Cary Kilner's Picks: Volume 14
Diane Ellis - When Sunny Gets Blue
This is a another tune from the Jan 3, 2012 recording session at my house with the two Press Room regulars, Marty Ballou and Les Harris. If you’ll recall, a tune from this session was in my first column in May. Despite no previous experience playing together, I think we really achieved some simpatico. The tune, "When Sunny Gets Blue," is typically played as a jam-session ballad, but I arranged it as a boss-nova in that medium tempo that provides space and allows the listener to perceive all the subtleties of our interaction. You’ll note in my comping how I support the singer, Diane Ellis from Malden, because we knew each other so well musically. For more than a year we I had a trio together with Bob Kaufman, who was teaching at Berklee, and Jack Dryden on bass who had just graduated. We had regular gigs at Holiday Inns, et al. around the Boston metro area. I found her to be a remarkable singer, very genuine, very inventive (note her call for double-time at the end of the tune). We played mostly cabaret-style standard tunes and opened sets up with my compositions and arrangements of other standards. At some time I hope to be able to bring her to the Press Room, either with a trio I organize, or with me and the Press Room trio, or having Diane perform with Ryan and the PR trio.
Roy Hargrove Quintet - Top Of My Head
This is an awfully nice quintet tune in that medium-fast groove that swings so nicely. It's done live in the WKNX PBS studio and also has video of them playing that is fun to watch. I don't know the other players, but they kill.
Nice alto, nice drummer, nice bass player -- I particularly like the open piano; is it some new kind of acoustic? At least it's not electric or synthesized, given the acoustic milieu. Nice player, too. Check out Roy singing at the end.
Yellowjackets - Strange Time
Here is another from the Yellowjackets, these guys really kill. They began in the 1980s as a smooth jazz/fusion band. But this is some great straight-ahead jazz, and they're still going strong after 30+ years. The personnel has changed a lot but the core is there. Google them and see some of the great players who have been with them. For instance I think that's Bob Mintzer on tenor, a successor to Michael Brecker. And I believe he also leads a big-band; I'll dig something up for us. And Jaco's son, Felix Pastorius, played with them for a while.
No more discussion needed.