Cary Kilner's Picks: Volume 39
About this month's picks:
For this month I present a pot-pourri of selections in random order, although with some common groupings. Once again I change it up enough to keep it interesting for everyone.
Billy Childs – Leimert Park
I know nothing about this player, but here is a very engaging tune with electric piano, marimba and soprano sax.
Caribbean Jazz Project/Birds of a Feather – On the Road
This fine group has been playing Latin grooves for years under the leadership of vibist Dave Samuels, who I knew back in my Boston days. If you look in Wiki, you will see a whole panoply of great players who have been with this group.
Here is the same tune live:
Roy Haynes – Stompin' at the Savoy
From the grand master of drums – he’s friggin’ 96 and still playing! “Snap Crackle” is his nickname, and you can hear it in how he propels this nice medium groove. I can’t find anything regarding the side-men, but it sounds like Mark Elf on guitar. I first presented this group back in the 7th Quarantine Jazz column.
Chick Corea – Now He Sings, Now He Sobs
The best way to appreciate Roy’s unique drumming is on this Chick Corea album. Like the Miles’ group in the mid-60s with Wayne, Ron, Herbie & Tony, this was some very advanced music for its time, and even now. It turned many a pianist’s ears when it first came out in late 1968. It’s a magnificent release both in music and in recording quality from Solid-State. We heard a tune from this session back in QJ #19 & #27 on standard tunes. But you really need to hear Roy, with Miroslav Vitous’s outstanding bass interaction, on this original tune and the others on that album. I consider Miroslav in this trio to be the logical successor, in the jazz-piano tradition, of Scott LaFaro with Bill Evans.
Jimmy Cobb’s Mob – Sweet and Lovely
Here is another veteran drummer holding the fort in a modern era, although he passed away at 91 a year ago May. This is a classic standard used for improvisation, and in my favorite medium tempo groove. Peter Bernstein on guitar and Eric Alexander on tenor make this a sweet cut!
Donald Vega – You Can See
This is from his album for Monty Alexander, and a tribute to Monty’s Cubano-Latin style. It’s a very engaging and interesting tune as you will hear, and very nicely recorded.
It is very interesting to listen to the actual release first, and then to view the studio video of it below. Damn, but they are RIGHT IN THE POCKET! See how the face of the bass player shows his appreciation of the groove. And see how relaxed the drummer is – a key to this kind of groove. And then note their little repartee at the very end.
Robert Glasper – One for Grew
I never cared for this pianist and his aggressive avante-guard approach, and not his playing any standards but only his own stuff. He’s somewhat in the mold of The Bad Plus. But this tune and performance are absolutely beautiful.
Chuck Loeb – Confirmation & All the Things You Are
We’ve heard him before in the smooth-jazz context with the band, Fourplay. But here he is in a pure jazz context to show his roots on this classic bebop tune. The guy can really swing and plays nice clean improvisational lines. We usually hear the pianist, Jeff Lorber, in smooth-jazz contexts as well.
Here is a video of Chuck in the studio.
Same group, but obviously a different session. More exciting, but only Chuck’s part of it.
Here is the same group playing that other classic standard.
Dan Siegel – No Regrets
I don’t really know this artist. This is classic, clean studio smooth-jazz sound. It will sound better loud, so crank it up!
Brad Mehldau – Seymour Reads the Constitution (Go figure!)
We need this relaxed ¾ tune to revisit this wonderful trio. Their motto could be described as the “no hurry trio.” It’s very deep music but, because of that description, very easy to listen to.
Fred Hersch – Boo Boo’s Birthday
And here is Hirsch complex, yet relaxed, performance by another modern piano trio genius. You should seek out other performances of his on YouTube. Enjoy!
Special EFX – Uptown East
Here is another group with a long past and a frequent changing of the guard, yet maintaining a purity of concept. A very clean jazz-fusion sound – play this loud and tune your ears in on that repeated figure.
Brian Culbertson – Morning Walk
Let’s end this episode of QJ with another smooth-jazz keyboardist. Nothing astounding here, just a pleasant acoustic piano trio with an accompanying video bshowingwhere we are going this month. Very nice acoustic bass work by Pat Metheny’s long-time bassist, Steve Rodby on acoustic, and quiet brushwork on drums throughout. Enjoy!