Friday, May 12, 2017

Short Takes!

Blue Tjade; Mike Freeman, vibes, marimba, flexatone, kalimba

Mike Freeman is a superb Latin style vibist who is maintaining a tradition made famous by the great Cal Tjader. This CD is comprised of ten of Freeman's strongly melodic Latin excursions. They are played by a quintet of sympathetic cats who obviously love bringing these joyous Latin rhythms to life.

VOF Recordings; 2015; appx. 58 min.

Restless Idealism; Roxy Coss, tenor and soprano saxophones

Roxy Coss is one of those take no prisoners tenor players with a big, confident sound. On this sextet session she presents ten original compositions which display a very confident sound in a variety of textures. The trumpet player on the date is Jeremy Pelt. While he doesn't steal Coss's thunder he clearly shows why he's captured the pulse of much of the jazz public.
Origin Records; 2016; appx. 60 min. 

Pomponio; Jemal Ramirez, drums

This high spirited session is under Ramirez's name but the bulk of the solo activity is turned over to Warren Wolf on vibes and Howard Wiley on saxophones. The septet takes on rarely done material from such bright lights as Bobby Hutcherson, Bobby Watson, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Garrett and more. High energy and "good vibes" throughout.
First Orbit Sounds; 2015; times not indicated.

Jersey Cat; Freddie Hendrix, trumpet and flugelhorn

This is a beautifully balanced album by Freddie Hendrix, a trumpet and flugelhorn player blessed with great gifts. If straight ahead, well written originals, gorgeous renditions of standards like "You Don't Know What Love Is", "Invitation", and "Peace" still mean anything in the jazz pantheon, look for Freddie Hendrix to go places fast! His arrangements for this compelling septet are right down the center of the jazz highway. We have to be grateful that players like Freddie Hendrix come along once in a while.
Sunnyside Communications; 2015; appx. 59 min.

Leste; Guilherme Dias Gomes, trumpet, flugelhorn and trombone

Brazilian music, I've always thought, is all grown up. Never flashy or excessive, even at fast tempos, it's consistently warm, winsome and winning. And so it is with Mr. Dias Gomes, who produced a beautiful, unforced sound throughout this album. There's often rare delight and tenderness in Brazilian melodies. And there's an abundance of it here.
Self-produced; probably 2016; appx. 50 min.

Spring; Susie Arioli, vocals

A partial roster of former Rob McConnell big band cats dot the list of accompanists for singer Susie Arioli who takes full advantage of the opportunity. Among her well chosen tunes are two from the Billie Holiday book, "Me, Myself and I" and "Travelin' Light", and a Jimmy Rushing standby called "Evenin'". On these and more, including a few well written originals, Arioli displays an intimacy and vocal quality well suited to her material.
Spectra Musique; 2015; times not indicated.

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