Introducing the Clean Feed Label
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As serious as it can get, is the best description of pianist Bernardo Sassetti's solo effort Indigo. The pianist, known for his Portuguese/Brazilian jazz, displays his classical training here. Silence and space prevail, as this very thoughtful recording unfolds. Connection to Bill Evans are made, yet Sassetti eschews the melancholy for sober thoughtfulness. Comprising two-thirds originals the recording is balanced by covers that include Rodgers and Hart and Thelonious Monk. In these tracks, you appreciate the exactitude and feeling Sassetti conjures from his instrument. Monk's gruffness is replaced with Sassetti's precision, yet nothing of Monk's spirit is lost in this perfect translation of poetry.
Tracks, Disc 1: Indigo; Promessas; My Ideal; Never Let Me Go; Raise Four; Caminho Até Aqui; Inquietude; Preludio Em Sol Menor; In Walked Bud; My Funny Valentine; Descarga!; Indigo (reprise); Disk 2 Musica Callada, Mov. I; Histórias de Sheherazade Mov. I; Mov. II; Mov. III; Pannonica; Elegia; Petit Pays; Alizarin; Jelly Dream. Personnel: Bernardo Sassetti - Solo Paino.
Black And White
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More firebrand playing from this Brazilian strongman. Recorded in 2001, this studio session unites Perelman's longtime bassist Dominic Duval with free drummer Jackson Krall. The saxophonist's upper register explorations are giving full flight here, as is his lyrical playing. The trio functions as veteran improvisers would be expected, playing their roles without fuss. Duval is rock solid and unwavering while Krall gets ample opportunity to shade and color the journey on which this record takes you. Perelman's freedom is always digestible, listen-able, and a rewarding experience.
Tracks:Black On White; Naked Seeds; Cumplicidade; Cores; Transparencia; brilhante; Areia; Olhos; Sementes Nuas.
Personnel: Ivo Perelman - Tenor Saxophone; Domonic Duval - Double Bass; Jackson Krall - Drums.
The Julius Hemphill Sextet
The Hard Blues (Live In Lisbon)
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Saxophonist Marty Ehrlich has carried the memory and music of Julius Hemphill on since his death in 1995. Hemphill, an original member of the World Saxophone Quartet, left to form his Sextet in 1989. His work is documented on two Black Saint recordings Fat Man And The Hard Blues (1991) and Five Chord Stud (1994). Ehrlich, a member of Hemphill's band, along with Andrew White and Sam Furnace reassemble to play music from those two recordings, plus four other Hemphill compositions. This live date, meticulously recorded, bubbles with a hurrah for this music. Hemphill's bright arrangements make for an interesting listen. Like the original World Saxophone Quartet music, this Sextet works beyond the theme-solo-theme formula to create engrossing music.
Tracks:Otis' Groove; Opening; Touchic'; Three-Step; Rites; Revue; JiJi Tune; Fat Man; Band Theme; Georgia Blue; Mr. Critical; The Hard Blues.
Personnel: Marty Ehrlich - Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone, Musical Direction; Sam Furnace - Alto Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone; Aaron Stewart - Tenor Saxophone; Alex harding - Baritone Saxophone; Andy Laster - Alto Saxophone; Andrew White - Tenor Saxophone.
Whit Dickey Quartet
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New York jazz is represented quite well on this new ('nu') music recording by drummer/leader Whit Dickey. The former pulse behind Matthew Shipp and David S. Ware releases his forth disc as leader. This is his best outing to date. His concepts for quartet sit somewhere to the right of Ornette Coleman, organized by freedom, energy and at times streams of consciousness. Where Ornette had his Don Cherry, Roy Campbell Jr. can play both inside and out in any situation. Rob Brown who, on his own recordings can slip off the radar, is spot on here. The wild card is guitarist turn double bassist Joe Morris. His timekeeping and, the like-minded, Dickey's pulse fire enthusiasm throughout. This disc demands repeated spins.
Tracks: Mojo Rising; Coalescence; Steam; Coalescence 2.
Personnel: Roy Campbell Jr. - Trumpet; Rob Brown - Alto Saxophone, Flute; Joe Morris - Double Bass; Whit Dickey - Drums.
Kevin Norton's Metaphor Quartet
Not Only In That Golden Tree...
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The unusual lineup of trombone/vibraphone/bass/drums was certain to produce some unusual music. But drummer Kevin Norton's Metaphor Quartet plays in a very intrinsic natural manner. It's only the song forms that are unusual. His through-composed narratives are not traditional theme-solo-theme pieces. They organically grow, progress, and find resolution that pleases the crowd in front of which they were recorded. With the passing of bassist Wilber Morris, you might focus on his playing. But the revelation here is the trombonist Masahiko Kono, who sparingly utilizes electronics to expand his sound.
Tracks: Missed You In The Coutances, Babe; Walking The Dogma; It Must Be; Not Drunk, But Stunned.
Personnel: Kevin Norton - Drums; Masahiko Kono - Trombone, Electronics; Hitomi Tono'oka - Vibraphone; Wilbur Morris - Double Bass.
Zé Eduardo Unit
A Jazzar No Zeca
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This sax/bass/drums disc hasn't left the CD changer all month. While their concept isn't new, their attitude is certainly refreshing. Humor, a quantity in short supply in American music these days is well fed here. Saxophonist Jesus Santandreu knows his Sonny and Dexter. This bass- led trio cover the music of José Afonso, a funky Mingus meets Roy Nathanson sound. Santandreu dabbles in a bit of electronics on "Canto Moço," all with subtle taste. They select music based on the motion possibilities it presents. Forward they move, always forward. An exceptional disc.
Tracks: Era de Noite e Levaram; Grândola Vila Morena; Canto Moço; O Que Faz Falta; Coro da Primavera; Traz Outro Amigo Também; Cantar Alentejano; Escandinávia-Bar; Clean Free.
Personnel: Zé Eduardo - Double Bass; Jesus Santandreu - Tenor Saxophone; Bruno Pedroso - Drums.
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The edge that saxophonist Steve Lehman works from is quite sharp. His saxophone style was cut from his mentors Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton, so you know this, as they say, "is no skimpy meat." Noted by many critics as one of the finest jazz discs of '04, Interface delivers challenging music of the highest order. Mark Dresser and Pheerroan akLaff are simpathetic cohorts here, moving with power and speed throughout. The title track is thirteen minutes of chase, stop-on-a-dime edge-of-your-seat music. Edgy, but oh so real.
Tracks: Structural Fire; Hamlet; Complex C; Huis Clos; Rison; Motion; Interface.
Personnel: Steve Lehman - Alto Saxophone, Sopranino; Mark Dresser - Double Bass; Pheeroan akLaff - Drums.