Home > Album Reviews > recent jazz {Feb/Mar 2010}

recent jazz {Feb/Mar 2010}

15th Mar 10 (Mon) Leave a comment Go to comments

So, I usually don’t do album reviews, but I get tons of music; so I figured I’d do little snippet reviews once a month or so… here are some recent jazz CDs I got recently. All of them were pretty darn fabulous…

MycaleMasada Book Two, Book of Angels, Volume 13 (Jan 2010) I’m a BIG fan of the Masada Book Two series.  John Zorn’s post prolific book of music was for the Masada quartet… until he had a spurt of writing material and wrote 300+ songs for the Masada Book Two series.  Each year, 3 or 4 different artists release albums on Tzadik covering Zorn’s MB2 series (Secret Chiefs 3 and Medeski Martin & Wood have been my faves thus far).  This Mycale group is the first vocal group, and I was skeptical how it’d turn out.  Well, it turned out fantastic.  It features vocalizations by Ayelet Rose Gottlieb (Israeli singer), Sofia Rei Koutsovitis (jazz vocalist), Basya Schecter (of Pharoah’s Daughter), and Malika Zarra (Moroccan-French singer).  I am a fan!!  My favorite track is “Moloch.”

Yuka HondaHeart Chamber Phantoms (Jan 2010) Yuka Honda puts out great music – whether it be with Cibo Mato, Sean Lennon, or downtown NYC jazz musicians.  This is her third CD in Tzadik’s Oracles series.  It’s a breath of fresh air.  Experimental yet poppy.  She keeps making enjoyably melodic music that punches the envelope in the mouth.  Give “Hydrosphere” a listen.  I hope it’s sooner than 5 more years until her next solo record.

Mark Feldman & Sylvia Courvoisier Oblivia (Jan 2010) The duo of Feldman-Courvoisier is a familial one in the Tzadik catalog.  I always know I’ll like it.  While I can’t say that Oblivia is much different than their past releases, it is an enjoyable listen.  My favorite track is “Messiaenesque.”

Satoko Fujii & Natsuki Tamura4 records: Ma-Do’s Desert Ship / Zakopane / Gato Libre’s Shiro / First Meeting’s Cut the Rope (late 2009/early 2010) I’ve been a fan for Satoko Fujii’s for a while.  Her 2009 duo album Minamo with violinist Carla Kihlstedt (or Two Foot Yard & Sleepytime Gorilla Museum) was excellent.  For these four CDs, she teamed up with trumpeter Natsuki Tamura (with whom she has collaborated in the past).  Cut the Rope is a bit more experimental and improvisational (fave song is the title track). Desert Ship is an acoustic quartet jazz album (fave song is the title track and “February – Locomotive – February”). Zakopane features a larger orchestra led by Satoko (fave songs “Tropical Fish” and “Desert Ship”).  The Gato Libre album Shiro features a more subdued accordion and guitar alongside Tamura’s trumpet (fave song “Memory of Journey”).  All four of these records are great works in modern jazz, and Desert Ship has a great chance of making my 2010 favorites list.  These aren’t listed on Amazon yet, but they can be obtained from Downtown Music Gallery (my favorite jazz store, by far).

Salvatore Bonafede TrioSicilian Opening (late 2009) This album is quite enjoyable, from start to finish.  Salvatore’s piano work is masterful, and the drums and upright bass bounce around nicely.  Sal has worked with Lester Bowie, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and more (and his musical chops show it).  He threw in a couple Beatles covers and a gospel number amongst a great album of original jazz numbers.  My favorite track is the opening title track, but the entire album moves really well from speakers to your ears.

Peppe MerollaStick With Me (Feb 2010) So… drummers as band leaders.  I was skeptical, but I don’t know why.  Joey Baron’s done it nicely. Bobby Previte does it consistently well. George Hrab, while not in the jazz world, puts together a great band.  Paul Motian is legendary.  Art Blakey – do I even need to go into Art Blakey?  OK, Peppe Merolla… he’s in good company of being a great jazz drummer bandleader.  His smokin’ sextet is full of horns – which definitely adds to the appeal for me – sax, trombone, trumpet, piano, bass, and drums.  The album swings through its hard bop edges.  This is a great jazz album – plain and simple.

More by late March/early April: including VW Brothers, Chris Tedesco, The Ullmann Swell 4, Loose Grip, Ron Miles, and February & March releases from Tzadik Records…

~Dan – np: OpethBlackwater Park

  1. Rhenda Fearrington
    18th Mar 10 (Thu) at 10:47 pm

    Okay, now that you’ve started reviewing Jazz CD Albums again, please review “Keep The Faith,” with Sid Simmons, Mike Boone and Byron Landham. It’s time. It’s their time. They are the “Fabled Philly Jazz Rhythm Section,” that brings a cadre of the finest horn players Philly has to offer. Please, check it out!

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