This CD is most notable for featuring ten of trumpeter Tom Harrell's compositions. Few of the melodies from the harmonically advanced originals will stick in one's mind after one or two listens, but the solos are excellent (and in Harrell's case, often exquisite) and the generally melancholy moods of the advanced hard bop pieces are memorable in their own way. In addition to Harrell, Joe Lovano is in fine form on tenor, soprano and alto, Cheryl Pyle's two guest appearances on flute are a bonus and the rhythm section is supportive and alert with pianist Danilo Perez emerging as a major soloist, taking the title cut as a lyrical free improvisation duet with Harrell. An intriguing and thought-provoking session.
Paquito D'Rivera's alto and clarinet skills were ably displayed on this session, which featured him working in Afro-Latin, salsa, funk, swing and hard bop. Compositions ranged from intense, jam-flavored numbers with torrid solos, like "Recife's Blue" and the title tune, to introspective ballads, group pieces with rhythmically explosive sections and numbers displaying classical influences. The unifying force was D'Rivera, who also played tenor, but was most prominent on clarinet, doing both swing-oriented and looser, freer solos. While not as strict a jazz vehicle as his Columbia dates, this session presented a more eclectic, versatile Paquito D'Rivera.
At age 74 Lee Konitz remains one of the most original and engaging improvisers in jazz. On Parallels, recorded at St. Peter's Church in New York City in December of 2000, the altoist brings his pure sound, obliquely swinging articulation and cliche-free melodic imagination to a set of standards and originals by himself and his former mentor, Lennie Tristano.
Composer-pianist David Chesky has written seven new pieces that draw their inspiration from the Fantasia form. The Fantasia has evolved from its Renaissance roots and has become a vehicle for a composer's freedom of expression, utilizing rhythm, harmony, and improvisatory skill. And David Chesky brilliantly succeeds, not only in remaining faithful to the original concept of Fantasia, but also in creating a new genre of music with these works.
Pianist and composer David Chesky has assembled a group of first-rate collaborators for this unique jazz project. Bob Mintzer (bass clarinet), Giovanni Hildago (congas), Andy Gonzalez (bass) and Randy Brecker (trumpet) rank among the finest instrumental voices in jazz and Latin music. Each member of the Body Acoustic Band brings his distinct style to this polyrhythmic tour de force, making this an exciting experimental journey into the deep organic space of audiophile jazz.
Chuck Mangione laid low throughout much of the '90s, perhaps the end result of a disappointing string of albums for Columbia during the '80s. He returned to the road in 1997 and evidently it was a positive experience, since he returned to the studio the following year to cut The Feeling's Back. For all intents and purposes, The Feeling's Back is a comeback album, finding Mangione returning to the smooth, melodic style of Feels So Good, but laying off the sappy pop tendencies that dogged his '80s efforts.
Chuck Mangione, the famed flugelhornist and trumpeter fills his first recording of the 21st century with some wonderfully subdued love songs whose subtle, intimate qualities may surprise those of his fans who best know his boisterous pop hits. More than simply expressing a romantic boy-girl kind of love, Mangione is playing gentle, atmospheric jazz for a wide variety of special people, real and animated. And there is no doubt that the truest love here is that between the artist and some of his old bandmates.