"Flatbed Buggy" is Rudy Royston's third album as a leader as well as the third to released by Greenleaf Music. For this effort, which reaches back to the drummer and composer's childhood memories, he's gathered a topnotch group of collaborators including Gary Versace (accordion), John Ellis (bass clarinet, saxophones), Hank Roberts (cello), and Joe Martin (bass). Those of you expecting a collection of hard-blowing "jams" will be pleasantly surprised by the delicate nature of much of this material and how melodic the material. That does not mean it's "wimpy" or "smooth jazz" - tracks such as "Hourglass", "the opening "Soul Train" (sorry, no Don Cornelius), and the effervescent "Bobblehead" dance out of the speakers. Yet, it's the blend of accordion and cello, the way Ellis weaves his bass clarinet in and out the music or adds his soprano to the exciting performance of "Bobblehead" that stand out. Yes, this music has power and it comes from the interactions, from the irrepressible rhythms, the solid foundation that Martin's excellent bass work provides. On occasion, you may hear the influence of Mr. Frisell's "Americana" music or the way the late Jimmy Giuffre weave folk melodies into his music but this is Rudy Royston telling his own tales.
"Flatbed Buggy" is one of those albums to listen to all the way through. There's so much to "hear", so many stories and histories embedded in this music that it's impossible to appreciate what Rudy Royston has so majestically created on one pass through. At times stunning, at others times, joyful yet always melodic and rhythmically rich, this album deserves your full attention!
For more information, go to www.rudyroyston.com.
Put on your dancing shoes and listen to this:
Pi Recordings. The new album features pianist Matt Mitchell, bassist John Hébert, and drummer Craig Weinrib, all of whom appeared on Finlayson's 2017 Pi release, "Moving Still", and replaces guitarist Miles Okazaki with tenor saxophonist/flutist Brian Settles and alto saxophonist Steve Lehman. While the influence of Mr. Coleman is evident on the opening two tracks and the impressive 14-minute opus "The Moon Is New", this music is no cookie-cutter impression of Finlayson's mentor's music.
|Photo: Paul de Lucena|
For more information, go to jonathanfinlayson.com.
Here's the album's opening track:
|Chamber Music America|
Dirigo Rataplan II" contains music that asks you to listen, does not beseech the listener, but seduces with its melodies and interplay/interactions as well as the intelligence of the music. Is this strictly intellectual music? A kind of "highbrow jazz"? What Devin Gray has created with Ellery Eskelin, David Ballou, and Michael Formanek is a delight from start to finish.
For more information, go to devingraymusic.com. The quartet appears tomorrow in CT at Firehouse 12 - go to firehouse12.org for more information. They'll travel down to Baltimore, MD, on the next day and back to Philadelphia, PA, to close their short tour. For more information, go to devingraymusic.com.
Here's the opening track: