by: Hobart Taylor
Tish Olney - Sweet Youth - (DTG Productions)
Jazz standards and a few originals from this pleasant and carefully calibrated artist... Rosemary Clooney style... great phrasing. She is accompanied by John Chiodini guitarist for the Boston Pops, a real pro... it's almost his album..Standouts "September in the Rain"," Alice in Wonderland""Autumn Nocturne" and especially "It Might As Well Be Spring" and "Waltz for Ellie" vocal overdubs give it a cool Lambert Hendricks and Ross scat sound.
Foundations - Foundations (Curt Ramm, Dan Moretti, Bill Cunliffe, Marty Ballou, and Marty Richards) (Foundations Jazz Records)
This 2009 release got to me recently and I think it should be added. Straight ahead in the Miles quintet tradition, it bops along with surprises and solid playing. The brainchild of Rhode Island saxophonist Moretti, these guys cook. Cunliffe on keyboards is subtle, graceful and full of lilting swing and funky when he needs to be. All cuts are originals."Little Bit", "Goin Nowhere Fast", "Vine Street" (50's pop jazz ala Cannonball Adderly),"Podunk" "Birmingham Blue"all standout but just drop the needle anywhere...except this is a CD. This is the sort of obscure great stuff this station was made for.
Charles Lloyd with Maria Fantouri (vocal) - Athens Concert - (ECM)
Recorded live in June 2010 this 2 cd is a masterwork by one of the most poetic and ephemeral players of all time Lloyd, on Saxes, flute, and the Greek taragato.
Farantouri has a deeply resonant contralto voice reminiscent of Nina Simone.accompanied by Jason Moran on piano who providews rich color, Reuben Rogeers on double bass, Eric Harland drums, and Greek musicians Socratis Sinaopolis on lyra (lyre) and Takis Farazis. This album moves between the dreamlike and spiritual melodies Lloyd is famous for and that have earned him the adoration of Coltrane fans and new takes of Greek melodies presented in a three part "Greek Suite".
Marquis Hill - New Gospel - (Self Released)
This 24 year-old Chicago trumpeter plays straight ahead like Foundations, but a little more soulful, abstract and spooky. Kenneth Oshodi on guitar is a key element to the sound as is Christopher McBride on Alto. John Tate on bass is amazing. Jazz for cool people, deep in the tradition of Blue Note without being clichee or overly reverent. A little funk here and there. Standouts "Law and Order" cut 1, "New Gospel" cut 3"Autumn" and especially "The Thump" cut 6.
Kevin Kizer Quintet - Aspects - (BluJazz Records)
Another Chicagoan,sax player Kizer has been on the scene awhile. Straight ahead clean taking the idiom to the edges but not over the edge, he uses Katherine Hughes on violin to give his music depth and geist. "Breath" cut 2 by guitarist Dave Miller is a spooky minor key gem. "A Minor Challenge" cut 5, by violinist Katherine Hughes takes you places you didn't know you'd get to. They call what they do "chamber Jazz" akin to chamber music. Lots of texture...