You should think of "OTIS Pt 2" as the other albums that could have been in "Part 1" save for the space and attention span (mine). I love this music and the genuine creativity of the musicians makes me hope for a future that is bright and welcoming for our successors.
Saturday, December 24, 2022
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
It's that time of year when critics and reviewers create their "Best-of" lists. I am no different but I look at this group of recordings as music that informs, changes, and enhances my life and teaching. Here is the group of albums from the past year that helped me through illnesses, sadness, joy, and much change.Los Pleneros de La Cresta each appear on one track during the eight-song program.
Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Piano trios––piano, bass, and drums––have been a constant of American music since the 1940s, catching fire in the 1950s with the work of Ahmad Jamal (see below), Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, Bud Powell, Bill Evans, and so on. They remain popular today thanks to the artistry of Jason Moran, Matthew Shipp, Brad Mehldau, Tord Gustavsen, Fergus McCreadie, and others including the gentleman below.
Pianist and composer Laszlo Gardony first recorded with bassist John Lockwood and drummer Yoron Israel in 2003 and five times since. Their sixth recording, the appropriately-titled "Close Connection" (Sunnyside Records), accentuates the musicians' relationship on and off the bandstand. The trio reconvened in early 2022 after nearly two years of inactivity due to the COVID pandemic. Professor Gardony (he's on the faculty of Berklee College of Music and Harvard University) brought in six original pieces and the Trio created another six collectively in the studio.
|Photo: Chris Drukker|
|Photo: Ross Archives|
The booklet that accompanies the package includes interviews with Mr. Jamal, with Marshall Chess (whose Argo label released a number of seminal Lps by the pianist), with Ramsey Lewis, Hiromi, and a long history of the pianist and review of the album's performances written by reviewer/critic Eugene Holley, Jr.
Here's "Tangerine" with the 1964 Trio of Mr. Jamal, bassist Jamil Nasser, and drummer Chuck Lampkin:
Monday, November 28, 2022
Here's one of my favorite albums of Autumn 2022.
|Photo: Dahlia Katz|
|Photo: Dahlia Katz|
Song for Lia
The Nagila Mayster
Beethoven’s 7th Visit to Romania
Steals on Steeles
Between Utopia and Destruction
Terry Promane - musical director
Kevin Turcotte - trumpet & flugelhorn
Jim Lewis - trumpet & flugelhorn
Allison Au - alto saxophone
Mike Murley - tenor saxophone & soprano saxophone (2,3)
Kelly Jefferson - tenor saxophone & soprano saxophone (5)
William Carn - trombone
Karl Silveira - trombone
Laura Swankey - vocals (1, 2)
Ted Quinlan - guitar
Michael Davidson - vibraphone (2, 3, 4, 6)
Justin Gray - double bass
Derek Gray - drums & percussion
Choir ("Beethoven’s 7th Visit to Romania"): Michelle De Palma, Sanja Dejanovic, Aliyah Guthrie, Yuval Jarus Hakak, Alexandra Kapogiannis, Allison Long, Dulce Martinez, Sarvi Seivani, Nitish Sharma, Marie Tossios, Jackson Welchner, Yulina Wong, Samira Yeo
All compositions & arrangements by Noam Lemish (ASCAP)
Tuesday, November 8, 2022
Since the beginning of November, Connecticut has been blessed with a delightful week of Indian Summer (soon to depart in favor of the chill of late Autumn). The balmy temps (68-77) have allowed this writer to walk every day and to listen to music as I dodge the remaining leaves. The two albums have been in rotation each day!
|Photo: Jonathan Chimene|
|Photo: Shervin Lainez|
Sunday, October 23, 2022
Two very different projects are reviewed below; initially, what is interesting is how both projects dealt with time.
|Photo: John Abbott|