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Ryan Cohan "Here and Now" [SJL1016]

"The nine originals that comprise Here & Now reveal pianist Ryan Cohan to be a gifted, strong player from the Bud Powell – Herbie Hancock – Chick Corea tree" - Ted Panken, Down Beat

"Don't be surprised to see many awards garnered from this rare masterpiece. For the public, who can’t possibly have time to listen to all the music that is available, Here & Now, the choice has already been made. You can’t go wrong." - Baabe Irving

Make a note of the name RYAN COHAN.

Not only does he write exceptional tunes, but he arranges and plays them with a level of maturity normally only found in artists many years his senior. His compositions have already earned some big-time recognition. Amongst some great players Ryan has written and arranged for the legendary Ramsey Lewis, and their collaborative work on Ramsey’s recording "Appassionata" led to that album being named "Jazz Album of the Year" in Billboard Magazine’s annual awards for 2000.

From the glorious Latin tinged opening track "Think Again", through the soulfully inspired "Too Soon" (a fine tribute to Kenny Kirkland) to the fiery closing statement of "Urgent Identity", Here and Now provides Ryan an opportunity to fully explore his own voice at the piano. With an exciting set of new material and a group of highly respected artists that include BOB SHEPPARD - saxes (Chick Corea / Freddie Hubbard / Steely Dan), JAMES CAMMACK - bass (Ahmad Jamal Trio) and DANA HALL – drums (Branford Marsalis / Carnegie Hall Band), Here and Now is a brilliant example of a new talent emerging into the spotlight and captivating all who witness the event. NOT TO BE MISSED.

PERSONNEL:

  • Ryan Cohan: Piano
  • Bob Sheppard: Tenor Sax & Flute
  • Jim Gailloreto: Tenor /Soprano saxes & Flute
  • Tito Carrillo:
  • Trumpet/Flugelhorn
  • James Cammack: Bass
  • Dana Hall: Drums
With:
  • Geof Bradfield: Tenor /Soprano saxes (5, 8, 9, 10)
  • Scott Burns: Tenor/Soprano saxes (1)
  • Ruben Alvarez: Percussion (1)
  • Dede Sampaio: Percussion (8)
  • Lorin Cohen: Bass (9)
  • Tom Hipskind: Drums (1, 8)

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Think Again 01-ryan-cohan-here-and-now-think-again.mp3
  2. Ask Me Nicely
  3. Looking Glass - Prelude
  4. Looking Glass
  5. Too Soon 05-ryan-cohan-here-and-now-too-soon.mp3
  6. Rush Hour
  7. Here and Now
  8. White Sand
  9. Haunted
  10. Urgent Identity 10-ryan-cohan-here-and-now-urgent-identity.mp3
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George Colligan's Mad Science "Realization" [SJL1030]

JAZZ + GROOVE = MAD SCIENCE

"Fabulous...Jimmy Smith meets Carlos Santana...the best of all worlds"

Get ready for one of the hottest new trios to hit the jazz scene for years. Mad Science thrills listeners with their intense, lyrical and exhilarating compositions. The groups special organ-trio sound combines the ideas of M-Base, the raw funk of Tower of Power, the fusion of Return to Forever… and a lifetime of jazz.

QUOTES FOR MAD SCIENCE

"Great writing, completely different approach to the organ-group thing... George [Colligan] is a very brilliant piano player, and it makes sense that he would be brilliant on organ as well... As a creative artist, he’s really up there... there aren’t a whole lot of cats from his generation that are any better than him. As a matter of fact, I can’t think of any." - Don Braden, Jazz Times

"George Colligan, an award-winning composer and player... draws fans with his zesty work. He is also prolific as a leader with 15 recordings full of his intelligent writing and impressive technique. Tom Guarna (Blood Sweat & Tears, Yellow Jackets, Randy Brecker) contributes compositions and mellifluous guitar work and Grammy-winner Rodney Holmes (Zawinul Syndicate, Brecker Brother, Carlos Santana) places notes and sounds with an artist's touch." - Modern Drummer

PERSONNEL:

  • George Colligan – Hammond B3/Keyboards
  • Tom Guarna - Guitars
  • Rodney Holmes – Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Grounded
  2. Snidely Whiplash
  3. Realization 03-george-colligan-realization-realization.mp3
  4. Oblivion
  5. Blue Box
  6. Human Need
  7. Utopian Struggle 07-george-colligan-realization-utopian-struggle.mp3
  8. Muse
  9. Reminder
  10. Goblet of Rock 10-george-colligan-realization-goblet-of-rock.mp3
  11. Stockholm Street Breakdown
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Charene Dawn "Dark Angel" [SJL1020]

"...on a bracing interpretation of Mingus’s 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat', Dawn’s full-bodied sound is strongly evocative of Nancy Wilson’s regality blended with the sass of Nnenna Freelon... She delivers a gorgeous 'Smile' filled with reflective tenderness, lends an intriguing air of mystery to 'All or Nothing At All' and delivers a 'Poetry Man' that’s more sensuous than Phoebe Snow’s fragile original ..the title track (Dark Angel)...a sumptuous paean to spiritual redemption... sounds like Black Coffee filtered through the folksy wisdom of Gordon Lightfoot.....stunning" - Jazz Times

"Dawn does more than just hold her own in this august company. The album is pure pleasure from the get-go. The nine tracks, with not a weak link among them, thoughtfully reflect different aspects of the singer’s impressive palette, among them the wonderful sense of time in 'Reasons', a fascinating account of Phoebe Snow’s 'Poetry Man' and the fabulously burnished lower register used to brilliant effect in the title track". - Jazzwise

Charene Dawn grew up in Chicago, and was exposed to that city’s unique blend of jazz and blues, r&b and pop. Her Inspiration is just as likely to come from Steely Dan or Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers or Billie Holiday.

Now settled in New York, Charene has long been recognised by the jazz community as a talent deserving wider recognition, having shared the stage with the likes of George Benson and many other internationally respected performers.

'Dark Angel' is Charene’s debut album and the nine outstanding tracks all bear testimony to her great taste. Joining her on this fine CD are some great musical talents including;

PERSONNEL:

  • Bob Berg: Tenor/soprano saxes
  • Paul Bollenback: Guitars
  • Avishai Cohen: Acoustic bass
  • Henry Hey: Piano & Keyboards
  • Billy Kilson: Drums
  • Joe Locke: Vibes
  • Gregoire Maret: Harmonica

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Reasons 01-charene-dawn-dark-angel-reasons.mp3
  2. Poetry Man
  3. Love Is 03-charene-dawn-dark-angel-love-is.mp3
  4. All or Nothing at All
  5. Smile 05-charene-dawn-dark-angel-smile.mp3
  6. Here and Now
  7. Dark Angel
  8. Kiss
  9. Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
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Kenny Drew Jnr "Follow the Spirit" [SJL1004]

"Follow the Spirit gives the listener an opportunity to hear a master in total command of his instrument, with a voice all his own. He’s got himself an absolutely ripping quartet too.The opening, Serial Blues, is a total scorcher, with an opening trio section of boiling intensity. And when Wilson enters with his snaky soprano, it's a killer. Recommended" - Cadence Magazine

Born in New York in 1958, Kenny Drew Jr. was four years of age when his Aunt Marjorie started to teach him piano. Not too many years passed before he was exploring the world of jazz piano, inspired by the work of his father - jazz great - Kenny Drew.

The young Kenny was soon creating a name for himself and it was only a matter of time before his professional career was set in motion. Some of the biggest names in jazz began to seek out his prodigious talent. He experienced working with Frank Morgan, Stanley Jordan, Stanley Turrentine, Al Foster, and an ever increasing circle of respected artists. In 1990 Kenny was the winner of the Great American Jazz Piano Competition held in Jacksonville, Florida. Recording as a leader, and as a much sought after side-man, Kenny has shared studio projects with Buster Williams, Eddie Gomez, Charnett Moffett, Bob Berg, Wallace Roney, David Sanchez, Joshua Redman, Al Foster, Lewis Nash, Christian McBride, the Mingus Big Band and a host of others.

PERSONNEL:

  • Kenny Drew Jnr: piano
  • Steve Wilson: saxes
  • Lynn Seaton: bass
  • Tony Jefferson: drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Serial Blues
  2. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams 02-kenny-drew-jr-follow-the-spirit-wrap-your-troubles.mp3
  3. Soldier in the Rain 03-kenny-drew-jr-follow-the-spirit-soldier-in-the-rain.mp3
  4. The Star Crossed Lovers
  5. All The Things You Are
  6. Your Soft Eyes
  7. The Flame Within
  8. Four in One 08-kenny-drew-jr-follow-the-spirit-four-in-one.mp3
  9. Invierno Portena
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Robin Eubanks "Wake–up-Call" [SJL1001]

5 STARS - Downbeat Magazine

Having Vera Bryant, one of the most respected teachers (taught Kenny Barron amongst others) for a mother, Ray Bryant as your uncle, and Kevin Eubanks as a brother means that you heard only the best music while growing up and, naturally, high standards prevailed from a very early age. Sun Ra recognized this when he hired Robin while he was still in his teens. Art Blakey made him a pivotal member of his Messengers during the 1980's (Robin went on to become Musical Director for Bu). Since then of course Robin has fronted his own bands, recorded extensively as both a leader and as a special guest on many top selling albums, and picked up many prestigious awards on the way - including several reader and critic awards from Down Beat magazine. For the last few years Robin has also arranged, played and recorded as trombonist for the high profile Dave Holland Quintet & Big Band.

This studio recording illustrates what a force Robin is. The stellar group of musicians, all hand picked for the occasion, rise to the challenge presented by the writing and arranging of the carefully chosen mix of five jazz greats and three Eubanks originals.

PERSONNEL:

  • Robin Eubanks: Trombone
  • Antonio Hart: Alto sax
  • Duane Eubanks: Trumpet
  • Eric Lewis: Piano
  • Lonnie Plaxico: Bass
  • Gene Jackson: Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. United 02-robin-eubanks-wake-up-call-united.mp3
  2. Ceora 02-robin-eubanks-wake-up-call-ceora.mp3
  3. Soliloquy
  4. Oriental Folk Song
  5. Wake up Call
  6. You Are Too Beautiful 06-robin-eubanks-wake-up-call-you-are-too-beautiful.mp3
  7. Scrapple From The Apple
  8. Rush Hour
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Tim Garland, Joe Locke & Geoffrey Keezer "Storms/Nocturnes" [SJL1017]

"Performed by a trio of virtuoso instrumentalists Storms/Nocturnes more than lives-up to it’s billing as a collective trio. Garland plays each of his three horns as though it were his main axe, projecting both gravitas and fire. Geoff Keezer and Joe Locke play with phenomenal craft and invention, making you forget that the unit includes neither bassist nor a drummer" - 4 ½ Stars - Down Beat

"Astoundingly varied and inspired. It hardly gets better than this. ESSENTIAL JAZZ CD of the month." - Mojo Magazine

"Jazz CD of the week - FIVE STARS" - Birmingham Post.

"Flows so naturally and is so hypnotic, you just want to sit back and enjoy" - Jazziz

"Garland takes time out from being Chick Corea’s saxophonist to produce a fascinating set with Geoff Keezer and Joe Locke, with the result that just three musicians are able to create an amazing variety of sounds and moods" - The Guardian

"The blend of the three instruments is marvelous, and these guys seem to know it -- they thrive on the sound, playing off one another with great sensitivity and fire". - 4 STARS David R. Adler, All Music Guide

Reviews for this outstanding album flow with enthusiasm, but it is only when you hear the music for the first time that you realise how brilliant these players have captured something new and vital. Inspired by a combined love of jazz, blues, classical and world music, all three musicians explore their highly accomplished writing and playing talents to the full. When the trio in question are Tim Garland, Geoffrey Keezer and Joe Locke – masters all, with global reputations to match, the innovation and execution is truly breathtaking.

PERSONNEL:

  • Tim Garland: tenor/soprano saxophone /
    bass clarinet
  • Geoffrey Keezer: piano
  • Joe Locke: vibes / marimba

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Blues For Little Joe
  2. I'll Meet You There
  3. Hibiscus
  4. Blackbird 04-tim-garland-storms-nocturnes-blackbird.mp3
  5. Gold Rush
  6. Trun and Return 06-tim-garland-storms-nocturnes-turn-and-return.mp3
  7. Night Forest
  8. The Lost Lenore
  9. Breath of the Volcano 09-tim-garland-storms-nocturnes-breath-of-the-volcano.mp3
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Tim Garland Trio "Rising Tide" [SJL1022]

"Garland plays each of his three horns as if it were his main axe, with limber phrasing and a centered tone that projects both gravitas and fire….. Geoff Keezer and Joe Locke play with phenomenal craft and invention" - 4 ½ STARS - Down Beat

MOJO Magazine made it a top-three jazz album of the year - "Astoundingly varied and inspired – it hardly gets better than this"

Now their new studio recording 'Rising Tide' has also started to attract some very impressive comments, including...

"This trio is unique, a chamber jazz form that truly sizzles with virtuosity and creativity. Tim, Geoff and Joe make an amazing trio." - Chick Corea

Rising tide is performed by three musicians who’s extraordinary talents place them on music’s 'most wanted' list. Here they combine their world-class experience to make music that is both lyrical and explosive, dynamic and sophisticated. Jazz, blues, folk, and a lot more beside, influences their unique approach to the trio format. Augmented by a string quartet on two tracks, rising tide offers the listener a beautiful and rich soundscape which gets more rewarding with every play.


PERSONNEL:

Tim Garland: Tenor & Soprano Saxophones, Bass Clarinet
Geoffrey Keezer: Piano
Joe Locke: Vibes & Marimba

With the Tapestry String Quartet featured on tracks 6 & 10

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. After Dark 01-tim-garland-rising-tide-after-dark.mp3
  2. A Brother's Gift
  3. Dance Me Delirious
  4. Honu
  5. The Hourglass
  6. Sonata
  7. But You Were Gone
  8. Rising Tide 08-tim-garland-rising-tide-rising-tide.mp3
  9. Shelter 09-tim-garland-rising-tide-shelter.mp3
  10. Fantasy
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Tim Garland "Change of Season" [SJL1029]

This outstanding new studio recording is, without doubt, one of the most eagerly awaited. Garland has carved-out a reputation as one of the most exciting and creative players on the current scene. His recent recordings have brought him resounding international praise - including:

"Garland plays each of his three horns as if it were his main axe, with limber phrasing and a centered tone that projects both gravitas and fire" - Ted Panken, 4½ STARS (Down Beat Magazine)

His playing and composing abilities have led to him working alongside such diverse major artists as Chick Corea, Kenny Wheeler, Bill Bruford and many others. He has been commissioned to write and perform for major concert orchestras and has also led national and international big band appearances to huge critical acclaim.

Now we have a major new quartet recording 'Change of Season' - a rich musical soundscape that explores the amazing talents of each of the four artists to the full. From the opening acoustic guitar on 'Break in the Weather' to the powerfully evocative closing 'First Rain' (including, along the way, a most beautiful, soulful reading of John Coltrane’s 'Tunji'), the intensity and excitement never falters. 'Change Of Season' truly is a rare masterpiece of a CD and one that could become a landmark recording for future reference.

PERSONNEL:

  • Tim Garland: Tenor, soprano & bass clarinet
  • Paul Bollenback: Guitars
  • John Patitucci: Accoustic/ElectricBass
  • Gary Novak: Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Break In The Weather
  2. Tunji 02-tim-garland-change-of-season-tunji.mp3
  3. Crawler
  4. The Food Of Love 04-tim-garland-change-of-season-the-food-of-love.mp3
  5. Piece In Our Time
  6. To A Discarded Doll
  7. Inner Space 07-time-garland-change-of-season-inner-space.mp3
  8. Change of Season
  9. Electrocity
  10. First Rain
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Tim Garland "If The Sea Replied" [SJL1031]

Just a quick glance at the critical responses garnered for Garland’s previous Sirocco recordings is enough to establish that his is a truly amazing talent. And it's not just Tim’s own recordings that attract the plaudits. Chick Corea, Bill Bruford, Kenny Wheeler and many others have recognised the creative possibilities he can bring to their projects.

For "If The Sea Replied" Tim has woven a rich tapestry of new and exciting material that illustrates his writing and performing skills to the max. Thrilling jazz, subtle eastern rhythms, acoustic guitar and piano solos, and, on several tracks, his powerful string arrangements for one of the leading UK orchestras – the Northern Sinfonia, interplay with his own brilliant work on tenor and soprano saxophones and bass clarinet.

If The Sea Replied is a fine example of why Time Out magazine commented that;

"Garland has always sounded special, blessed with a weighty tone that makes you want to switch-on and listen. He is creative at speed and swings with momentum and grace. The latest British jazzer to gain big-time acclaim, joining the likes of George Shearing, Cleo Laine, John McLaughlin and Dave Holland."

Hear for yourself this journey of exceptional musical exploration.

PERSONNEL:

  • Northern Symphonia
  • Tim Garland: Saxes, Bass Clarinet
  • Asaf Serkis: Percussion
  • Gwilym Simcock: Pianist

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Tide Races
  2. The Machine
  3. St. Mary's Light 03-tim-garland-if-the-sea-replied-st-marys-light.mp3
  4. Spring Tide
  5. Young In The Fifties
  6. Six Or Seven Lights
  7. Springtide (duet)
  8. If The Sea Replied
  9. Storm Warning 09-tim-garland-if-the-sea-replied-storm-warning.mp3
  10. Tide Races - (string reprise)
  11. The Distance
  12. Going Ashore
  13. Dark House
  14. Epilogue - From The Land 14-tim-garland-if-the-sea-replied-epilogue-from-the-land.mp3
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Eddie Henderson "Oasis" [SJL1015]

"Music, like life itself, is a journey of discovery and triumph" says Eddie Henderson in the liner notes to this exhilarating recording. With this philosophy in mind Eddie has taken a stunning collection of individual "tales" and woven them into one triumphant, living story.

Supported by what has become his long-term working band, Eddie Henderson always brings something fresh and invigorating to his musical excursions. This is Eddie at his best, exploring the musical terrain with an adventurous spirit and well-honed dexterity.

ARTISTS NOTES:

Eddie Henderson was born October 1940 in New York. Both parents were part of the established music scene - his father was a singer (Bill Williams and the Charioteers) while his mother sang and danced alongside the stars at Harlem’s famous Cotton Club. After being widowed his mother moved the young Eddie Henderson to the west coast where she married a doctor, settling in the Bay area of San Francisco. As a child he experienced many musicians staying at his house including Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington. Eddie started to learn the trumpet at age ten. Miles Davis acted as mentor after hearing Eddie play some of his (Miles) tunes, encouraging the teenager to find his own voice. His parents wanted a different career for Eddie and he compromised by qualifying as a doctor at Howard University while playing summer gigs with Joe Henderson, Philly Joe Jones and others. He jumped at the chance to play music full-time when offered a job with Herbie Hancock. Eddie played in Hancock's ground- breaking Mwandishi sextet for three years 1970- 73. Moved on to join Pharoah Sanders then later Art Blakey's band for a brief spell.

In 1975 Eddie opted to continue a dual role – practising medicine and playing jazz - before moving back to New York in the mid-eighties where he gradually focused full-time on his music, giving-up medicine completely at the end of the 1980's.

He established his own quintet sound with Kevin Hays (piano), Ed Howard (bass) Joe Locke (vibes) and Lewis Nash (drums) and during the 90’s recorded critically acclaimed albums for Steeplechase and Milestone. This quintet is one of the longest running working bands in jazz – over ten years. (Billy Drummond replacing Lewis Nash on drums). He continues to record/tour with Herbie Hancock and occasionally with other former members of Mwandishi.

PERSONNEL:

  • Eddie Henderson: Trumpet & Flugelhorn
  • Kevin Hays: Piano
  • Joe Locke: Vibes
  • Ed Howard: Bass
  • Billy Drummond: Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Dubia 01-eddie-henderson-oasis-dubai.mp3
  2. Oasis
  3. Sandstorm
  4. Lost
  5. Siddhartha 05-eddie-henderson-oasis-siddhartha.mp3
  6. Why Not?
  7. Cantaloupe Island
  8. Melancholee 08-eddie-henderson-oasis-melancholee.mp3
  9. Desert Sun
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Eddie Henderson "Time & Spaces" [SJL1027]

For over forty years, internationally renowned trumpeter Eddie Henderson has been a firm favourite with jazz fans, fellow musicians and the most discerning of journalists and critics. Blessed with a wonderful tone and an adventurous spirit, he has consistently appeared alongside the giants of modern jazz. By age eighteen Eddie was being mentored by Miles Davis, who encouraged the young Henderson to find his own voice. It wasn’t long before he was touring and recording on a regular basis. When Herbie Hancock was putting together his famous groundbreaking Mwandishi band, Henderson was his only choice for the trumpet chair. Since then Eddie has recorded many highly successful albums under his own name and also as guest artist for others.

This new recording 'Time & Spaces' continues the journey of exploration Eddie Henderson has been pursuing all his creative life. Along with his stellar band-mates – all world-class artists in their own right – Eddie digs deep into the vault of timeless compositions by the likes of Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinal, mixes them with some exhilarating new compositions, and delivers a spellbinding performance that is equal parts FIRE, and SUBLIME BEAUTY.

PERSONNEL:

  • Eddie Henderson - Trumpet
  • Dave Kikoski - Piano & Keyboards
  • Ed Howard - Bass
  • Victor Lewis - Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Water Babies 01-eddie-henderson-time-and-spaces-water-babies.mp3
  2. Spaces 02-eddie-henderson-time-and-spaces-spaces.mp3
  3. Masqualero
  4. Tender You
  5. Entropy
  6. Summer Knows 06-eddie-henderson-time-and-spaces-summer-knows.mp3
  7. Angola
  8. Directions
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Henry Hey Trio "Watershed" [SJL1024]

The Henry Hey Trio was formed in 2002. Live dates quickly developed their music into a personal sound – recognisable as an adventurous, colourful and different voice on the scene. Henry Hey has established himself as a first-choice player for many leading artists and has worked alongside top jazz performers throughout the world, including; Victor Bailey, Shunzo Ono, Bill Evans, Joe Locke, Kenny Wheeler, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Michael Brecker and Kenny Garrett to name a few. Jochen Rueckert, (Mark Turner, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Marc Copeland Trio, John Abercrombie, Pat Metheny) was born in 1975 near Cologne, Germany and started playing drums at the age of 6. John Hebert, (Tim Berne, Greg Osby, Uri Caine, Andrew Hill) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1972 and began playing the bass in high school. Between them they have a vast experience to draw from and 'WATERSHED' promises to be the first of many intriguing and rewarding recordings. CATCH THEM NOW.

PERSONNEL:

  • Henry Hey: Piano
  • John Hebert: Bass
  • Jochen Rueckert: Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Motion View
  2. Sandscape
  3. Get Your Goat On 03-henry-hey-watershed-get-your-goat-on.mp3
  4. Glenmore Story 04-henry-hey-watershed-glenmore-story.mp3
  5. Nem un Talvez
  6. Cobalt
  7. Knurl
  8. Laurito 08-henry-hey-watershed-laurito.mp3
  9. Not in so Many Words
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Craig Handy "Reflections in Change" [SJL1005]

"Reflections In Change", Handy's third album under his own name, is his most ambitious, most diverse, and most fully realized recorded work to date. It documents his growth as improviser, composer and "auteur". It establishes that he now functions on a level of creativity approached by only a few other active reed players. And for me, there is an even more important point to be made about Reflections In Change. It is finally the record which comes close to communicating the electric experience of Craig Handy in person." - Thomas Conrad - Jazz Times, Down Beat Magazine

Two special arrangements by Sy Johnson (for an ensemble that includes many of New York's finest musicians including Stephen Scott, Robin Eubanks and Steve Slagle), blend seamlessly with tracks featuring the main quartet of Craig, Geri Allen, Ali Jackson and Rodney Whitaker. Listen also to the major contributions from Dave Stryker and Tara Cruse as they help create wonderful atmospheric textures on two of Handy's own compositions.

PERSONNEL:

  • Craig Handy: Saxophones/bass clarinet
  • Geri Allen: Piano
  • Rodney Whitaker: Bass
  • Ali Jackson: Drums

Special Guests:

  • Sy Johnson (arranger /conductor tracks 4 & 9)
  • Robin Eubanks
  • Steve Slagle
  • Dave Stryker
  • Tara Cruse
  • Stephen Scott and others.

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Turnerland 01-craig-handy-reflections-in-change-turnerland.mp3
  2. Snowqualmie 02-craig-handy-reflections-in-change-snowqualmie.mp3
  3. Waiting For Your Call
  4. Eclipse
  5. For Kenny
  6. Unravel The Mystery
  7. Homage
  8. Adona's Song: Prelude
  9. Adona's Song 09-craig-handy-reflections-in-change-adonas-song.mp3
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Craig Handy "Flow" [SJL1010]

This is a superb follow-up to Craig’s outstanding Sirocco debut "Reflections In Change" For more information on Craig visit our page for that recording (SJL1005).

Ali Jackson actually began studying the piano at the age of five, which laid the foundation for his melodic approach to the drums. At age 10 he began informal study with drummer Max Roach. His style is a powerful blend of technical mastery and incredible spirit. Ali has performed and recorded extensively and has enjoyed extended tenures with both Wynton Marsalis and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Other world-class artists he has appeared with include Aretha Franklin, Marcus Roberts, Gerald Albright, Jacky Terrasson, Buster Williams, Cyrus Chestnut, and Nicholas Payton.

Xavier Davis, born in 1971, is a native of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His mother began teaching him piano when he was four years old. Davis also began private study on the trombone when he was eight years old. The Gilmore Foundation awarded Xavier an Emerging Artist grant to study in New York City during the summer of 1993, and he was selected College Solo Winner by Down Beat Magazine for 2 years in a row. While he was still in college the legendary jazz vocalist Betty Carter hired him to be her pianist, and he plays on her 1996 Verve release "I'm Yours, You're Mine." Since March 1994, Davis has worked with many leading artists including Carl Allen. Peter Erskine, Billy Hart, Dave Liebman, Vincent Herring, Marcus Printup, Nicholas Payton and Tom Harrell.

For more information on Rodney Whitaker visit our page for Rodney’s recording "Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow" (SJL 1007).

PERSONNEL:

  • Craig Handy: tenor & soprano
  • Xavier Davis: piano
  • Rodney Whitaker: bass
  • Ali Jackson: drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. It's Up To You 01-craig-handy-flow-its-up-to-you.mp3
  2. Flow-Dou
  3. Changes One 03-craig-handy-flow-changes-one.mp3
  4. Chan's Song
  5. Just One Of Those Things
  6. To Dad With Love 06-craig-handy-to-dad-with-love.mp3
  7. Yin-Yang
  8. Tori
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Joe Locke "Beauty Burning" [SJL1008]

"Locke is an adventurous, sophisticated musical thinker, in whose hands the instrument is not only uniquely expressive, it is capable of all the speed and fluency of a horn or piano" - Thomas Conrad - Four and a half stars – Down Beat Magazine

Joe Locke has always been one of the busiest performers in jazz, be it touring and recording his own ensembles, or, working alongside some of the biggest names in music. Through his enormous talent he is able to bring a distinctive array of colours and ideas to every playing situation - an ability that has seen him perform in many musical formats. Rising to challenges that would daunt a lesser artist, he has recorded and toured alongside such diverse talents as Kenny Barron, Ron Carter, Elvis Costello, Grover Washington Jr. and Dianne Reeves to name but a few. In contrast he has been soloist with both the Mingus Big Band and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. At Perugia in Italy recently Joe and Cecil Taylor, the grand master of the avante-garde, went head-to-head for three consecutive nights of spellbinding improvisation. He is also a much admired composer and arranger.

As the respected "Times" newspaper in England put it "Locke is destined to become the pre-eminent vibes player of our time". For many, that’s exactly what he is.

PERSONNEL:

  • Joe Locke: vibraphone
  • Frank Kimbrough: piano
  • Paul Bollenback: guitars
  • Ray Drummond: bass
  • Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Litha 01-joe-locke-beauty-burning-litha.mp3
  2. Twilight 02-joe-locke-beauty-burning-twilight.mp3
  3. Pools Of Amber
  4. Somewhere Waiting
  5. Quiet As It's Kept 05-joe-locke-beauty-burning-quiet-as-its-kept.mp3
  6. Where Is Love
  7. I - 95
  8. Rasputainian Dance
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Joe Locke "Storytelling" [SJL1012]

Just as their predecessors did in the 1940's and 50's, today's jazz musicians are taking inspiration from the music that they grew-up with - as well as what has gone before. For many that means everything from pop, rock, r&b, soul, funk and of course the Great American Songbook.

Joe Locke has gathered some of the jazziest and most creative talent, and they are doing something they have not done before...make the kind of recording that reflects the wider range of music that influences them as artists. Neil Young’s "Don't Let It Bring You Down" and Bob Dylan's "Who Killed Davy Moore" rub shoulders with the wonderful Bill Withers tune "Hello Like Before". And then there is that performance of "Nature Boy", the one that has caused so many radio presenters around the world to declare this "one of the best modern version of this classic song". Listen as the magnificent, soulful voice of Mark Ledford becomes an integral instrument, blending perfectly with the others. A voice as expressive as any piano, saxophone, guitar or double bass.

PERSONNEL:

  • Joe Locke: vibes
  • Mark Ledford: vocals
  • Henry Hey: piano
  • Paul Bollenback: guitars
  • Tim Garland: saxes, bass clarinet & flute
  • Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums
  • Eric Revis: bass

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. The Thrill Is Gone 01-joe-locke-storytelling-the-thrill-is-gone.mp3
  2. Nature Boy 02-joe-locke-storytelling-nature-boy.mp3
  3. Hello Like Before
  4. Who Killed Davey Moore ?
  5. Midnight Star
  6. A Tale of Coincidence
  7. Blame It On My Youth 07-joe-locke-storytelling-blame-it-on-my-youth.mp3
  8. I'll Be There
  9. Don't Let It Bring You Down
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Joe Locke "State of Soul" [SJL1019]

"State of Soul" brings the whole vibe of these great talents together on one thrilling CD.

In the course of a very successful career, Joe Locke has garnered numerous accolades for his playing, arranging and writing talents. His recordings attract top reviews, and he consistently appears on both critics and reader polls in the major publications around the world. Over many years he has been a "first-call" for the leading names in the business. (Kenny Barron, Grover Washington Jr., Dianne Reeves, Cecil Taylor, Ron Carter, Mingus Big Band to name a few).

Anyone who has witnessed the Joe Locke Storytelling Band performing live, or has listened to their debut recording "Storytelling" (Sirocco Jazz SJL1012) will know just how exciting and beautifully crafted their music is. Inspired by the sounds these amazing artists grew-up with, Jazz, Soul and R&B, “State of Soul” brings all of these facets into play as the group leans heavily into some of the juiciest and jazziest tracks you are likely to hear in a long, long time. From the opening "It's Too Late", the wonderful Carol King song, through to the final track, Stevie Winwood’s blazing blues "Stranger to Himself" there is a non stop flow of brilliant ideas.

"State of Soul" is a collection of living, breathing musical statements delivered straight from the heart.

PERSONNEL:

  • Joe Locke: Vibes/marimba/piano
  • Mark Ledford: Vocals
  • Paul Bollenback: Guitars
  • Henry Hey: Piano/keyboards/B3
  • Tim Garland: Saxes/bass clarinet
  • Mike Pope: Bass
  • Billy Kilson: Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. It's Too Late 01-joe-locke-state-of-soul-its-too-late.mp3
  2. Come Down In Time
  3. Land of The Living 03-joe-locke-state-of-soul-land-of-the-living.mp3
  4. Dimming of The Day
  5. Hello to The Wind
  6. Sometimes It Rains
  7. New Pompei
  8. For All We Know
  9. Stranger To Himself 09-joe-locke-state-of-soul-stranger-to-himself.mp3
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Joe Locke "4 Walls of Freedom" [SJL1021]

BY ANY INTERPRETATION "4 WALLS OF FREEDOM" IS EXCEPTIONAL. The '4 Walls Of Freedom' suite was inspired by the writings of Thomas Merton, whose creativity was liberated when he confined himself to self-imposed exile within a monastery cell which he called 'the four walls of my new freedom'.

Immediately before this New York studio recording, the quartet premiered the music at London’s famous Ronnie Scott’s club. The reaction was overwhelming.

"Four Walls of Freedom promised a mouth-watering line-up. Joe Locke, Bob Berg, James Genus and Gary Novak, an all-American super-group. But does it fly? OH YES! This is what we want - utter virtuosity. So very, very brilliant." - Jazzwise

The following week everybody was 'up' for the task of capturing the intense magic and beauty they had created on stage. The studio was quickly buzzing as the music started to unfold. Capture the magic they did. An amazing set of recordings that form one of the most critically acclaimed albums of the year.

"Gary Novak’s scalding drumming sustains a restless dynamism; Genus mingles a luxurious tone with fresh, agile and provocative bass phrasing; Locke has both a traditional vibes-player’s rich glow and a guitarists crisp attack; and Berg combines a guttural Coltanesque tenor thunder with something close to Wayne Shorter’s lateral delicacy." - 4 Stars, John Fordham – The Guardian

"For unremitting brilliance it would be difficult to match this quartet. Everyone is at the top of his game here." - CD of the Week, Dave Gelly – Observer

"Locke launches into the music with the attention-grabbing sound of MIDI vibes on the first movement. It is an exciting start to a wonderful piece that is both intelligently structured and developed, full of memorable melodies and clever harmonies on vibes. His vibes work in perfect co-operation with Berg’s richly inventive, powerhouse tenor playing. The saxophonist has never sounded better on record. RECOMMENDED" - Jazzwise

"Opening with Locke’s midi-vibes, Berg on tenor follows and takes-up the story with a full-throttle vamp before launching into an extended improvisation where melody and phrasing are paramount. Bassist James Genus and drummer Gary Novak are solid, with Novak skittering around the kit with taste and precision." - 4½ STARS – own Beat

The four principle players - JOE LOCKE (VIBES), BOB BERG (TENOR SAX), JAMES GENUS (BASS) and GARY NOVAK (DRUMS), are joined by the wonderfully gifted GERARD PRESENCER (Flugelhorn)* on three tracks.

MOST JAZZ FANS ARE AWARE THAT BOB BERG DIED TRAGICALLY IN A MOTORING ACCIDENT ON 5 DECEMBER 2002. THIS RECORDING, HIS LAST MAJOR PROJECT, IS DEDICATED TO HIS MEMORY. HE WAS A SUPERB MUSICIAN AND A GREAT MAN. HE WILL BE MISSED, BUT WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.

PERSONNEL:

  • Joe Locke Vibes & Marimba
  • Bob Berg: Tennor Sax
  • James Genus: Bass
  • Gary Novak: Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Surfacing
  2. Prayer 02-joe-locke-4-walls-of-freedom-4-prayer.mp3
  3. Searching
  4. Ballet of the Storni
  5. Helping Hands 05-joe-locke-4-walls-of-freedom-suite-helping-hands.mp3
  6. Look To This Day
  7. Crescent Street
  8. Now I Lay Me Down
  9. Now In Darkness I Dream
  10. Waking Now, I Wonder 10-joe-locke-4-walls-of-freedom-suite-di-morfeo.mp3
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Joe Locke & 4 Walls of Freedom "Dear Life" [SJL1025]

"For unremitting brilliance it would be difficult to match this quartet".

The verdict is in. Joe Locke & 4 Walls of Freedom are guilty of providing fans and critics with some of the most exciting improvised music around. With tenor sax maestro Tommy Smith and bassist extraordinaire Ed Howard invited to join the band, one thing was certain - there would be no let-up in the incredible approach this group has to making interesting and dynamic music - something this ensemble has become famous for.

With the sad passing of Bob Berg, it was important that a player with a strong personal identity should occupy the tenor saxophone chair. Enter Tommy Smith, a remarkable musician in his own right who has collaborated with John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Joe Lovano and many others. Like two great artists (Rembrandt & Renoir?) Smith and Berg paint with different brushes, but their artistry is always of the highest order. Thus, on this wonderful studio recording, new ideas and soundscapes are developed, and new vistas are explored - while the same intensity and beauty remain.

The decision to keep this unique band concept as a working unit has been fully justified with the release of this nine-track musical tour-de force. "Dear Life" is without doubt a more than worthy addition to the burgeoning catalogue of fine albums from vibes master Joe Locke, and one that reinforces his position amongst the very top artists of the day.

PERSONNEL:

  • Joe Locke: Vibes, Midi Vibes and Marimba
  • Tommy Smith: Tenor Saxophone
  • Gary Novak: Drums
  • Ed Howard: Acoustic Bass

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Wind in Your Willow 01-joe-locke-dear-life-wind-in-your-willow.mp3
  2. Dear Life
  3. Cut and Paste
  4. Eva
  5. Ennui
  6. For B.B.
  7. Manhattan Rain
  8. Malonius 08-joe-locke-dear-life-malonius.mp3
  9. Verrazano Moon 09-joe-locke-dear-life-verrazano-moon.mp3
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New York Connexion "Along Came Jones" [SJL1003]

Despite the untimely and much lamented passing of Thad in 1986, the combined catalogue of achievements and awards, plus the consistent brilliance that has been generated by the Jones' over such a long period of time, truly makes for one of the most remarkable stories in jazz.

NEW YORK CONNEXION. A supercharged meeting of some of the jazz world’s finest talent combined to bring you "ALONG CAME JONES" - a very special album - dedicated to three unique artists; Elvin, Hank & Thad Jones.

PERSONNEL:

  • Geri Allen: piano
  • Robin Eubanks: trombone
  • Craig Handy: saxes
  • Gene Jackson: drums
  • Joe Locke: vibes
  • Lonnie Plaxico: bass
  • Wallace Roney: trumpet

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Three Card Molly
  2. The Summary 02-new-york-connexion-along-came-jones-the-summary.mp3
  3. Intimidation 03-new-york-connexion-along-came-jones-intimidation.mp3
  4. Allen's Alley
  5. Shadowland
  6. A Child Is Born 06-new-york-connexion-along-came-jones-a-child-is-born.mp3
  7. Three In One
  8. Wise One
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New York Connexion "Crossing The Bridge" [SJL1013]

Eight tracks bristling with energy, each one performed by some of the best musicians you will ever hear. Six original titles and two classic jazz vehicles given a fresh and interesting work-out make for a highly rewarding CD. Produced by Robin Eubanks.

These gifted artists are not only leaders in their own right but are constantly being sought-out to perform with the cream of modern music. What makes the New York Connexion recordings that little bit special is the deep understanding that exists between these extraordinary players. They have performed with each other many times, either on tour or in the studios - and often both. Their artistry, commitment and high regard for the music is evident from the very first track.

"Crossing the Bridge" is rich in both individual and group inventiveness, a feature of what promises to be a long running series of specially produced albums from this Sirocco collective.

PERSONNEL:

  • Robin Eubanks: trombone
  • Antonio Hart: alto/soprano sax
  • Michael Cain: piano
  • Joe Locke: vibes
  • Craig Handy: tenor sax
  • Lonnie Plaxico: bass
  • Billy Kilson: drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Nine Weeks 01-new-york-connexion-crossing-the-bridge-nine-weeks.mp3
  2. Little Sunflower
  3. Broken Toy
  4. Greeting Ra
  5. Bossa Ballad 05-new-york-connexion-crossing-the-bridge-bossa-ballad.mp3
  6. NYC
  7. Morning
  8. This Is War 08-new-york-connexion-crossing-the-bridge-this-is-war.mp3
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Carlos McKinney "Up - Front" [SJL1002]

**** 4 STARS - Down Beat

As Buster Williams says in his sleeve notes "he shows a sensitivity far beyond his years; has amazing compositional capabilities; and he makes you feel good". Having appeared as a sideman on several best selling albums, Carlos new exactly what he wanted to say when the time arrived to make his recording debut as a leader. The choice of musicians for the sessions was inspirational. The combined energy and creative instincts of Buster Williams, Antoine Roney and Ralph Penland make this a most memorable recording.

PERSONNEL:

  • Carlos McKinney: Piano and keyboards
  • Antoine Roney: Tenor and soprano sax, bass clarinet
  • Buster Williams: Bass
  • Ralph Penland: Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. You And The Night And The Music
  2. Prince of Jade
  3. If I Should Lose You 03-carlos-mckinney-up-front-if-i-should-lose-you.mp3
  4. All Because of You 04-carlos-mckinney-up-front-all-because-of-you.mp3
  5. Mademoiselle Gregoire
  6. Black Beauty
  7. Obelisk
  8. The Seer
  9. Door of No Return 09-carlos-mckinney-up-front-door-of-no-return.mp3
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Ralph Peterson "Back to Stay" [SJL1006]

"...this edition of the Fo'tet is the best ever." - Four and a Half Stars – Down Beat Magazine

"Peterson is always a joy to hear and he sounds better than ever. Tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker guests on "Soul Eyes" and contributes a passionate solo on the burning title track. Back to Stay is a welcome return to recording for Peterson and one of 1999's best releases." - Greg Turner - All Music Guide

Ralph Peterson’s story is a true modern jazz story. Peterson was already making his mark while still a student at Rutgers University. Art Blakey installed him in his much-publicised two-drummer big band. He was soon active with other members of the jazz elite, touring and recording with the likes of Walter Davis Jr. John Faddis, Count Basie and Stanley Turrentine. Soon his talents were also being deployed alongside the "new" young lions. Diane Reeves, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis and his very successful period with David Murray. Blue Note Records rushed to sign him as co-leader of their new "supergroup" OTB. The first (of four) OTB recording won Japan’s prestigious Swing Journal Gold Disc award in 1988. Then Peterson's world started to spin out of control. A series of traumas, many self-inflicted, started to impact both his music and his personal life. Just in time Ralph realised that he really did want to go on, that he was squandering a gift he had been blessed with. In 1997/98 Betty Carter, a shrewd judge of character and, at the time, enjoying worldwide star status, took Ralph on the road. One tour became two. The next friend to step forward was Michael Brecker. He too was aware of the magic Ralph could bring to a band and signed him for several extended tours during 1998/99.

Now we have this truly outstanding recording......Peterson is back, and he is Back to Stay.

PERSONNEL:

  • Ralph Peterson: Drums & Percussion
  • Ralph Bowen: Soprano Saxophone
  • Bryan Carrott: Vibes
  • Beldon Bullock: Bass

Special Guest:

  • Michael Brecker: Tenor Saxophone

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Back To Stay 01-ralph-peterson-back-to-stay-back-to-stay.mp3
  2. From Within
  3. Apple's Eye
  4. Did You Notice
  5. Miles' Mode
  6. Surrender 06-ralph-peterson-back-to-stay-surrender.mp3
  7. Soul Eyes 07-ralph-peterson-back-to-stay-soul-eyes.mp3
  8. Is That So
  9. Inner Evolution
  10. Hidden Treasures
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Peterson / Kikoski / Cannon "Triangular 2" [SJL1009]

"TRIANGULAR 2" Has a particularly important relevance for ace drummer Ralph Peterson. It was back in 1989 that he released his only other trio recording (to instant critical acclaim). That album was "Triangular" and was made for the Blue Note label.

Now, more than ten years on, another top-drawer trio has come together to prove that there is so much inventiveness and creativity to be had when three kindred spirits come together to perform in such wonderful unison.

Born in Milltown, New Jersey, David Kikoski's first music lessons came from his father, a part-time musician, who encouraged his son to appreciate many different areas of music from Basie and Ellington, to the classics. As a result, over the years his inquisitive ears have not only been tuned into the best improvisers of the day but have also taken in bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and other modern music forms. His amazing talent on the piano have seen him establish a long list of credits working with the likes of Roy Haynes, Joe Henderson, Randy Brecker, David Sanchez and many others.

Born in Racine, Wisconsin, Gerald Cannon was studying physical education at the University of Wisconsin when he met jazz great Milt Hinton. That meeting changed his life. He transferred to the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee to study jazz bass, classical bass and piano. When he moved to New York it wasn’t long before his playing (in the house band at the famous Blue Note club) started to attract the attention of the leading jazz cognoscenti. Prestigious gigs with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and Dexter Gordon have since been followed by tenures with the Roy Hargrove Quintet and with the Elvin Jones Jazz Machine.

For more information on Ralph Peterson see (link to SJL1006)

PERSONNEL:

  • Ralph Peterson: drums
  • David Kikoski: piano
  • Gerald Cannon: bass

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Jean's Dream
  2. Peri 02-ralph-peterson-triangular-2-peri.mp3
  3. Night & Day 03-ralph-peterson-triangular-2-night-and-day.mp3
  4. Games
  5. Blue for Jones
  6. I Remember Bu 06-ralph-peterson-triangular-2-i-remember-bu.mp3
  7. Red's Brazilian Fantasy
  8. If I Were a Bell
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Lonnie Plaxico "Rhythm & Soul" [SJL1023]

Lonnie Plaxico has remained at the very top of his profession through three decades of performing. His first extended tenure was with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers: Between1983 and 1986, Lonnie performed on twelve of Blakey's albums, including the Grammy Award-winning, 'New York Scene'. In 1986 he joined Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition, continuing with that group until 1993. Besides leading his own band Plaxico is the musical director and featured bassist for Cassandra Wilson, and their critically acclaimed and award-winning collaboration has now spanned fifteen years plus.

For Rhythm & Soul Plaxico digs deep into his musical experiences and adds extra colours with his arranging and composing skills. His many influences - from be-bop to the blues, funk to fusion, and gospel to the Great American Song Book, are all given special treatment on this highly personal journey.

PERSONNEL:

  • George Colligan: Piano, Organ
  • Wayne Escoffery: Tenor Sax
  • Jeffrey Haynes: Percussion
  • Billy Kilson: Drums
  • Jeremy Pelt: Trumpet
  • Lonnie Plaxico: Double Bass, Electric Bass
  • Alex Sipiagin: Trumpet
  • Marcus Strickland: Tenor & Soprano Sax

Featuring:

  • Aneilia Lomax: Vocal (track 11)
  • Arene Lomax: Piano (track 11)

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Rhythm & Soul
  2. Kyeko
  3. The Time
  4. Slow Dance 04-lonnie-plaxico-rhythm-and-soul-slow-dance.mp3
  5. Always Crazy
  6. Don't Explain 06-lonnie-plaxico-rhythm-and-soul-dont-explain.mp3
  7. Soul Eye's
  8. Dark Side
  9. I'll Wait And Pray 09-lonnie-plaxico-rhythm-and-soul-ill-wait-and-pray.mp3
  10. Weather Report
  11. 'Tis So Sweet
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Bob Sheppard "In the Now" [SJL1018]

"In The Now" is overdue. Bob Sheppard is an accomplished and distinctive multi-reed player, a world-class sideman (Akiyoshi-Tabackin, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Steely Dan) and is a suave, sophisticated player, with a seductive suppleness and sheen to his sound on both tenor and soprano saxophones". - Down Beat

After receiving a Master's Degree from The Eastman School of Music, Bob Sheppard quickly became established as one of the most highly respected and well-known improvising artists on the music scene today.

Currently a member of The Peter Erskine Trio, he has also toured with Chick Corea's "Origin" for two years and is featured on Chick Corea's Grammy nominated CD, Change. Over the past 20 years he has performed and maintained many of his associations and on-going collaborations with the following artists: Freddie Hubbard, Mike Stern, Randy Brecker, Horace Silver, Lyle Mays, Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band, and Billy Childs.

His versatile musicianship has extended to a wide variety of recordings with artists such as Kurt Elling, Steely Dan, Rickie Lee Jones, Manhattan Transfer, Diane Reeves and, Elvis Costello. Acknowledged for his inspiring musical spontaneity, his dramatic playing style is supported by an expressive warm tone that fluctuates through tonal ranges of dark intensity to lyrical sensitivity. These attributes, combined with his keen musical intuition, make him a desirable and creative collaborator who accents performances with his own personal twist. Significant touring with both Joni Mitchell and Natalie Cole have continued to keep Bob Sheppard an MVP within the highest echelons of music making.

PERSONNEL:

  • Bob Sheppard – Tenor & Soprano Sax
  • Larry Koonse – Guitar
  • Jeff D’Angelo – Bass
  • Mark Ferber – Drums
  • David Hocker – Drums*

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Bait & Switch
  2. Alone 02-bob-sheppard-in-the-now-alone.mp3
  3. The Summer Knows
  4. 'Round Midnight
  5. Charcoal Blues
  6. Arrythmia 06-bob-sheppard-in-the-now-arrythmia.mp3
  7. Shorter Story
  8. Everything I Love
  9. Easy Living 09-bob-sheppard-in-the-now-easy-living.mp3
  10. Wouldn't You
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Will Vinson "It's For You" [SJL1028]

Until now, the name of alto saxophonist Will Vinson may have been one that many jazz fans had yet to discover. This is not the case in New York City where his growing reputation is starting to make waves on the modern scene. While growing up in London, Will performed co-led gigs with, among others, Stan Sulzman and Tim Garland and at the same time performed classical concerti across the UK and Europe. He first moved to New York City in 1999, originally to study with Bob Mintzer and the late, legendary composer/arranger, Manny Albam, and has since made his home there. Since his arrival in New York, Vinson has appeared and/or recorded with Mike Stern, Ingrid Jensen, John Benitez, Bobby Sanabria, Geoff Keezer, Vincent Herring and many others. After a recent UK appearance, Jack Massarik, writing in London’s top daily newspaper, described Will as "the thinking man's alto saxophonist... Britain's Greg Osby", and John Fordham of the Guardian described a "superb solo of rugged leathery sounds turning into mellifluous high notes, his secure control and storming energy occasionally reminiscent of Bobby Watson."

This new recording, 'It’s For You', is Vinson’s debut CD as a leader and, as may be evidenced by the tight-knit performance, features many of his regular New York musical sparring partners. Will's saxophone playing is executed with incredible power and dramatic sensitivity, and is characterised by his imposing sound and natural technique; an exciting new talent to enjoy.


PERSONNEL

Will Vinson – Alto & Soprano sax
Aaron Parks – Piano/Fender Rhodes
Sandra Hempel – Guitar
Thomas Morgan – Bass
Mark Ferber – Drums

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Bill - Elizibub 01-will-vinson-its-for-you-bill-elizibub.mp3
  2. Theodor's Vice
  3. New Nice Piece
  4. Dawning
  5. Banal Street
  6. Down Homeless 06-will-vinson-its-for-you-down-homeless.mp3
  7. Any Day Now
  8. It's For You 08-will-vinson-its-for-you-its-for-you.mp3
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Rodney Whitaker "Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow" [SJL1007]

"stunning, ...will be welcomed by both critics and the record buying public." - Paul de Barros – Down Beat Magazine / Seattle Times

"Whitaker has developed into an intelligent, extremely focused musician. This record should be bought, and bought now" - Derek Day – Jazz Review Magazine

Bassist Rodney Whitaker is among the leading lights of a new generation of contemporary jazz musicians. At the age of eight he began playing the violin at his hometown of Detroit, switching to the bass five years later. His reputation as a powerful yet melodic player led to him replacing Robert Hurst in the Terence Blanchard-Donald Harrison Quintet. This was followed by a three-year stint with Roy Hargrove, and a period with Kenny Garrett. After recording with the likes of Blanchard, Hargrove, Antonio Hart, Garrett, Junko Onishi and Mark Whitfield, Whitaker issued his solo debut Children of the Light in 1996. Wynton Marsalis recruited Whitaker into the fold at the Lincoln Center in 1996 where he rapidly established himself as a key member of the Jazz Orchestra and the smaller ensembles such as the highly respected Wynton Marsalis Septet.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow is Rodney’s fourth release as a leader and he has been featured on more than 90 other recordings.

PERSONNEL:

  • Rodney Whitaker: Bass
  • Victor Goines: Saxes and Bass Clarinet
  • Farid Barron: Piano
  • Herlin Riley: Drums
  • Wynton Marsalis: Trumpet
  • Wess Anderson: Saxes
  • Andrew Speight: Saxes
  • Dianne Reeves: Vocals (Mood Indigo)
  • Wycliffe Gordon: Trombone

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Happier Times
  2. Visions Of The Past
  3. Taylor Made 03-rodney-whitaker-yesterday-today-and-tomorow-taylor-made.mp3
  4. Mood Indigo
  5. Ladies Vanity 05-rodney-whitaker-yesterday-today-and-tomorow-ladies-vanity.mp3
  6. Woman Child
  7. You And Me
  8. Darrianne Niles
  9. Hurricane Andrew 09-rodney-whitaker-yesterday-today-and-tomorrow-hurricane-andrew.mp3
  10. Unconditional Love
  11. Happier Times - Reprise
  12. Tetragon
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Rodney Whitaker Quartet "Winter Moon" [SJL1026]

There is an old saying that "you can judge a man by the company he keeps", and for sure, Rodney Whitaker keeps very good company. A first call bassist for many years, Whitaker was, until the start of 2003, a member of the internationally famous Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra - serving the band for over six years. During that time he also played and recorded for the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Diane Reeves and Kenny Garrett amongst many others.

Having left Jazz @ LCO to pursue his own muse, Rodney Whitaker infuses all the elements of his considerable gifts on "Winter Moon", his new studio recording - a beautiful album that is also a fine testament to the superb taste that has made him one of the most respected musicians on the current scene.

This quartet date features three other world-class artists - Eric Reed (piano), Ron Blake (saxophones) and Carl Allen (drums), and is a wonderful example of the remarkable musical understanding these fine musicians share.

This new CD will be Rodney’s fifth as a leader and is a follow-up to his earlier recording on Sirocco, the much admired "Yesterday Today & Tomorrow". (SJL 1007) which featured, amongst others, Wynton Marsalis, Wes Anderson, Wycliff Gordon and Dianne Reeves.

Choice tunes, great playing and, it has to be said, splendid company all-round. "Winter Moon" will grace any record collection.

PERSONNEL:

  • Rodney Whitaker: Bass
  • Eric Reed: Piano
  • Carl Allen: Drums
  • Ron Blake: Saxes

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. For Garrison
  2. Fall 02-rodney-whitaker-winter-moon-fall.mp3
  3. Sacrifice 03-rodney-whitaker-winter-moon-sacrifice.mp3
  4. Coming Ship
  5. Spring Birth
  6. Avocado
  7. John Lewis 07-rodney-whitaker-winter-moon-john-lewis.mp3
  8. Winter Moon
  9. Beauty and the Beast
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Buster Williams Trio "Houdini" [SJL1014]

The name, or word, HOUDINI has become synonymous with a kind of magic and skill that defies ordinary belief. What kind of person, out of their own choice, would deliberately place him or herself into a situation where every working moment demanded the highest levels of ability, razor-sharp reflexes and total commitment in order to avoid certain catastrophe?

Great jazz players, like the three superb musicians featured here, are just such people. These, after all, are the qualities that make players great. Refusing to settle for the ordinary. Constantly raising the stakes. Pushing the conventional way of doing things further out. Accepting the risks involved as being vital to the performance.

Buster Williams (Bass), Geri Allen (Piano) and Lenny White (Drums) have contributed so much to the development of music over the years, and still they continually strive to entertain, thrill, excite and move us with their daring. The music they make on "HOUDINI" is no illusion. It’s the real thing.

Artists Notes:

Charles Anthony "Buster" Williams is one of the living legends of Jazz. He has performed with every major star that has shaped this music over the last five decades. From his early associations with Sarah Vaughan and Nancy Wilson he has gone on to play/record with each new generation. Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Hank Jones, Art Blakey; Joe Henderson , Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Branford Marsalis... the list is endless.
Buster appeared at the Grammy Awards with Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams and Bobby McFerrin, and once had the unique honour of playing five of his own compositions live on American national television accompanied by Branford Marsalis and the "Tonight" Band.

Buster Williams continues to be one of the hardest working bass players around, maintaining his long-standing links with Herbie Hancock, the band "Sphere" and leading his own ensembles.

PERSONNEL:

  • Buster Williams: Bass
  • Gerry Allen: Piano
  • Lennie White: Drummer

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Houdini - Part 1
  2. The Sourcerer
  3. Bellodgia Diva
  4. If I Should Lose You 04-buster-williams-houdini-if-i-should-lose-you.mp3
  5. Ouija Board
  6. Little Girl Blue
  7. Fall 07-buster-williams-houdini-fall.mp3
  8. Strivers' Jewels 08-buster-williams-houdini-strivers-jewels.mp3
  9. Houdini - Part 2
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Various Artists "Both Sides of Midnight" [SJL1011]

Great Grooves and Beautiful Ballads is the sub-title of the CD, performed by some of the very best players in jazz.

Majestic standards such as "You Are Too Beautiful" seamlessly blend with some brilliant original grooves.

So, whatever the mood, these ten tracks provide the perfect answer for creating the right vibe... "Both Sides of Midnight"

FEATURES (alphabetically):

Geri Allen, Kenny Drew Jr, Robin Eubanks, Craig Handy, David Kikoski, Joe Locke, Carlos McKinney, Ralph Peterson, Lonnie Plaxico, Herlin Riley, Wallace Roney, Jeff "Tain" Watts, Rodney Whitaker, Buster Williams, Steve Wilson and many more.

PERSONNEL:

  • Geri Allen
  • Kenny Drew Jr
  • Robin Eubanks
  • Craig Handy
  • David Kikoski
  • Joe Locke
  • Carlos McKinney
  • Ralph Peterson
  • Lonnie Plaxico
  • Herlin Riley
  • Wallace Rooney
  • Jeff "Tain" Watts
  • Rodney Whitaker
  • Buster Williams
  • Steve Wilson
  • Many More...

Tracks

(Click play to sample selected tracks)

  1. Twilight 02-joe-locke-beauty-burning-twilight.mp3
  2. Snowqualmie 02-craig-handy-reflections-in-change-snowqualmie.mp3
  3. Peri 02-ralph-peterson-triangular-2-peri.mp3
  4. Taylor Made 03-rodney-whitaker-yesterday-today-and-tomorow-taylor-made.mp3
  5. Shadowland
  6. Soldier In The Rain 03-kenny-drew-jr-follow-the-spirit-soldier-in-the-rain.mp3
  7. Prince of Jade
  8. You Are Too Beautiful 06-robin-eubanks-wake-up-call-you-are-too-beautiful.mp3
  9. Surrender 06-ralph-peterson-back-to-stay-surrender.mp3
  10. It's Up To You 01-craig-handy-flow-its-up-to-you.mp3