Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Gene Ess - Modes of Limited Transcendence

Gene Ess - Compositions, Guitar
Tigran Hamasyan - Piano, Rhodes
Harvie S - Bass
Tyshawn Sorey - Drums


Ryo's First flight 6:26
Discovery in Three 12:14
Trance Chant 9:33
Art of Nothingness 9:25
Hero to Wizard 8:18
Messiaen Shuffle 9:44
Gagaku Dreams 6:52
Sufficient Reason 8:50

and though it took me a full song really to get into it, I now dig this improv-laden, often frantic modern jazz. There's a soul to it that is sometimes missing in jazz bands today that seem to think that just offering the right instruments is enough. Each player brings almost an obsession to the recording that somehow blends into something blisteringly beautiful.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

La Tanya Hall - It's About Time

Tired of "modern" jazz that stays away from the tune for hours on end and gives you that tedious edgy feeling that harkens you back to the days of Brian Eno and a-tonal experimentation? Then you're going to have your lungs refilled with something fresh a la:

Hoagy Carmichael: The Nearness of You
George Gershwin: Summertime
Cole Porter: It's All Right With Me
Sergio Mendes: Like a Lover
Nat King Cole: Straighten Up and Fly Right
Hoagy Carmichael: Skylark
Vincent Youmans: (It's Gonna Be A) Great Day
Duke Ellington: I Got it Bad (and That Ain't Good)
Toots Thielemanns: Bluesette
Gene de Paul: You Don't Know What Love Is
Álvaro Carrillo: Sabor a Mi
Jerome Moross: A Lazy Afternoon

La Tanya Hall belts out with a voice as beautiful as her CD cover, with music arranged and conducted by Angelo DiPippo. "Skylark" is a beauty in the mold of a crooning orchestra version that brings back Nat King Cole and even the lush loveliness of Christmas albums bent on making your humdrum life forget the bang of the drum and give you something to hum again.

Always a welcome addition, these Bridge Records. Let's hope Hall's current release isn't the only one in their future catalog, because there needs to be more music like this in the world. Even the sad tracks are hopeful ones.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Bolt - the soundtrack

I haven't seen the film yet, but the score by John Powell is exciting and makes me want to see it all the more!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Joani Taylor - In My Own Voice

Here's a sultry singer of jazz persuasion who shines in her small hours music. I don't cotton to some of her more swingin' numbers - at least one includes a nip of rap - but when she gets down to "Thank You for Loving Me" and one of the best, "The Secret," well, then I can forgive her for jamming all her instruments into one chaotic stream on the hurried tracks.

She's sung at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and she's singing mostly her own creations on this new cd. Definitely worth a listen or 3.