The 10 tracks have such disparate influences, from Carla Bley to Steely Dan to Bill Withers (the soulful "Spirits") to Darcy James Argue and more. The band has fine soloists including guitarist David Riddel, trombonist William Carn, trumpeter/flugelhorn player Brownman Ali (the album is released on his label), alto saxophonist Colleen Allen, tenor saxophonists Patrick Smith and Anthony Rinaldi plus pianist Chris Bruder but the emotional focal point is Alex Samaras (whose voice is heard on six cuts). His voice dramatically rises out of Ms. McBride's tenor sax melody on the opening ballad, "Ambleside" - the lyrics speak of longing for answers while the music (with echoes of Maria Schneider and Stephen Sondheim) slowly opens only to fade out (the piece returns and resolves later).
|Evan Shay photo|
It would be easy, and somewhat unfair to the curious listener, to write about every track. Let's just say there is not a dull moment on "The Twilight Fall", that the blend of jazz, pop, soul, funk and what-have-you is extremely appealing. There's humor, sadness, introspection, and joy in this music and lyrics. Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School might not be a politically correct name in these uncertain times; take heart, Ms. McBride's infectious spirit and music is antidote for the real-life blues.
For more information, go to crymmusic.com.
Here's the title track:
"Infinitude" works on so many levels and is easy to listen to all the way through. One hears the comfort the musicians have with each other, not afraid to be challenged by the material and to challenge each other. Beauty, power, melody, noise, all enter the sonic soundscape and keep our attention. Ingrid and Christine Jensen also gives us hope in these crazy times.
For more information, go to www.whirlwindrecordings.com/christine-ingrid-jensen-l/.
Here's an inside look at the album:
Old Time Musketry, a quartet that combined Americana with a sense of humor as well as one of adventure. That group released two albums and broke up after the release of the second recording. Now he has own band, one that features all original compositions and the contributions of Sean Moran (guitar), Eivind Opsvik (bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums).
The ensemble's debut album, "Light Shines In" (Fresh Sound New Talent), has music that remind some of Schneit's previous band but also ups the ante with songs that have the power of Ornette Coleman's work with Pat Metheny; you hear that influence on pieces such as the incendiary "Different Times" and the hard-edged "My Secret Hobby", the latter powered by Moran's wailing guitar and forcefulness of the rhythm section. There's also the lovely title track, the leader's handsome tenor moving easily over the active brush work of Wollesen and Opsvik's counterpoint. The bassist also takes a splendid melodic solo. Schneit pays tribute to his previous band with a song bearing their name. The piece captures the spirit of that ensemble but also has the "pop" leanings of the Daniel Bennett Group. The tenor solo covers a wide swath of melodic and sonic territory, dancing along atop the splashing cymbals, chunky guitar chords and bouncing bass lines.
|Erika Kapin photo|
Creative music is so often a fusion of styles or, better, a blurring of genres. "Light Shines In" has influences in the blues, country, jazz, and folk music, stirs in a generous helping of melody, conversational interaction and a sympathetic rhythm section, and asks that you just listen. If you spare the time, the music created by the Adam Schneit Band will give you much pleasure.
For more information, go to adamschneit.com.
Here's the title track: