Cheaper to Keep Her MFSB Deep Grooves
A Shot In The Dark Shirley Scott Talkin’ Verve
Blue Bongo Shirley Scott Talkin’ Verve
Taj Mahal Shirley Scott Talkin’ Verve