Our CD reviews for this month include:
BILLY CHILDS/REBIRTH/MACK AVENUE RECORDS
This is a thoroughly rewarding album by a modern master of the Jazz piano. Childs and his band have a lot to say on this dynamic new recording with eight tunes.
They hold nothing back in a series of riveting performances. Highlights include the title track, "Dance of Shiva" which is delivered at a relentless pulse, "The Windmills of Your Mind" which showcases the band on a truly unforgettable interpretation, and "Peace" which showcases Childs at the piano in a powerful performance that closes out the session.
Billy Childs, at the piano, leads saxophonist Steve Wilson, Hans Glawischnig on bass; and Eric Harland on drums for this fully satisfying date, which also includes Claudia Acuna and Alicia Olatuja on vocals, Ido Meshulam on trombone and Roggerio Boccato on percussion.
Rebirth displays the effortless command Billy Childs has at the piano. He first came to prominence working with Freddie Hubbard in the early 1980s. Since then the pianist has received four Grammy awards, thirteen Grammy nominations, and has worked with such luminaries as Dianne Reeves, Sting, and Yo-Yo Ma among countless others. Childs is also an accomplished composer and leader of large ensembles. Childs has returned to the jazz arena for this session and the results are very satisfying.
Billy Childs is scheduled to perform in Omaha in 2018 at the Holland Performing Arts Center. For more information you may visit omahaperformingarts.org
CEDAR WALTON/CHARMED CIRCLE: LIVE AT THE KEYSTONE KORNER/HIGHNOTE
A date that is truly in the groove from the celebrated Keystone Korner in the 1970s. Cedar Walton and his all-star group, including Steve Turre on the trombone, ignite several selections that are hard to resist. "Jacob's Ladder" sets the stage for a recording which is a mix of straight-ahead and adventuresome tunes. "For All We Know" & "I Didn't Know What Time It Was" are included along with Cedar Walton originals "March of the Fishman", "Charmed Circle", and a cover of Stevie Wonder's "Another Star".
The band features Cedar Walton at the piano and electric piano with Steve Turre, trombone; Manny Boyd, tenor saxophone; Tony Dumas, bass; and Ralph Penland, drums.
Walton was a significant pianist in jazz history and recorded dozens of fine sessions. The Keystone Korner live date is another one from the artist who also performed on stages all over the world, including the Iowa City Jazz Festival some years ago, where this reviewer relished his piano artistry in person.