CD - Live at the Village Vanguard - (Blue Note)
Track - Rocker
Notes - Talk about a pedigree: Bill Charlap's father was a Broadway composer and songwriter, his mother sang with Benny Goodman and later (Mr.) Perry Como. He grew up in New York City, surrounded by music. He's released tributes to George Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein and Hoagy Carmichael and now his first live album, recorded at the Mecca of jazz performance, The Village Vanguard. And yet, and yet... Charlap is a wildly gifted performer, but in all of this tribute to the tradition I'm not sure I've come to know much about Bill Charlap.
Artist - Esbjörn Svensson Trio
CD - Tuesday Wonderland - (Emarcy)
Track - Dolores In A Shoestand
Notes - Swedes don't seem all that worried about the labels. Likewise extended solos. In this case, good for them. Scandinavian pop meets jazz and finds a groove or ten. Additional musings on EST here.
Artist - Kendrick Scott Oracle
CD - The Source (World Culture Music)
Track - Mantra
Notes - Kendrick Scott is the leader. Oracle is the band. Scott is 26 years old, four of them spent as Terrance Blanchard's drummer. If his album is any indication, the experience was very influential. And that's not smack talk. On his first outing as a leader, Scott has gathered some of his fellow Blanchardians (bassist Derek Hodge, guitarist Lionel Loueke, vocalist Gretchen Parlato) as well as some of New York 's finest (pianist Robert Glasper, guitarist Mike Moreno, multi-reed specialist Myron Waldrin). Scott and Hodge were the rhythm section for Blanchard's 2005 album Flow, and The Source feels in many ways like a later iteration of Flow, minus the trumpet (insert cheap Oedipal reference here). There's much to enjoy here, a collection of songs (all but one composed by Scott) that are by turns meditative and soaring.
Artist - Joel Frahm
CD - We Used to Dance (Anzic Records)
Track - Song for Abdullah
Notes - Analogy Man vacillates between "buttery goodness" and "a ripe juicy peach" when faced Frahm's delicious tone on the tenor sax. Your cardiologist probably has a clear preference but you can't go wrong as far as I'm concerned. Frahm gets equally delectable support here from Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid and Victor Lewis on his fourth outing as a leader. Needless to say they're not serving ribs at this joint and you'd be forgiven for wanting to make off with the flatware. But don't. The staff is keeping an eye on you.
Listen to the segment
- June 5, 2007 - streaming audio - segment starts ~35 minutes in
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