by: Hobart Taylor
Josh Berman Trio - A Dance and a Hop - (Delmark)
Chicago cornetist Berman backed by two of Shytown's finest, (check out bassist Roebke's releases) goes outside melody and into moment. His tonal variations smooth to rough, sharp to fuzzy, mechanical to breathy,and most things in between stink of immediacy. I mean that in the nicest way I can. All comparisons are odious, and yet I submit as a touchstone Dave Douglas. All the tunes are short and sound like overheard conversations on the El. Wonder full.
George Lewis - The Solo Trombone Record - (Sackville)
"Toneburst,(Piece for Three Trombones)"(overdubs) this record's first cut, is in my mind why KUCI exists. Something so out there, something so beautiful, and something so absolutely idiosyncratic needs to seep through our tiny little crack in the media wall and reach the one listener who needs to hear this so his or her life can be changed.
Tom Collier - Across The Bridge - (Origin)
Vibraphonist Collier, joined by three exceptional guitarists on various cuts, (Bill Frisell, Larry Coryell, and Dan Dean), treads the line between clean straight ahead jazz with blues tinges and a more progressive sound. Beautifully played and gracefully arranged, Collier's compositions are serious fun. All the tunes are winners, but my faves are "Harmonious Effusion on Olga Street" and "Across the Bridge".
Pete McCann - Range - (Whirlwind)
Guitarist McCann leads a quintet featuring sublime alto work by John O'Gallagher. All the tunes are originals on the edge of smooth jazz but more real, more thoughtful than pop. "Seventh Jar", "Realm" and the gorgeous ballad "To the Mountains" evoke the graceful style of Pat Metheny.
Jason Klobnak Quintet - New Chapter - (Self Released)
Trumpeter Klobnak is straight ahead... a crowd pleaser. The performance style is clean, unencumbered by innovation. This makes for a satisfying hearing experience because you don't have to listen to hard. All the right buttons are pushed. The tunes,"Awe" (a ballad featuring super piano work by Annie Booth) and "The Other Side of Circumstances" have more substance, but the whole record is great for folks who want to just like jazz for the mellow feel.
Ira Hill - Tomorrow - (Self Released)
A great jazz singer in the making. Perhaps because he wants to establish himself in historical context , the CD starts off a little to reverently in it's choice of covers, but by track three Hill shows what he brings uniquely to the table. His re-creation of a tune made popular by Gilberto Gil, "Estate", his up tempo clear read of bebop standards "Cloudburst" and "Billie's Bounce", and especially his sensitive take of the 6/8 small miracle by Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays "Minuano", are impressive.
John Colianni - After Hours - (Patuxent Records)
Colianni was pianist for Les Paul in the latter years of his life, and also collaborates frequently with Larry Coryell. He has a broad virtuoso style linked to the great entertaining pianists, Tatum, Peterson and Garner. This CD of standards and pop tunes lives up to its title. This is like being at a happy drunk bar just past closing, the pre-remorse phase, after hours. Folks call out requests and the pianist is obliging and delightfully interprets chestnuts in a cheery way. Check out his hilarious cover of The Jackson Five's "I Want You Back".