If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
This is a pretty intruiging and ambitious debut for upstate New York bassist/composer Gregg August. August wanted to have all of his musical experiences reflected on this first date. From education at SUNY-Albany, the Eastman School of Music, and Julliard, he became the principal bassist in La Orquesta Cuitat de Barcelona, Spain, and then lived in Paris as a jazz musician. His growing interest in Cuban music, notably changui (a kind of Cuban folk music), led to positions with Ray Barretto and Ray Vega.
Late August consists of nine original compositions that equally show August's love of Cuban music and surging neo-bop. On the Latin portion of the album, the tunes and presentations are all winners. It begins with "Sweet Maladie," highlighted by Ray Barretto's congas and Wilson "Chembo" Corniel's shekere. The horn section of Donny McCaslin, Myron Walden, and John Bailey provides the added heat. The Cuban influence continues midway through the album with a spirited duet between August and Corniel, now on congas, after the bassist's opening solo on "Los Dos Cotos." Following that, "Melody in Black and Grey" includes the full ensemble, along with Corniel, whose infectious percussion raises this piece another notch.
The most interesting of the non-Cuban tracks is "Treatments in Darkness," which features a rich textural feeling, reflects a jazz tone poem quality, and may possibly be influenced by the writing of Gil Evans. On "Deception," Frank Wess makes an appearance on tenor and guitarist John Hart provides a tasty solo. The closer, "Work in Progress," taken at a relaxed mid-tempo pace, features an impressive tenor sax solo from the usually volitile McCaslin, who largely plays in the lower register.
Track Listing: Sweet Maladie; Four Two K; M's Blues; Treatments in Darknesds; Los Dos Cotos; Melody in
Black and Grey; Eulogy; Deceptions; Work in Progress.
Personnel: Gregg August: bass; John Bailey: trumpet; Myron Walden: alto saxophone; Donny McCaslin:
tenor saxophone; Frank Wess: tenor saxophone; Alon Yavnai: piano; John Hart: guitar; Eric
McPhearson: drums; Ray Barretto, Wilson Corneil: congas.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!