by: Hobert Taylor
Rob Reddy - Bechet: Our Contemporary - (Reddy Music)
Soprano Saxophonist Rob Reddy has carved out his own independent channel of melody based improvisational music running parallel to the various rivers, streams and stagnant canals that eddy into the great bay of jazz. On this recording he and his cohorts, including frequent collaborator trumpeter John Carlson, compare and contrast Reddy's melodies with those of one of Jazz founding fathers and supreme melodist, Sidney Bechet. Clarinetist/saxophonist Bechet, like Louis Armstrong hand carried the baby jazz from her crib in New Orleans and nurtured her into her maturity. This dialog, Bechet's tunes given post modern gloss, and Reddy's very intricate and modern melodies made generically familiar by emphasizing rootsy blues and New Orleans jazz performance elements (check out guitarist Marvin Sewell and violinist Charles Burnham and Carlson on Reddy's tune "Erasing Statues) pushes the music past simple categorization and into an experiential realm that for me erases barriers of time, culture and place. Thank you Rob Reddy.
Peter Paulsen Trio - A Few Thoughts - (SquarePegWorks)
This is a very studied and calculated jazz piano trio composition based recording following the Bill Evans model. Two of Evans' compositions appear here, arranged by Paulsen, "Time Remembered and "Comrade Conrad". While appropriate homage is paid, the strongest selections here are Paulsen's own, "Slow Poke" and "Third Time".
Peter Kogan - Some Monsterful Wonderthing - (Koganote Records)
Percussionist/drummer Kogan is in the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra. When he takes off, his compositions swing and delight. Checkout the title tune, and "Question Monk".
Joann Funk/Jeff Brueske - Jazz in the Lobby Bar - (Self Released)
The 10,000 hour rule. You do anything for 10,000 hours and a level of expertise emerges that makes the most complicated of activities seem simple and effortless. I don't know if Funk and Brueske played for 10,000 hours at the Lobby Bar of Minnesota's St. Paul Hotel, but I can attest that these re-workings of chestnuts from the Great American Songbook are performed with the the precise grace of the finest Cafe Society artists, the Bobby Shorts, the Rosemary Clooney's etc.
Kristine Mills - Bossa Too - (Self-released)
A little too generic for my taste, but a great voice. She does a really fine version of Jobim's "Inutil Paisagem".
Sean Dobbins Organ Quartet - The Journey - (Detroit Music Factory)
Nothing new here, but straight ahead and be-bop laced grooves played well.