jazzhaven.org - but here is one modification to the schedule. On Thursday August 15, the Carl Testa Trio show at Project Storefronts has now become the Carl Testa & Mike McGinnis Duo at 7 p.m. in the same venue, located at 756 Chapel Street. The bassist (pictured above) has organized a set list that features compositions from his 2008 CD, "Uncertainty", plus new compositions. Clarinetist McGinnis, who will have 2 new CDs out in October, is a busy musician working with the four bags, OK|OK, and various other ensembles. The event is free and open to the public. Click on the link above for more information.
Despite (or, perhaps, because of) the brevity of the pieces, this music is quite impressive. Opening with Ms. Bley's "Ida Lupino" and its handsome melody, one can hear this recording as a 3-way conversation. The pianist and Swallow work well together while Altschul often is the driving force. He and Bley connect on "Starter", imbuing the music with a nervous energy that is also evident on Coleman's "Crossroads". The funky-yet-"free" "Cartoon" has the feel of a Tom & Jerry animated short, a chase around the studio with the Trio pursuing each other with glee.
This re-mastered edition comes just 5 years after the recording's previous reissue but one will notice how good the sound is, especially the depth of Steve Swallow's acoustic bass. Paul Bley, who turns 81 in November, has made many recordings over the decades but few more appealing than "Closer." For more information, go to www.espdisk.com.
Each member contributes, at least, 1 original to the 10-song program. They also do a rousing version of Fred Hersch's "Jackalope" and a lovely take on the ballad "Once Upon A Summertime" (composed by Johnny Mercer, Michel Legrand and Eddie Barclay). Burton, who has always had a knack for finding great young musicians, has found a gem with Lage. The guitarist, who turns 26 on Christmas Day, is not only a smart and melodic soloist but also an intelligent accompanist. His acoustic work is striking, with phrases that blend blues, jazz and folk styles, often within the same solo. And he spurs Burton on to really let loose. The drive the Quartet displays on tracks such as Sanchez's "Caminos" and "Monk Fish", Lage's "The Lookout" and "Sunday's Uncle" and the Hersch track, is irresistible, hearkening back to the leader's recordings on ECM with Mick Goodrick, Pat Metheny, Steve Swallow and Bob Moses. Burton contributes 2 originals, the emotionally and musically rich tribute to Astor Piazzola, "Remembering Tano" and the finely constructed "Jane Fonda Rides Again." The rhythm section of Colley and Sanchez shines throughout, the melodic work of the bassist and poly-rhythmical approach of the drummer equal in importance to the success of this music. Colley's original offering, "Legacy", is a lovely ballad, with the bassist's low notes reverberating beneath the solos and the shimmering cymbals.
"Guided Tour" is quite the trip and one well-worth taking. The New Gary Burton Quartet is impressive without being "showy" (although Sanchez's drum solo on "Helena" is very high-energy)
and this new CD a welcome addition to the leader's impressive discography. For more information, go to www.garyburton.com. The NGBQ starts a 4-week tour on September 12 in Washington, D.C., a venture that will take them to a 6-night gig at the Blue Note in New York City, the Universities of Connecticut and Rhode Island, and ending with a date at the University of Pennsylvania on October 6. Check the website for more venues.
The work of Almario and Ranier is impressive throughout while the rhythm section is solid and swinging (bassist Dumas has a resume a mile long and is his usual strong presence) - when you put Kenny Burrell in the front of this group, "Special Requests" is a special event. For more information about the guitarist's CDs for HighNote Records, go to www.jazzdepot.com/k_burrell/k_burrell.html.