Again, this list is in no particular order:
Frank Kimbrough - Solstice (Palmetto) - Here's what I wrote about this delightful recording: bit.ly/2ge606D.
Stephan Crump - Rhombal (Papillon Sounds) - I wrote in August "(Y)ou will listen to this album for the impressive interactions of Crump (bass and compositions), Tyshawn Sorey (drums), Ellery Eskelin (tenor saxophone), and Adam O'Farrill (trumpet). Pay attention to how the solos grow out of the melodies, how the quartet mix their distinctive styles to the composer's vision of the music, and the clarity of the sound."
Fred Hersch Trio - Sunday Night at The Vanguard (Palmetto) - Few groups in the world more magical than pianist Hersch, bassist John Hébert, and drummer Eric McPherson. They are great in the studio and even better in person.
Thumbscrew - Convallaria (Cuneiform) - Thumbscrew makes thoughtful music, songs and sounds that both challenges the listener and rewards him or her. It is easy to discern the comfort level that Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek, and Tomas Fujiwara have each other, that they can be "themselves" in a cooperative trio while creating a "group" sound.
This is quite a group - Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Jon Irabagon (alto saxophone), Ingrid Laubrock, (tenor saxophone), Jacob Garchik, (trombone), John Hébert (bass), Ches Smith (drums), and Susan Alcorn (pedal steel guitar) - and they can be exuberant.
Allison Miller BoomTic Boom - Otis Was a Polar Bear (Royal Potato Family) - Another recording I did not review but I did see this great ensemble live. Drummer and composer Miller assembled quite a band Kirk Knuffke (cornet), Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Jenny Scheinman (violin, vocals), Myra Melford (piano), and Todd Sickafoose (bass) - and they went on tour in the Spring of 2016, showing up at Firehouse 12 the first weekend in May. This is another group that can play any style of music and play well - check out the video from a gig in Philadelphia a week after the New Haven show, it's such a treat! Then, go find the CD.
Ted Nash Big Band - Presidential Suite: Eight Variations on Freedom (Motema Music) - The week before the United States 2016 election, I wrote ""Presidential Suite" will mean many things to different people but the words plus the music remind us that America can be great when our leaders work to unite citizens. Even when this country's (and the others represented on this album) problems are front-and-center, we have had leaders step up to inspire us. This music, with many songs based on the rhythms and words of African Americans, fills one with hope even in treacherous times. Ted Nash has done listeners a great service with this music, illustrating that words and music can have a positive effect on us all. Please listen." Now, this music and these words resonate even louder and stronger, much fuller than any Tweet.
r this recording - pianist Jon Davis, bassist Peter Brendler, and drummer Rudy Royston (with organist Brian Charette on 2 tracks - watch the video and you get a feeling for the intelligent music and the splendid interactions. Tallitsch gives the rhythm section its freedom and they respond by providing him with such great support and the freedom to move around the music with abandon and, often, grace.
If you have the time (make the time), watch all the video for this Quartet from this live date.
Larry Young - In Paris: The ORTF Recordings (Resonance Records) - The final recording on the list that I did not review is this impressive reissue from Resonance Records. Organist Larry Young (1940 - 1978) moved to France in 1964 to join the Nathan Davis Quintet and, while living there, made several recordings as a sideman and as the leader of a piano trio. He had already made his Blue Note Records debut (1964's "Into Something") after several recordings for the Prestige label. One gets several different views on Young's work but can already hear how his organ style is moving away from the blues-soaked sounds of Jimmy Smith, Johnny "Hammond" Smith", and Jimmy McGriff. Amazing how much of this music sounds fresh today.
|photo by David McLister|
Dig the video and the preponderance of yellow: