Fri, 24 September 2010
Nancy and I are taking a long awaited trip to Egypt and Israel this week, so there will be a brief lull in the postings for the next two weeks. However, never one to leave my friends without something to remember me by, I've wipepd up a Podcast that incorporates jazz either by Egyptian artists or with Egyptian themes, and strung them together with some native music and sounds to create a seemless listening experience.
The tracks are connected mostly by material from Mahmoud Fadi's The Drummers of the Nile CD, along with some excerpts from Muezzin calls and Cairo crowd noices. And the jazz is:
Return to Forever - "Song to the Pharoah Kings" from Where Have I Known You Before.
Charles Tolliver - "On the Nile" from With Love.
Herbie Hancock - "Nefertiti" from River: The Joni Letters.
Allen Toussaint - "Egyptian Fantasy" from The Bright Mississippi.
Miles Davis - "Pharoah's Dance" from Bitches' Brew.
Salah Ragbah and the Cairo Jazz Band - "Egyptian Strut" from Egyptian Jazz.
Rabih Abou-Khalil - "Tsarka" from Blue Camel.
Enjoy and see you in two weeks.
Wed, 22 September 2010
Canadian bassist Brandi Disterheft's second CD shows her emerging as a performer and writer to be reckoned with. Second Side has a number of moments that make the listener want to hear more, particularly when she plays the kind of witty jazz heard on tunes like "My Only Friends Are Pigeons". Drummer Sly Jubas and Ms. Disterheft blend together seamlessly, as sax players Chris Gale and Shawn Nyquist duel on the melody. The contributions of vocalists Holly Cole ("He's Walking") and Lanee Lee ("This Time the Dream's On Me") are highlights.
However, there is too much stylistic dabbling here. In the liner notes to the CD, Ms. Disterheft indicates her love of the music of Milton Nascimento, Simon and Garfunkel and Joni Mitchell, as well as Miles, Mingus and Jackie McLean. The result of her trying to pay tribute to her idols and explore their varying musical heritages is an album that has individual tunes that shine, but fails to hold together as a whole. I'll look forward to her attempt to concentrate on one style or concept at a time, creating a more cohesive jazz experience.
Sat, 11 September 2010
Although promoted as something like the bastard musical child of Sun Ra and Charlie Hunter, bassist Glen Ackerman’s “The Glenious Inner Planet” is more earth bound funk than space junk. Whether the band is re-visiting a classic with an electric twist (“Blue Rondo a la Raad”) or merging the upper register sounds of guitar and sax and heading for parts unknown (“Inner Planet”), this is always witty, engaging music.
“There Is A Drop Of Roppongi On My Shorts” is a perfect example of what Ackerman has on his mind for the album. Drummer Joel Fulgus sets the beat before his thumping bass comes in, boosted by funky keyboards by Ted Wenglinski. Paul Chester’s guitar feeds into the first of two fiery solos by saxophonist Woody Witt. And what does the title mean? I guess it doesn’t matter when you’re bopping along with the band.
Recommended for fans of Medeski, Martin and Wood, and interstellar space flights.
Thu, 9 September 2010
“Warriors” is a most apt title for a CD from The Cookers, a “super group” of jazz stars who cut their teeth on late Sixties hard bop. Taking their group name from a 1965 Blue Note album by the late, great trumpeter Freddie Hubbard (“The Night of the Cookers: Live at Club La Marchal”), the septet work through seven numbers written by members of the group, and one cover, all performed at the highest level.
Billy Harper’s sax solo on Hubbard’s “The Core”, sets the tone for the album with a driving, flowing tone that slides gracefully in and around the pulsing horn charts. Trumpeter Dr. Eddie Henderson shines on bassist Cecil McBee’s “Lady Bugg”, a blues that finds Cables laying down the theme, before his horn cuts through the band’s backing with soulful style that recalls Miles Davis.
Craig Handy doubles on saxophone and flute, taking the lead on the two songs written by Pianist George Cables. “Spookarella” is particularly memorable, as Handy takes a tripping solo after the lead-in, playing off Cables’ bouncing right hand.
Trumpeter David Weiss deserves kudos for his arrangements, whcih allow these talented soloists to mesh into a - well, cooking group. John Lee's Jazz Legacy label has another winner.
Wed, 8 September 2010
Today is the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the celebration of the New Year 5772. The traditional greeting for the day is "L'Shanah Tovah" - "A Good Year".
Bassist David Chevan of the Afro-Semitic Experience has been working on some jazzed up versions of music associated with the High Holidays for the past few years. I' ve written before about his CDs Days of Awe and Yizkhor: Music of Memory, both of which are full of traditional materials done in the fascinating way he and his partner, pianist Warren Byrd, have become known for.
Click here for a rehearsal recorded. July 29, 2010 featuring Byrd, Chevan, and Cantor Jack Mendelson performing "Avinu Malkeinu", a song asking "Our Father, Our King" for his compassion and blessings for the New Year, Chevan explains about the recording:
This recording came to be because about two weeks ago I recorded a rehearsal with Warren Byrd and Cantor Jack Mendelson. One of the pieces we looked at was Avinu Malkeinu. Funny thing about playing standards . . . give a listen, we didn’t even talk this one through, we just began playing and this is what came out! If you listen hard you can hear Jack’s air conditioner puttering away in the background.
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm EDT