Where’s the music going these days? In what direction? The Java Men know. They’re taking it there.
Jazz’s modern mainstream covers a whole lotta ground. This organ-guitar-drums trio swings, while offering fresh sounds for a new generation of jazz lovers. The balance between hard-driving rhythms and soothing landscapes is one to take seriously. Java Men brings it all together as both art and enjoyable music. Ray Rizzo works over the whole drum set, never getting loud. He employs a variety of textures that even includes hands on drums and friction-rubbed tones. Craig Wagner plays from a soulful blues background, always lyrical and empathetic. Todd Hildreth, employing a Hammond B-3 for the most part, captures the sound of masters such as Jimmy Smith and Groove Holmes.
Hildreth’s "It’s All Yours If You Want It" dances as a happy New Orleans jambalaya, containing many flavors all at once. The trio’s struttin’ "Dark Ride" takes the listener through dimly lit streets, establishing an impression fit for describing the danger that lurks around every corner. Steeped in the blues, the tune tells a story of how we rely on the familiar while exploring the unknown. Wagner’s folksy "Five" relies on a skipping meter counted in ten. With a dramatic grand piano buoyancy, the piece remains bright with a country & western flavor. Recommended, Orbituary expresses a contemporary approach to mainstream jazz that keeps the tradition while introducing fresh new ideas.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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