Friday, March 5, 2021

Omnivore Recordings Unveils Hasaan Ibn Ali's Lost Album, Tommy Cecil & Nate Najar Deliver American Melodies While Guai Delivers New Brazilian Jazz

American jazz pianist Hasaan Ibn Ali had a unique style to his playing. He was very intense, hitting the keys with a rapid movements that almost took his performance out of rhythm, but his passion for playing was always present. Hasaan was a member of The Max Roach Trio and also played with Miles Davis, Clifford Brown and J.J. Johnson. Rumor has it that his style gave some influence to John Coltrane's solo work. Hasaan Ibn Ali first appeared on the 1964 album " The Max Roach Trio featuring Hasaan Ibn Ali." Roach then used his influence at Atlantic Records to record sessions with Hasaan as the lead, but before the album could be completed, Hasaan was incarcerated for drug possession and the album was eventually shelved. The master tapes were eventually destroyed in an Atlantic Records warehouse fire, but a copy of those tapes was recently discovered and on March 5th, Omnivore Recordings will unveil "Metaphysics: The Lost Atlantic Album" by Hasaan Ibn Ali.

This new release features ten tracks, seven originals and three shortened versions. The album begins with the energetic romp of "Atlantic Ones," which features the swift pace that Hasaan was known for, along with saxophonist Odean Pope, bassist Art Davis and drummer Kalik Madi. Each member gets their moment to shine on the smooth melody of "El Hasaan," while "Richard May Love Give Powell" showcases a softer side to Hasaan's writing and performing. The energy picks back up with the title track "Metaphysics," as each instrument is working overtime to keep pace. The album finishes with the eleven-minute "True Train," which finds the band playing with passion, working in different time signatures. To find out more about the long, lost Atlantic Album "Metaphysics" from Hasaan Ibn Ali, please visit omnivorerecordings.com.

Bassist Tommy Cecil and guitarist Nate Najar have teamed up for the new release titled "American Melodies." It features thirteen tracks that have the duo recreating some of the most special songs of the American musical landscape. They begin with the Gershwin classic "Of Thee I Sing," which is handled very delicately, as if it was an old relic to behold. They pick the tempo up with the finger-plucking strings of "Minor Mishap" and "Bitty Ditty," as Tommy and Nate get right down to the root of melody of these songs. They add a bit of blues to the album in the form of "Like A Straw In The Wind" and turn Billy Joel's doo-wap classic "The Longest Time" into a graceful, gentle ballad. Tommy Cecil and Nate Najar finish off their new album with a wonderful rendition of the great Duke Ellington's "Black Beauty," along with the closing lullabye "Sure On This Shining Night." To find out more about the album "American Melodies," please visit tommycecil.com.

Finally we arrive at the debut album from Brazilian songstress Guai. Her new release titled "Dama De Paus" features ten tracks sung in her native language of Portuguese and delivered with a passion to prove something to the world. After the instrumental "Overture," Guai gracefully lets the vocals flow along to the music of "Alquimia," before the salsa flair of "Era Uma Vez" brings energy to the album. Without knowing or understanding the meaning of the lyrics, Guai's vocals are amazing and will draw you into the swinging jazz music of songs like "Nega, Nego" and "Rota de Colisao." To find out more about Guai and her latest release "Dama De Paus," please visit guai.com.br.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

New Jazz Music From Schapiro 17, Rebecca Dumaine & The Dave Miller Trio and Ian Charleton Big Band

Jazz composer Jon Schapiro is ready to release is latest studio recording "Human Qualities" on March 12th. Schapiro conducts his 17-piece band through a set of seven original tracks and one special cover song. The album begins with the high-energy, big band swinging tempo of "Count Me Out," followed by the soft, sultry sway of "Tango," which pulls you in with its relaxed melody. The Schapiro 17 turn the traditional ballad "The First Time Ever I Saw You Face" into one of their own, as the band jam as one complete unit throughout the nearly ten minute composition. They fill up all eleven-plus minutes of "Hallelujah" with a spaced out jazz fusion that take the music of Schapiro 17 to another level. The album closes with the band returning back to the nostalgic big band swing of "A Bounce In Her Step," along with the funky jazz beats of "House Money." To find out more about the Schapiro 17 and their latest release "Human Qualities," please visit schapiro17.com.

Vocalist Rebecca Dumain and The Dave Miller Trio are also preparing the release of their new album titled "Someday, Someday." It is an uplifting set of fourteen swinging numbers, beginning with fun, energetic "Just Friends," as you instantly fall in love with this combo. Rebecca's voice leads the way through Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Alone Again (Naturally)," while The Dave Miller Trio add the perfect backdrop for the title track "Someday, Someday." The wonderful lyrics of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" are perfectly given their rightful due in this jazz setting, before the band get a little funky with the beats of "Time To Get Unstuck (Happy Little New Song)," one of only two originals that appear on the album. The Dave Miller Trio add an interesting time signature to the classic "Cry Me A River" and Rebecca shines on the French traditional pop standard "La Vie En Rose/Au Privave." They finish their new album with the light-hearted sway of "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams" and the jazzed up pop hit "Sunny," made famous by Bobby Hebb." To find out more about Rebecca Dumain and The Dave Miller Trio's latest release "Someday, Someday," please visit rebeccadumaine.com.

Last, but not least we have the first new recordings from jazz composer/bandleader Ian Charleton titled "A Fresh Perspective." Ian leads his 18-piece big band through ten exciting musical numbers, beginning with the upbeat, eye-opening romp of "1 West 67th Street." The relaxed feel of "Sunday Morning" just takes its time moving through each solo with no rush," while "Everything I Got" is a quick, swinging number sung by vocalist Emily Charleton. The band fully embraces the graceful touch of the well-known "Stardust" and deliver a reworking of Irving Berlin's classic "Blue Skies." Ian Charleton Big Band wrap up their new album with the quiet, elegant touch of "Tea For Two," the salsa twist of "When Sunny Gets Blue" and the eight-minute swinging finale of "Party On Park." To find out more about Ian Charleton's Big Band and their latest release "A Fresh Perspective," please visit jazzpromoservices.com/project/ian-charleton-big-band.

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

New Jazz Music From The Vinnie Riccitelli Octet, David Larsen and Jack Brandfield

Jazz saxophonist Vinnie Riccitelli started out professionally in 1941, at age fifteen, performing along side his brother Joe in the Catskills of New York. He joined the Navy during World War II as a radio operator, before attending the prestigious Juilliard School Of Music. Upon graduation, he would marry the love of his life and release his first album in 1956. Vinnie would not record another album, but performed along with some of the greats like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross and The Temptations just to name some of his endeavors over the course of four decades. Vinnie Riccitelli stopped performing professionally in 2018, but in 2019 an album was started which gave tribute to Vinnie Riccitelli. The album is "For The Record" and was performed by the Vinnie Riccitelli Octet, with Vinnie appearing at every recording session for the album.

The new seventeen song release features a mix of Vinnie Riccitelli compositions, along with some of his favorites from Thelonious Monk, Henry Mancini and Herbie Hancock. The set of musicians that make up the octet are some of the top session performers in jazz music and bring the music of Vinnie Riccitelli and others to life, beginning with the energetic entrance of Riccitelli's own "Minor Seventh Heaven." The classic big band sound of "Stompin' At The Savoy" is executed perfectly, while the slow sway of "Blues Dominant" gives you another great Riccitelli original full of emotion and heart. The melody of "Darn That Dream" simply flows along, while "Flying Down To Rio" is full of energy and rhythm to get your foot tapping. The album closes with the Octet's horn-infused version of Monk's "Round Midnight," along with the final Vinnie Riccitelli composition "Little Boy Blew," which swings with excitement. Check out more music from Vinnie Riccitelli on YouTube at youtube.com.

Fellow jazz saxophonist David Larsen is preparing the March 5th release of his tribute to the legendary jazz artist, Gerry Mulligan. What began years ago as a study of Mulligan's music has cumulated with the release of "The Mulligan Chronicles," which features Mulligan's music performed by Larsen, along with special guests, some of whom have played with Gerry Mulligan during his lifetime. The new thirteen track release begins with the upbeat tempo of "Walkin' Shoes," which gives the members of the band to stretch their legs with some solos of their own. The album was recorded in one session and you can almost feel the honesty of the music in songs like "Curtains" and "Lonesome Boulevard," as it was performed on that day in January back in 2020, before the world got turned upside down. The energy picks up with the swift movement of "Idol Gossip" and "The Flying Scotsman," which fully shows off Larsen's talents on the baritone sax. The album finishes with the smooth, almost spontaneous delivery of "Out Back Of The Barn" and final swing of horns on "Taurus Moon." To find out more about David Larsen and his latest release "The Mulligan Chronicles," please visit larsenjazz.com.

Let us not forget New York City native jazz saxophonist Jack Brandfield, who is ready to release his debut studio album "I'll Never Be The Same" in April. On this recording, Jack is joined by guitarist Randy Napoleon and bassist Rodney Whitaker to make the perfect soundtrack for a nighttime escape. Jack begins his new twelve-track release with "Nobody Else But Me," as each member gets their moment in the spotlight. The album feels so intimate that you feel every pluck of the strings and every breath flowing through the sax on songs like "Vignette" and "Lover Come Back To Me." The delicate touch that Jack and his band give the Antonio Carlos Jobim classic "Andorinha," shows the respect they have for the music that has come before them. They also give an elegant touch to Duke Ellington's "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me," before finishing with the Latin swing of "Bossa Nova Ova" and the fun, upbeat tempo of "Wildwood." To find out more about Jack Brandfield and his latest release "I'll Never Be The Same," please visit jackbrandfield.com.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Discover The Worldly Sounds of Kenney Polson and Kane Mathis

West coast jazz artist Kenney Polson is preparing the March release of his new album "Colors Of Brazil." Polson has traveled the world, visiting 50 different countries and looks to bring the flavor of South America to his music with these ten newly recorded tracks. Kenney Polson was one of the few artists to perform some shows in 2020 before the world travel ban was put in place due to the pandemic. The lockdown allowed Kenney to focus on recording this new album, which kicks off with "Aquarela do Brazil," with his sax leading the way. The album is mostly made up of covers, with the lone original song "Hipnotizado" delivering a modern, smooth jazz feel with a Latin rhythm to dance to. Kenney Polson and his band inject a shot energy into the samba makeover of Duke Ellington's "Caravan" and will certainly get your hips moving with the Latin flair of "Leva e Traz." He wraps up his new album with the graceful touch of "Bicycle Ride" and the relaxing sounds of "Luz do Sol." To find out more about Kenney Polson and his latest release "Colors Of Brazil," please visit kenneypolson.com.

Accomplished musician Kane Mathis had taken on the task of learning to perform new music with the 21-string Mandinka Harp (a traditional West African instrument) and the Turkish Oud (which is a short-necked lude, pear-shaped instrument). After studying these instruments for over two decades, he has now brought his learnings to a new album titled "Geminus," which features ten tracks that finds Kane switching between the two instruments. The seven-plus minute opener "Route Des Jardins" flows beautifully through the string notes of the Mandinka Harp, as you a swept away by the melody. Kane then transports you with the Middle Eastern sound of "Kurdi 7 and 9," before returning to the angelic, harp-like instrumental "Kaira." His talents on the Oud shine, as he presents "Etude (For Oud In 3 Sections)," which keeps you glued to his every pluck of the string. Kane Mathis closes out his new album with an swift, energetic run through "Gemini" and the final excursion to other worldly lands with the delivery of "Nikriz Sirto." To find out more about Kane Mathis and his latest release "Geminus," please visit kanemathis.com.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Support Women In Music, Check Out New Releases From Jana Herzen, Annicia Banks and Fely Tchaco

Jazz vocalist and guitarist Jana Herzen will be releasing her new live album on March 12th, with a vinyl edition arriving in June. The album was recorded at Joe's Pub in New York City on October 29, 2019 and features eleven tracks. The show was to preview Jana's latest studio album "Nothing But Love," which was released in January 2020, but instead has become a reminder of the need of live music to return once again. Her new live album kicks off with the bebop jazz flow of "Nothing But Love," while "Speak" is more airy, with a folk appeal to the music. Next, Jana takes you down south with the Brazilian jazz appeal of "My Latin Love," before slowing down for the gentle ballad "Night Blooming Jasmine." The energy picks back up with smooth, R&B/jazz tempo of "With An Open Heart" and the playful, addictive melody of "Like A River." Jana Herzen closes her new live album with the emotional flow of "Thinking Of You" and the poetic, graceful touch of "In The Name Of Love." To find out more about Jana Herzen and her latest release "Live," please visit janaherzen.net.

Also arriving in March is the debut EP from reggae artist Annicia Banks. Her new seven-song release titled "Up Front" finds Annica stepping up to the lead singer spot, beginning with the upbeat, island groove of "Jamaica Forever," which features support from King Kohai. The album's lead single is a cover of Dennis Brown's "Love Has Found It's Way," which combines elements or reggae with jazz and R&B, to give the song a modern dance vibe. The pure rhythms of Jamaica are heard on "Hush," while Annicia's voice simply soars on "It's Too Late." She finishes her new album with the soulful, gospel-like touch of "Restore My Soul." To find out more about Annicia Banks and her latest release "Up Front," please visit rawvuemusic.com.

San Francisco bay-area artist Fely Tchaco is preparing the release of her new album "Yita (Deep Water)" for March 8th, International Women's Day. This is Fely's fifth full-length release and features eleven tracks that have been inspired and dedicated to the African and Middle Eastern migrants who have lost their live crossing the Mediterranean Sea in hopes for a better life. The tribal rhythms of the opening track "Ato Lagoh" only begins your adventure to the style of music that may not be discussed on today's radio. The wonderful harmonies of "Cawe Yoko" are simply uplifting, Fely slows down for the quieter flow of "Blamer Les Autres." The addictive beats work back in to the eight-minute, storied lesson of "Djebi Dje" and the worldly sounds of "Zaouli." Fely modernizes her sound with the dance club sound of "Zante," before finishing her new album with the undeniable pop melody of "It's Never Too Late" and the techno-infused "Kubeli." To find out more about Fely Tchaco and her latest release "Yita (Deep Water)," please visit felymusic.com.