Thursday, January 5, 2017

Short Takes:

The Drive; The Sugar Hill Trio
This New York based trio is comprised of tenor sax, bass and drums. They're a very hard driving group but to their credit they tackle some worthy material like "Minority", "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes", "Like Someone In Love", and my preferred cut, "Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now". I miss the presence of a piano in these groups. However, the energy level is right up there, even without a pianist on board.
Goschart Music; 2016; times not indicated

Halcyon; Will Bonness, piano
On this, his second CD, Winnipeg native Will Bonness presents his case as a pianist of depth, vision and talent. His trio expands to both a quartet and quintet on several tracks, mostly well conceived original compositions. Two standards, "Too Marvelous For Words" and Thelonious Monk's "Reflections", complete the proceedings.  Listen closely for the finely crafted Bonness touch at any tempo.
Manitoba Film & Music; 2015; appx. 52 min.

A Place In Time; Wallace Roney, trumpet
If you're ready for a hard bop fix, check out Miles-influenced Wallace Roney and his present day cast on six sometimes bristling and at other times surprisingly lyrical originals, and one standard, a tense, muted "My Ship". The surprise of the set is a serious and lovely "Clair De Lune", of all things. Gary Bartz's alto works splendidly alongside Roney's trumpet.

High Note; 2016; 50 min.

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