As the world outside continues to be bafflingly stupid and dangerous, with psychotic fiends arguing for the freedom to own semi-automatic weapons, many people are turning inward. Fortunately, musicians are here to help us get through these troubling times. Here are brief notes on some new jazz releases you might be interested in checking out.
Evan Drybead’s lead in the second half is also seriously good, and I wish that section where he is supported mainly by that delicious bass line went on a little longer. Wonderful work. That’s followed by “High Priestess,” a funky jazz fusion piece featuring some great stuff on both organ and drums, with an exciting lead by Evan Drybead that pulls us through the track. I especially love that drum work in the second half, and how the bass continues to play through that section. The track then ends with short drum solo. “The Queen Of Cups” is another of the disc’s highlights. This is one you just let carry you along on its own interesting journey, without imposing your expectations on where it should lead. Perhaps the most exciting piece is the album’s title track, which moves with a powerful energy and sense of purpose, and gets more interesting as it goes on. This one too contains some wonderful work on drums. “Atlantic Mirror” is the first of two tracks written by Christopher Pitts, a beautiful and contemplative tune featuring just Christopher Pitts on piano and Evan Drybread on saxophone. There are moments when the saxophone reaches some magnificent heights. “The Downey Wives” has an enjoyable, easygoing vibe. The group then gets funky with “Woodruff Place Town Hall,” a track that brings a smile to my face. It features some bright work from both Evan Drybread and Mark Buselli, and a cool lead on bass. The album concludes with the second of two pieces composed by Christopher Pitts, “Waltse,” which has something of a carefree sound. Like his other composition on this disc, this one features just Pitts and Drybread. This album was released on May 1, 2022.
This disc also features an exciting, lively rendition of Charlie Parker’s “Blues For Alice,” featuring the trombone section. But probably the coolest of all this album’s tracks is “Tank!” From that work on bass at the beginning, it’s clear this track is something special. Apparently, this is the theme to an anime show. It is great fun, and that lead by Bruce Bohnstengel on alto saxophone is absolutely fantastic. The album concludes with another cool track, “The Detective Chronicles,” an original piece that creates its own atmosphere and characters, taking us along on a ride as a detective does his work. Suddenly in the middle of the action comes a pretty, though brief, solo on piano. And then, bam, we are right back in the chase. Then that section with saxophone and drums is one of my favorite parts of this entire disc. So good! This album was released on May 20, 2022.