Known for his ongoing work with New England's Either/Orchestra, saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase is an astute improviser who skirts the fringes of the outside realm of matters on this superfine 2-CD set. Featuring trumpeter John Carlson and drummer Eric Rosenthal, this three-horn supported quintet generates a rather large sound. In addition, it doesn't take long to discern that the musicians are truly motivated and having a blast, while performing at a college music hall.
AUAND - distributed by JAZZOS
Guitarist Paolo Sorge uses electronics in spots for this creative guitar-tuba-drums outing consisting of Thelonious Monk compositions and two originals by the leader. At times, the trio breaks these Monk works into tiny components, only to reengineer various motifs into spacious forays. Essentially, it's nice to hear modern jazz musicians inject their personal stamp into Monk's songbook. Sorge, tubaist Michel Godard and drummer Francesco Cusa should be applauded for their loosely visualized concepts and tight-knit coordination.
The Circle of Willis
Bill Barrett - Scot Ray - Wayne Peet
Bill Barrett (Anatomy Records)
Armed with chromatic harmonicas, Bill Barrett can bang out the blues, play avant-garde jazz, funk and just about anything else. Trombonist Scot Ray and keyboardist Wayne Peet round out this delightful trio setting. It's asymmetrical parts jazz, folk, blues, but the key here resides within the group's ability to carve out a unique sound and style. This recording's magnetic qualities are rooted within memorable melodies, affecting improvisations, and a folksy deportment.