The new disc by the septet The Cookers harkens back to the days of the classic hard bop sessions on Blue Note by Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Wayne Shorter and Jackie McLean.
The music soars with fine soloing on the front line with Billy Harper on tenor, Donald Harrison on alto and two trumpeters, David Weiss and Eddie Henderson. The rhythm section of pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart keep things firmly grounded and in the pocket.
Trombonist Robin Eubanks and his band Mental Images present bold reinterpretations of rock anthems from Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone on a new release, which also features five new original tunes.
ORRIN EVANS – LIBERATION BLUES – Smoke Sessions Records SSR-1409
As a listener I appreciate an album that catches my attention through stimulating composition, improvisation and that spark that transpires between musicians during a good session. It is also pleasing when a CD's capacity is utilized to offer over seventy minutes of solid music that takes one unexpected places, both inside and outside the pocket. Pianist Orrin Evans' new release “Liberation Blues”embraces these qualities in stimulating fashion.
EVERETTE DEVAN – For the LOVE of YOU – Henry Records
Tip Top! The likeability index on this new one from organist Everette DeVan is like the heat index on a mid-summer day in the Heartland. But don't worry much about that because DeVan has the burners on his Hammond B-3 turned up to 'way cool' for seventy-one minutes of the sweetest organ combo music to come our way recently.
Joe Magnarelli, who grew up in Syracuse, New York and has resided in New York City for over 25 years.He has played with some of the best in the business including Jimmy Cobb, Lionel Hampton and Brother Jack McDuff. He has led his own bands for twenty years and has released nine recordings of his own as a leader.
Flautist Gerald Beckett has recorded another fine addition to his growing catalogue as a leader. His fifth release, The Messenger, on Summit Records, features his working quintet burning through hard bop pieces by Lee Morgan, "Aniticlimax", and Bud Powell's "Tempus Fugit". He leads the group on quieter works such as the Duke Pearson line" Idle Moments" and Beckett's own "Sunset Place", co-written with Eugene Pilner. There is also a nice Latin tune on the program titled "Lupe's Ride", written by Sharman Duran, the daughter of guitarist Eddie Duran.
Drummer Harvey Mason is back with a recording that celebrates some of the grooviest jazz-funk of the 1970s with some of today's top players. Mason's contributions to the vibrant jazz-funk of the 1970s are immediately recognizable for those familiar with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters.
Legendary jazz drummer Louis Hayes and his band recorded a set of music last year at Smoke Jazz Club in New York City. The set draws the listener in with twelve numbers of sustained brilliance and is the "Return of the Jazz Communicators".
Louis Hayes knows a thing or two about swing. He co-founded the Jazz Communicators with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard in 1967, after offering to present a summer's worth of performances in a club in Manhattan with a band that had not actually been founded at the time of the offer!
One of the most adventuresome and dynamic guitarists in jazz or rock is Nels Cline. Active since 1977 in a wide variety of genres, he is the guitarist for the alternative rock band, Wilco. Cline's command of the guitar is such that Spin magazine in 2012 named him the 43rd greatest guitarist of all time. He is also the leader of the Nels Cline Singers, a band which has explored the frontiers of jazz music on several recordings over the last decade.