Wendell is touring on the strength of his new album (just came out last week) "What We Bring", his debut on Motéma Music after three releases on SunnySide Records. The recording features Gerald Clayton (piano), Joe Sanders (bass), Henry Cole (drums, and, on two tracks, Nate Wood (percussion). Clayton and Sanders will be along for the New Haven gig while Wood will man the drum set.
The splendid interpretation of "Solar" brings the album to a close on a rousing rhythm. Just listen to how Cole pushes the piece away from its hard-bop roots and into new territory, one marked by the influence of hip hop. "What We Bring" is modern music, celebrating the tradition as it expands its territory. Ben Wendel has an expansive mind, attracting musicians to his vision who enjoy taking the music in unexpected and often exciting directions. This album is a delight from start to finish.
For more information, go to motema.com/artists/ben-wendel/.
Here's the Group in action:
The Ben Wendel Group plays 2 sets at Firehouse 12 with the first at 8:30 p.m. and the second (separate admission) at 10 p.m. For more information, call 203-785-0468 or go to firehouse12.com.
Charlie "Yardbird" Parker (the subtitle of the CD is "The Charlie Parker Project"), does not sound like it comes from the 1940s or 50s but has a modern sensibility. Parker always created new songs off the chords of older ones (he loved "I Got Rhythm" for example) and Mahanthappa does the same. It's a smart approach, filled with great melodies and strong solos - this is quite a band.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the first notes should resound at 8:30. For tickets and more information, go to thesidedoorjazz.com or call 860-434-0886. To learn more about Professor Mahanthappa, go to rudreshm.com.
Here's a short look at the album:
On Saturday night, The Side Door welcomes back the Clifton Anderson Sextet with saxophonist Antoine Roney. The trombonist, best known for his work with his uncle, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, has always maintained a career as a leader, moreso over the past several years since his former employer has stopped playing concerts.
The music starts at 8:30 p.m. Check the website for more information.
Get a copy of "1954" (it's released in early October) and let the sounds and melodies wash over you. Don't look for influences, just listen and you'll hear a confident musician playing with a rhythm section that supports, pushes, and gives its all. Notice the melodies - the majority are truly intelligent, well-drawn, and not flashy guitar riffs that lead to long solos. Ricardo Grilli, remember that name. Judging by his 2 albums, he's a fine composer, a smart player, an excellent arranger, and, chances are good, he'll be making great music for a long time.
For more information, go to www.ricardogrilli.com.