World of Jazz 140

PLAYLIST

  1. Art Farmer Quintet – Fairy Tale Countryside – Live at Sweet Basil
  2. Marc Copland – River’s Run – Time Within Time
  3. Third Reel – Fourth Reel – Many More Days
  4. Prism Quartet – Name Day – Heritage  Evolution, Vol. 1
  5. Joanne Brackeen – I Hear A Rhapsody – Fi Fi Goes To Heaven
  6. Rich Halley – Rattlesnake and Spider – Umatilla Variations
  7. Jimmy Giuffre – The Five Ways – Free Fall
  8. The American Jazz Quintet – Tony – From Bad to Badder

NOTES

  1. Art Farmer (who at this time was playing the newly devised flumpet, a combination flugelhorn/trumpet) teams up with pianist Geoff Keezer, bassist Kenny Davis, drummer Yoron Israel and Clifford Jordan on this interesting set. The material includes two Thelonious Monk standards, “Yesterdays,” Jimmy Heath’s “Ellington’s Stray Horn,” a tune by Jordan and two complex works from Farmer’s European pianist Fritz Pauer. This is swinging and often thought-provoking music.
  2. For this solo piano project, Marc Copland plays some fairly free originals, three jazz standards, and four versions of Leonard Bernstein’s “Some Other Time.” All of the music is taken at a thoughtful pace and is quite lyrical and melodic. Copland often sounds as if he is thinking aloud yet each of his “musical sentences” flows logically into the next one, forming a suite of sorts. The results could be superior background music but, if played at a louder volume, one can really get into Copland’s thoughts and ideas. This is thought-provoking music that deserves that close a listen.
  3. Reedist Nicolas Masson, guitarist Roberto Pianca and drummer/pianist Emanuele Maniscalco back once more here a little more than two years on from the release of their self-titled label debut. This Swiss-Italian trio know how to slow burn their way through a smouldering heap of material gradually managing to fix their intense musical gaze on you. On their earlier record it was the apocalyptic edge they brought to their playing that was striking but here the opening forays are more episodic and resemble more a piece of contemporary classical music on ‘Afterwards’ for instance. Masson expands his approach as the album develops. And when he plays tenor saxophone he even sounds like Jan Garbarek more than was ever evident on the earlier Third Reel album. On ‘Lara’s Song’ he’s at his most heartfelt, a side of the trio it would be great to hear more of (Maniscalco playing piano here) the solemnity of the piece perfectly gauged. Recorded in August 2014 in Lugano there’s less dourness than before but certainly it is an earnest band mindful of freebop and avant jazz primarily, Maniscalco when he plays drums clearly in a Paul Motian space.
  4. Constantly in search of new musical terrain, the PRISM Quartet (Timothy McAllister, Taimur Sullivan, Matthew Levy, and Zachary Shemon) celebrates its 30th anniversary with a groundbreaking recording: Heritage/Evolution, Volume 1. The 2 CD set features world premiere recordings of new works composed and performed by six saxophonists who defy convention: Steve Lehman, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Tim Ries, Miguel Zenón, Dave Liebman and Greg Osby.
  5. While her previous Concord release stuck to standards, this very well-rounded outing finds the adventurous pianist Joanne Brackeen splitting the program between four originals and three veteran tunes (including “Stardust”). In addition to bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Al Foster, the CD is quite special, for it matches Brackeen with trumpeter Terence Blanchard and Branford Marsalis (whom she insisted play mostly on his earlier specialty, alto). The young lions work well with Brackeen and her rhythm mates on this consistently stimulating and occasionally playful set. A perfect introduction to Joanne Brackeen’s music.
  6. 1994 album with The Lizard Brothers.
  7. Detailed review here
  8. Back during the second half of the 1950s, one of the very few modern jazz groups to be found in New Orleans was the American Jazz Quintet. In 1987 they had a successful reunion at a jazz festival in Georgia that was named after their most famous member, drummer Ed Blackwell. Happily, the five original members (clarinetist Alvin Batiste, tenor saxophonist Harold Battiste, pianist Ellis Marsalis, bassist Richard Payne, and Blackwell) were all still alive and playing in their prime. The group is expanded to a sextet with the addition of altoist Earl Turbinton, originally a student of the late Nat Perilliatt, who was Harold Battiste’s successor. The music is essentially original hard bop, hinting in places at the freer music to come in the 1960s but mostly concentrating on swinging. Alvin Batiste, in particular, is in great form, making this a historic set well worth searching for.
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