Wednesday, December 30, 2020

New Jazz From The Justin Rothberg Group, The Gasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble & The Larry Newcomb Quartet

Arriving on CD at the start of the new year is the latest release "Hurricane Mouse" from The Justin Rothberg Group. This jazz quartet is anything but a jazz band. They incorporate many different genres of music into their pieces, while keeping the roots of the songs planted in jazz. Their new twelve-song release begins with the energy of "Hurricane Mouse," as you find yourself grooving to the song's funky melody (like something you'd hear at a Dave Matthews Band show). Next up is a smoother sounding jazz piece titled "G Sus," which features solo highlights from everyone in the band. The music of "Piece Of Mind" just floats on by and carries all your worries away, while "Hotel Show Repeat" displays a quicker tempo and some stellar mandolin from Justin Rothberg. The Justin Rothberg Group come together and jam on the nine-minute journey of "Green Room," as it seems each member allows themselves to get lost in the intensity of the music. They wrap up their new album with the funky backdrop of "Old Gift Card," as Rothberg lays down a raw, aggressive-sounding guitar solo, along with the Latin flair of "Hot Dog Ranch." To find out more about The Justin Rothberg Group and their latest release "Hurricane Mouse," please visit justinrothberg.bandcamp.com.

Next up is the debut album "Jagged Spaces" arriving January 15th from The Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble. Guitarist Skip Grasso and bassist Phil Ravita have gathered a stellar line-up of jazz musicians to deliver nine, new original tracks that add another step in the modern evolution of the genre. Their new nine-song release begins with the upbeat, swinging tempo of the title song "Jagged Spaces," as each member of the ensemble gets their moment to introduce themselves. The quintet slow down for the more traditional jazz appeal of "Her Life Incomplete," while the energy of "Songhai" is highlighted by the work of Benny Russell on saxophone. The Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble just seem to glide along the cool, mellow sound of "Circles" and the soft, passionate emotions of "All About Cynthia," along with the flowing melody of "Chasing Shadows." To find out more about The Grasso-Ravita Jazz Ensemble and their latest release "Jagged Spaces," please visit grasso-ravitajazzensemble.com.

Veteran jazz guitarist Larry Newcomb is preparing the release of his new jazz quartet album titled "Love, Dad." The album features Larry on guitar, Dave Marsh on drums, Thomas Royal on piano and Larry's son, Jake Newcomb on bass. The new ten-song release is a mixture of originals and reimagined version of some jazz standards, beginning with the steady, swinging flow of "You Stepped Out Of My Dream," as the quartet add their own stamp to this version. The elegant touch of "Essential Messengers" and the beautiful passion of "Love Dad" finds the band working in perfect unison, supporting every note that is played with purpose. The energy picks up once again with a cover of Oscar Pettiford's "Tricotism" and the mysterious, swirling melody of the classic "Secret Agent Man" originally written by P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri of The Grass Roots. The Larry Newcomb Quartet close out their new album with the emotional blues/jazz appeal of "Hearts In Suspension" and the bright, airy touch of the classic "A Song Is You." To find out more about The Larry Newcomb Quartet and their latest release "Love, Dad," please visit larrynewcomb.com/music.

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