Take 6 – The Standard A good Take 6 recording, enhanced by guest artists George Benson, Al Jarreau, Jon Hendricks, Roy Hargrove, Till Brönner, Aaron Neville, and the late Ella Fitzgerald. “While we sing lyrics that always exemplify our spiritual and moral convictions, what we really are at the core is a jazz vocal group,” says Dave Thomas, a member of the Take 6 lineup since 1985. “So we decided to do an album of jazz standards, a record that will stand up as the jazz vocal album for all time.” Buy the CD at Amazon Buy the download from iTunes
I’m catching up on press releases and other email (way, way behind). I just read two separate messages with two things in common – bassist Larry Grenadier and family.
Grenadier plays on The Growing Season, the latest from his wife of over ten years, singer Rebecca Martin. This is a special and personal recording, inspired by their almost-three year old son. Martin says, “The experience of becoming a mother is very cocoon-like. The new feelings of love, the life changes and responsibilities have transformed me completely. What is important and what isn’t is now crystal clear, and it’s made the room for me to go deeper into my truth in my life and my work.” Helping convey the intimate expressions are Kurt Rosenwinkel (who also produced) and Brian Blade. Listen to samples at Amazon.com or iTunes.
Cuban-born drummer Francisco Mela’s second recording as a leader is also his first live one. The title is Cirio, named after and inspired by his father. He can’t go wrong with the band of this recording: Jason Moran, Lionel Loueke, Mark Turner and Larry Grenadier. The press releases states that “Together they make music informed by the rhythms of Mela’s homeland, while also going beyond into adventurous modern jazz.” Cirio is available now.
It’s been over 15 years since I’ve gotten a new Kim Pensyl recording (the excellent Eyes of Wonder). He kind of dropped off my radar. I heard he switched to trumpet but whatever label(s) he was on never did any sort of media push that I saw. He’s back, and on piano/keyboards, with When Katie Smiles on October 26. It’s a contemporary jazz recording, with a guitar/bass/drum/percussion band support.
“As on all my albums, When Katie Smiles is about communicating feelings born of my life experiences. This makes each album something very personal, emotional and expressive, but it also makes me a bit apprehensive since I put myself in such a vulnerable position by sharing my feelings so openly. However, the chance to communicate deeply with listeners is certainly worth the risk. It creates a bond of understanding that I treasure,” explains Pensyl. “My music is a positive light, deeply committed, and is offered with sincerity in the hope it will bring joy to others by sharing part of my life.”
McCoy Tyner – Guitars CD and DVD with John Scofield, Derek Trucks, Bela Fleck, Marc Ribot, and Bill Frisell. Ron Carter and Jack DeJohnette comprise the rhythm section. Buy the CD from Amazon!
Charlie Haden Family & Friends’ Rambling Boy with Pat Metheny, Bruce Hornsby, Elvis Costello, Bela Fleck, Vince Gill, Rosanne Cash, Ricky Skaggs, and his son-in-law, Jack Black. The 19-song recording fulfilling Haden’s dream to play Haden Family songs with his wife, son, triplet daughters, and close friends in the music world. As you can tell from the roster of musicians, it covers a number of styles, from traditional country to contemporary Americana. Buy the CD from Amazon! Buy the download from iTunes
Kenny Garrett – Sketches of MD: Live At The Iridium. “I wanted to document the band I took on the road for Beyond the Wall while we were working with Pharoah and also write some new songs,” says Kenny of this new recording which features Pharoah Sanders. “The idea of doing the Miles-related songs just evolved.” Buy the CD from Amazon! Buy the download from iTunes