For this, her sixth album as a leader (all but two on her Pintch Hard label) brings back the "core" band of her previous releases and that would be bassist and guitarist Scott Hardy, drummer Michael Sarin, and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. Also returning on two tracks are Steve Wilson (alto saxophone) and Ron Horton (trumpet, flugelhorn) and, on two different tracks, Shoko Nagai (accordion).
One would love to see the bright and breezy "Your Call Will Be Answered By Our Next Available Representative, In The Order In Which It Was Received. Please Stay On The Line; Your Call Is Important To Us" be nominated for a GRAMMY just to hear the presenters say the title on the air (as if the networks would air the Jazz category). I suppose it's possible Ms. Pintchik wrote the snappy melody while she was on hold but the song is too upbeat to be angry.
To call an album with the title of "You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl" a serious effort is not being sarcastic. Yes, the music is playful at times and it's obvious these musicians are having fun in the studio. You can play this album in the background while doing other things; music fits most moods. But, if you pay attention to how the musicians frame the songs, how they interact, how they "listen and respond", there's more to it than meets the inattentive ear. Leslie Pintchik can always fall back on her Master's Degree but her music is mature, modern, and worth your attention.
For more information, go to www.lesliepintchik.com.
It should come as no surprise that "Pina Bausch" has a dance feel as the song is named for a choreographer, performer, and teacher (1940-2009). Colussi creates a handsome swirl of percussion, especially active on his cymbals while Ms. Brunello plays excellent counterpoint for the soloists (note how she supports Vignato's solo and makes delightful statements alongside Presti). "30 Nighthawks Indeed" has a hint of Dave Holland's groups that featured Robin Eubanks, Kenny Wheeler, and/or Julian Priester. You hear it in how two brass lines wind around each other, hear it in how the opening lines are melodic, playful, meandering, and clear-toned. When the rhythm section enters, the musicians create a ruckus with the interactive percussion and Ms. Brunello's powerful counterpoint. And the electronics, in the form of loops, swirl around the bottom of the sound spectrum.
The program closes with the title track. Like the "...Nighthawks...", the action takes place ever 13+ minutes. plenty of time for the quartet to state the long melody line and to stretch out. There's no wasted space (even at nearly 14 minutes), even time for a short bass solo, a bass-trumpet duo,and, then, Colussi joins the action followed by Vignato. The band falls in to a repetition of the opening theme and the piece ends on a gentle note. Rosa Brunello Y Los Fermentos is a quartet that takes its cues from groups such as Ornette Coleman's quartet with Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell and Max Roach's piano-less quartets as well as bassist-led groups such as the afore-mentioned Dave Holland and Stephan Crump. The blend of rhythms and melody is enjoyable as is the interplay. Good music crosses borders, tears down walls, and invites you in for nourishment of the soul. That's what is happening here.
For more information, go to www.rosabrunello.com.
Drummer and composer Andrew Bain, a native of Edenburgh, Scotland, began studying drums and percussion in his youth (both classical and jazz). He's been active on the English and European scenes since the late 1990s and now splits his time between London and New York City. Bain released a pair of albums around the turn of the Millennium and has gone to be a first-call musician for London stage shows and classical orchestras. Currently, he leads a quintet, Player Piano, that is composed of guitarist Mike Walker, pianist Gwilym Simcock, saxophonist Iain Dixon, and bassist Steve Watts; Bain is also the music director of the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland.
His newest venture is a quartet, one that features saxophonist Jon Irabagon, pianist George Colligan, and bassist Michael Janisch. Bain wrote a program of music, took the ensemble "on the road" in Great Britain in early November of 2016. Right near the end of the two-week tour, he took them into the studio where they recorded "Embodied Hope" (Whirlwind Recordings). The band truly gelled and the results are exciting, enjoyable, and challenging. The project reminds this listener of the new Irabagon CD, "Dr. Quixotic's Traveling Exotics" - both recordings feature a group in the midst of a tour. at the height of its interactions, a time when they totally trust and support each, music which rises far above the mundane. There is not a weak or dull moment in the hour-long program.
The album goes out with "Hope (Reprise)" picking up from where the earlier version faded out. Note the gospel figure in the piano, Irabagon's "testifying" saxophone, and the delightful finish. "Embodied Hope" is a recording for listeners who wish to be transported out of the everyday. Like the Jon Irabagon album mentioned above, the power of the music may overwhelm some but , stay with it, the ride is quite a treat.
For more information, go to www.andrewbain.org.