To celebrate the 35th anniversary (!) of New Yor-Uba, Ms. Rosewoman has recorded and released "Hallowed (featuring "Oru de Oro")" (Advanced Disques Music). The program spotlight her 10-movement rhythmic suite "Oru de Oro" (roughly translated as "room of gold") that features the 10-member ensemble plus percussionist Román Diaz taking sacred rhythms and beats from the study of Yoruba deities. The leader's arrangements keep the focus on the various drums while leaving room for her colorful horn voicing and powerful piano work. Each song is dedicated to a different diety (often more than one) – still the music allows in all listeners to follow the melodies and ride the waves provided by the rhythm section. Quite notable is the work of Chris Washburne, most especially his amazing tuba work on "Flowers That Bloom In The Dark." Check out his mighty trombone solo on "Mountain Sky, Healthy High" as well as the strong solo of the leader. There is an delightful blend of saxophone and brass on "Forest of Secrets" that opens to a splendid flute spot from Román Filiú and a short trumpet solo from Alex Norris.
Percussionist Diaz's declamatory poem over Ms. Rosewoman's sweet Fender Rhodes and bassist Gregg August's fine bass work leads the listener into "The World is The First To Know", the first of the two tracks that close the album (but are not part of the suite). Vocalist Nina Rodriguez shows up 1/3rd of the way into the track, singing sweetly over the Rhodes before breaking into a "folkloric" chant over hand drums and joined by a chorus of Ms. Rosewoman, Mr. Diaz, and percussionist Mauricio Herrera. When the ensemble reenters, there are powerful solos from saxophonists Filiú and Stacy Dillard as well as the leader. As the piano fades, the drums, Ms. Rodriguez, and chorus return to sing the band out.
"Hallowed" closes with "Alabanza", one final rhythmic treat that is not only the longest track on the album bot one that spotlights the solo work of many of the ensemble members. Halfway through the piece, the tempo changes, becoming more energetic and, if possible, even more exciting (Robby Ameen's drum solo absolutely shakes the walls). The vitality of the music, the splendid instrumental work, the continuous drums, and more, illustrates that Michele Rosewoman's New Yor-Uba is quite a force to be reckoned with. Don't be surprised if you just want to get and dance.
For more information, go to www.michelerosewoman.com.
Give a good listen:
Alex Norris--trumpet, flugel horn
Román Filiú--alto & soprano saxophones, flute
Stacy Dillard--tenor saxophone
Chris Washburne--trombone, bass trombone, tuba
Andrew Gutauskas--baritone saxophone (on the final two tracks)
Michele Rosewoman--piano, fender rhodes, vocals
Román Diaz--batá, congas, vocals
Mauricio Herrera--batá, congas, vocals
Rafael Monteagudo--batá, congas
Nina Rodríguez--lead vocals (on "The Wind Is the First To Know")
of the Montreal International Jazz Festival. That was also the year he released his debut album. Since then, he's released a dozen or so albums as a leader and/or co-leader, married composer and bandleader Christine Jensen, traveled all around the world, performing music that touches so many different genres and styles. And Miller is a avid listener therefore he has no fear of putting different elements into his music.
"Unstoppable" is a delightful look inside the creative mind of saxophonist Joel Miller. While it rarely sounds like a "big band" album, his arrangements utilize the instrumentation in enchanting and, often, powerful ways. Sit back and soak in the sounds!!
For more information, go to joelmillermusic.com.
Enjoy this "Dance...":
Joel Miller - tenor & soprano saxophones, conductor
Billy Kerr - flute
Nadia Sparrow - flute
Mark Simmons - clarinet
Luc Jackman - clarinet
Jennifer Bell - bass clarinet
Bruno Lamarche - tenor saxophone & clarinet
Jocelyn Veilleux - horn
Lex French - trumpet
Bill Mahar - trumpet
David Ryshpan - piano
Erin Donovan - percussion
Steve Raegele - guitar
Fraser Hollins - bass
Kevin Warren - drums
Sacha Daoud - percussion (tracks 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Kullak Viger Rojas - percussion (tracks 2, 7, 8)
Christine Jensen - guest conductor (tracks 1, 2, 3, 10)
I thought I'd be hurt forever/But I turned you into art." Alison Young creates a heart-wrenching solo, filled with cries and screams.
All I want to know is: Will you stay? ,,,,,,All I have to say/ All my love is on the line." There's a lovely trombone solo from William Carn and fine acoustic guitar work by Riddel but the finest moments belong to Samaras's voice and the fine arrangement in the final minute.
Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School makes music that involves the listener, making one pay attention to the words, the solos, and the arrangements; this is not background music. You can hum along with some tunes, see yourself in the stories the leader creates, and appreciate the musicianship as well as the fine vocal work of Alex Samaras. Take your time in entering into this sonic world – give it your mind and your soul and you will be richly rewarded.
For more information, go to crymmusic.com/projects/socialistnightschool/.
Here's the opening track:
Chelsea McBride – tenor sax, conductor, composer
Colleen Allen – soprano and alto saxophones, piccolo, flute, alto flute
Naomi Higgins – soprano and alto saxophones, flute, alto flute
Alison Young – tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet
Patrick Smith – tenor and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet
Conrad Gluch – baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, alto flute
James Rhodes, Justin See, Tom Upjohn, Kaelin Murphy – trumpets/flugelhorns
William Carn, Aidan Sibley, Jill Richards – trombones
Nicholas Sieber – bass trombone, tuba
Alex Samaras – voice
Chris Bruder – piano
David Riddel – guitar
Steven Falk – acoustic and electric basses
Geoff Bruce – drums
Considering he had turned 90 the week before the 2017 recording, Lee Konitz sounds fine throughout "Old Songs New". Even though these are works that he had played many times, his improvisations are a delight, displaying wit, wisdom, and a playful quality that brings a smile to the listener's face. Be sure to listen to the fine, creative, arrangements of Ohad Talmor who must revel in the joy of placing his friend in such musical settings. Sit back, relax, and soak in the sounds.
For more information, go to ohadtalmor.com.
Enjoy this slice:
Lee Konitz - alto saxophone
Ohad Talmor - arranger, conductor, tenor saxophone on "I Cover The Waterfront")
Caroline Davis - flute & alto flute
Christof Knoche - clarinet
Denis Lee - bass clarinet
Judith Insell - viola
Mariel Roberts - cello
Dimos Goudaroulis - cello
Christopher Tordini - bass
George Schuller - drums