On her latest, Tempo, the amazing vocalist and pianist Tania Maria teams with bass great Eddie Gomez for a wonderful album of duets. This work finds the Brazil native Maria playing as much as singing. Though the project consists of just two players, Maria’s rhythmic vocalizing and colorful playing makes the music sound much bigger. The duet covers a range of tunes by various Brazilian composers, with a musical synchronicity that makes the effort a near perfect work. Bravo.
Click here to listen to a clip of “Dear Dee Vee”.
Tracks: Estate, Sentado A Beira Do Caminho, A Chuva Caiu, Yeah Man, Senso Unico, Dear Dee Vee, Bronzes E Cristais, Tempo .
Further Explorations is pianist-extraordinaire Chick Corea’s tribute to the genius of Bill Evans and his recording, Explorations, which was released 50 years ago. This 2 CD-set was recorded live at the Blue Note in New York in May 2010, along with Evans band alum Eddie Gomez on bass and the late Paul Motian on drums. The mastery of all three men combines into this kinetic aural landscape. Corea and company are heard casually deciding between songs what to play next and the performance that follows is flat-out brilliant. It’s like witnessing three great artists working on a painting together and the result can’t help but be fantastic. Don’t miss this!
Click here to listen to a clip of “Diane”.
Tracks: Disc1: Peri’s Scope, Gloria’s Step, They Say That Falling In Love is Wonderful, Alice in Wonderland, Song No. 1, Diane, Off The Cuff, Laurie, Bill Evans, Little Rootie Tootie.
Disc 2: Hothouse, Mode VI, Another Tango, Turn Out The Stars, But Beautiful-Part 1, But Beautiful-Part 2, Puccini’s Walk.
Trombonist Dennis Rollins is no newcomer, but his sound is a true revelation on The 11th Gate his third release as a leader. Rollins and his Velocity Trio which includes Ross Stanley on Hammond organ and Pedro Segundo on drums and percussion, sculpt beautiful melodic soundscapes in a style that is both traditional and decidedly contemporary. Think J.J. Johnson meets Weather Report and Jack McDuff. The three players on the project have wonderful synchronicity, and Rollins’ gift as a songwriter is on full display with the UK native composing all the tunes on the project. This is an artful and terrific production.
Click here to listen to a clip of “The Other Side”.
Tracks: Samba Galactica, Emergence, Everything In Mind, Ujamma, Contemplation, The Other Side, Bill Chill, Lightworker, Freedom Jazz Dance, Illuminous, The 11th Gate.
Saxophonist James Carter leads a spirited session of music on At The Crossroads. The trio, comprised of Carter, who plays alto, tenor and baritone saxes, is enhanced by a rhythm section of Gerard Gibbs on organ and Leonard King, Jr. on drums. The unit is augmented on various tunes by the addition of Brandon Ross and Bruce Edwards on guitars, Vincent Chandler on trombone, and Kenyon Harrold on trumpet, among others. Miche Braden’s deep, earthy vocals on several tracks is a powerful addition to the project. The flavor here is music in the African-American tradition, from blues to spirituals, including compositions from Maybelle Smith, Ralph Bass and Jess Powell, Duke Ellington, and Julius Hemphill, as well as a couple of interesting titles from members of the trio. A thoroughly entertaining effort from start to finish.
Click here to listen to a clip of “Oh Gee”.
Tracks: Oh Gee, JC Off The Set, Aged Pain, The Walking Blues My Whole Life Through, Walking The Dog, Lettuce Toss Yo’ Salad, Misterio, Ramblin’ Blues, Come Sunday, Tis The Old Ship of Zion, The Hard Blues.
Bassist Christian McBride gets by with the help of a few of his musical friends on his latest release Conversations with Christian.The recording is a collection of duets with a cross-section of musical talents, both past and present, in various genres. Among the collaborations featured here are two with the late, greats, Dr. Billy Taylor and Hank Jones. Other artists joining in conversation with McBride are violinist Regina Carter, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, vocalist and fellow bassist Sting, guitarist Russell Malone and on sizzling duet, singer Dee Dee Bridgewater. The expanse of artists and styles all serve to show the versatility of the Philadelphia-bred bassist.
Click here to listen to a clip of “Sister Rosa”.
Tracks: Afririka, Fat Bach and Green, Consider Me Gone, Gueajeo Y Tumbao, Bauble, Bangles and Beads, Spiritual, It’s Your Thing, Alone Together, McDukey Blues, Tango Improvisation #1, Sister Rosa, Shake ‘n Blake, Chitlins and Gefiltefish.