Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rick Frank - Yellow Mountain


Rick Frank is the able drummer, joined on

Yellow Mountain
Le Tango
Island of Introspection
Hymn to Kalopi
Minor Blues
Mr. Z
Monk Funk
NuBop
SpaceJunk
You and the Night and the Music

by

Mark Snyder - bass
Brade Hatfield - piano, keys
Bruce Abbott - sax
Jim Robitaille - guitar
Oscar Stagnaro - bass
Paulo Stagnaro - percussion
Brad Hatfield - piano

and together they blend an instrumental jazz album that rocks and rolls and mellows. One of the best tracks is the 5-minute Hymn to Kalopi, a brilliant mood of softness written by Snyder. Bleeds very well into Minor Blues, though doesn't catch as much magic, but all in all, this is a lovely one-unit cool jazz album that puts its songs before the solos (for a change), and I for one am glad to hear such compositional shift again.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Billet-Deux - Deux


I agree with previous reviews of this cd. It is one of the best jazz releases of 2008. Even though I'm listening in 2009. It's a distinctly guitar-drive jazz album, almost classical in orientation.

4 on 6

Be-Bop

Goodbye Porkpie Hat

Sarita

Do You Know What It Means (to Miss New Orleans)

Joy Spring

Anouman

Fishwife Blues

Pent-Up House

Softly, As In A Morning Sunrise

Ordinary Girl

Tu Vuo Fa L’Americano

Those are the stars, along with

Troy Chapman - guitar
James Hinkley - cello
Keith Bowers - guitar
Michael Yocco - bass
Roget Bennett - drums

Each contains "the sophistication and coolness of modern jazz" and they are right to call themselves such.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wave Mechanics Union - Second Season


Well, this cd was a GREAT surprise! I had no idea there was something like this on the market, or I would've bought it long ago. I'm a big progressive rock fan. Perhaps not towards the arty direction, but the pop direction of Queen and Yes. Because do know you what's on here? It's

Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who
Killer Queen by Queen
The Rain Song by Led Zeppelin
The Great Gig in the Sky by Pink Floyd
Available Light by Rush
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da by The Police
Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles
Why Should I Cry For You? by Sting
Elephant Talk by King Crimson
Istanbul Not Constantinople by Four Lads
Heart of the Sunrise by Yes

As you can tell, they've got a few of my favorite lads in there, blowing the lid off the conventions we associate with prog - which is the whole point of prog in the first place. Congrats for doing that! There are music people taking prog and its "rules" too seriously, and it's about time someone bent this steal into new playground material.