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Bailey's Bundles

April 11, 2014

Jazz Quanta April

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

April is no more the cruelest month than the moon is made of cheese. For consideration this month we have nine recordings from far and wide: Antonio Adolfo to Little Feat far and wide. Antonio Adolfo Rio, Choro, Jazz AAM Music 2014 Before there was Bossa Nova, there was Choro, which itself was a eutection of European, American and African musical elements. One of the greatest Choro composers was Brazilian composer Ernesto Nazareth. Nazareth and his music is the focus of Brazilian pianist Antonio Adolfo, whose previous recordings in ...

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April 7, 2014

Jazz Vocals April

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Writer's note: Music writing is an avocation. It is not what I do for a living. It exists as that undertaking I do for the satisfaction of possibly educating others about this single essential art. But the reality is I have less and less time to write. As a result, I am limiting my writing to two “Bailey's Bundles" submitted monthly: my current “Jazz Quanta" addressing instrumental music and now my “Jazz Vocals" capturing my thoughts on vocal jazz. These will serve as my main outlets for writing. I will continue to write full reviews, particularly of music related books, ...

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March 30, 2014

The Jazz Ballad Gauntlet: Rebecca Parris and Beat Kaestli

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

bal * lad :noun \'ba- ləd\ A slow popular song that is typically about love. The ballad remains one of the most durable vehicles in any music genre. In jazz, it is a make-or-break format capable of revealing the haves and haves not in the jazz vocals department. There have been many nonpareil jazz ballad singers, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Shirley Horn immediately come to mind. Among the men are Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Tony Bennett and Chet Baker, the latter being the only real jazzer of the bunch, but no ...

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March 20, 2014

Trio Logic: Phishbacher, Dominic J Marshall, Bob Henschen Trios

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

The traditional jazz piano trio (piano, double bass and drums) remains a robust and productive format for jazz performance and interpretation. Here are three examples supporting this. Phishbacher Trio Dreamcatcher Jazz Sick Records 2014 Pianist and composer Walter Fischbacher with his wife, singer/composer Elisabeth Lohninger manage their Lofish Recording Studio in New York City when not pursuing each other's well- received recording careers. Fischbacher and his trio have enjoyed a productive new millennium, releasing their sixth recording, Dreamcatcher. Fischbacher eschews electronics in favor of piano trio for interpretations of ...

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March 20, 2014

Aural Mayhem – Rare Noise / Jamie Saft - Joe Morris / Chat Noir

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

On a bright spring Thursday afternoon, June 28, 1928, Louis Armstrong and his Hot Five entered the Okeh Studios in Chicago Illinois to record “Three Perfect Minutes" of music in the guise of Joe “King" Oliver's immortal “West End Blues." Describing Armstrong's “West End" cornet solo, Gunther Schuller opined that it was, ..."an impassioned almost stammering repetitive phrase that seems to float, completely unencumbered, above the accompaniment." Thus, the most important recording in jazz history. What does this have to do with the present Rare Noise releases by Jamie Saft/Joe Morris and Chat Noir? ...

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March 14, 2014

Jazz Quanta March

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

RareNoise, chant, drunken big band...Good Lawd! Free Nelson Mandoomjazz The Shape of Doomjazz to Come/Saxophone Giganticus RareNoise 2014 You have to love RareNoise Records for inventive sonic turbulence. Add to this alto saxophonist Rebecca Sneddon sense of humor aping the title of this “double EP" from two of the most famous saxophone recordings of the 1950s: Ornette Coleman's The Shape of Jazz To Come (Atlantic, 1959) and Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus (Prestige, 1956). What The Shape of Doomjazz to Come/Saxophone Giganticus does is turn that tradition on its ear ...

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March 10, 2014

Three Views of Jazz Piano: Bernie Worrell, Christian Jacob, Andrew Litton

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Here are three well-recorded solo piano recitals by three very different pianists playing three equally different jazz repertoires. In spite of these apparent differences, the three artists approach their material in a similarly spacious way. The results are encouraging. Bernie Worrell Elevation: The Upper Air M.O.D. Technologies 2014 There are a couple of things going on in this release. First, this is the first solo piano recording by Bernie Worrell. Worrell was a founding member of George Clinton's Parliament/Funkadelic, not exactly the musician one would expect to make ...

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March 9, 2014

The Latin Tinge: Carmen Cuesta, Rebeca Vallejo and Rozina Patkai

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

Latin vocal jazz is alive and well. Each year curiously seems to produce more and more of this commodity. No matter. While the majority is very good indeed, there are those recordings that rise above the mix into the exceptional. These are three of them. Carmen Cuesta Toda Una Vida... Tweedy Records 2014 Following her well-received bossa nova offering, Mi Bossa Nova (Tweedy Records, 2010), Madrid singer Carmen Cuesta turns her attention to the bolero in Toda Una Vida. The singer retains the impressive production and guitar talents of ...

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February 7, 2014

Jazz Quanta: February

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

February's Jazz Quanta is a beautifully mixed bag of blues, jazz instrumental and classical. There is never a dull moment. Renee' and the Walkaways--The Walkaway Sessions (Self Produced, 2013). Vocalist Renee' Cheek heads up the piquant gumbo talent of her very own band, the Walkaways. The Walkaway Sessions is a Louisiana grassroots affair produced by David Hyde, who also provides bass playing. The music is a rich roux drawing equally from the blues, country, zydeco, Tex-Mex and jazz...but make it heavy on the country. Originals “No Regrets," “Poor Cold Heart" and “I Don't Need You" are the ...

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January 14, 2014

Jazz Quanta: January

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

The beauty of having written for All About Jazz since the early years is that I was given one of the first personal columns, “Bailey's Bundles," as named by publisher Michael Ricci. I have used it mostly for thematically-based multiple record reviews, then my end-of-the-year lists. As the years sped on, I began to concentrate on reviewing jazz vocals releases and my output addressing instrumental music began to shrink while the same amount of said material still knocked at my door. I am using “Bailey's Bundle's" to help remedy this. I am subtitling this monthly series “Jazz Quanta" in keeping ...

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December 24, 2013

Notable & Nearly Missed in 2013

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

More music is released each year than can be realistically followed by a given writer. I typically listen to much more music than I write about, not because this music is not worthy somehow but there is so little time. So, this year, I am going to write a “Notable & Nearly Missed" column to catch some of these releases before the year draws nigh. Chanticleer--Someone New (Chanticleer, 2013). Chanticleer got some attention for two recent holiday releases in Christmas II: Two (Almost New) Chanticleer Christmas Offerings . For the holiday season, the 12-man a cappella choral ...

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December 1, 2013

Christmas IV: Jazz Instrumental - Duke Ellington, Tim Warfield, Manhattan Brass and Ted Rosenthal Trio

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

This holiday season has turned out better than the past several when considering quality seasonal music releases. The jazz instrumental contingent has provided several fine recordings for consideration. Harmonie Ensemble / New York, Steven Richman Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn / Piotr Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suites Harmonia Mundi 2013 Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn / Piotr Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suites highlights the greatest jazz adaptation of classical music. This release also goes a long way in placing both Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington (and Billy Strayhorn) in a more contemporary light ...

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November 26, 2013

Christmas III: Jazz Vocals - Tianna Hall/Chris Cortez, Nnenna Freelon, New York Voices and Albrecht Mayer/The King’s Singers

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

The vocal holiday offerings are all over the map stylistically. Latin, big band, small ensemble singing and whatever the Albrecht Mayer/King's Singer's collaboration is, this a hopping creative season. For a seasonal subgenre of any musical subgenre usually reserved for money-making more than art, this year's releases are exceptional. “May your days be merry and bright" indeed. Tianna Hall & Chris Cortez Noel Blue Bamboo Music 2013 Tianna Hall, Godmother of the Houston Jazz Mafia, convened a family meeting this summer to wax this collection ...

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November 24, 2013

Christmas II: Two (Almost New) Chanticleer Christmas Offerings

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By C. MICHAEL BAILEY

San Francisco's “Orchestra of Voices," Chanticleer have established themselves as America's premier all-male chorus. The group's repertoire spans 1500 years from anonymous plainchant to the group's tribute to the music of the big and small screen, Someone New (Chanticleer Records, 2013). Tailor made for singing holiday classics, Chanticleer has established a robust track record in the repertoire, be it Medieval or post-modern. I addressed the group's earlier holiday releases in Chanticleer: An Orchestra of Voices Honoring Christmas. Considered here are two holiday releases of liturgy and carols, old and new, culled from live radio ...

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