Monday, February 15, 2010

CDs of Note…

Sheryl Bailey, A New Promise (MCG Jazz)
New York-based guitarist Sheryl Bailey teamed with the Three Rivers Jazz Orchestra in her native Pittsburgh for this session, which was developed as a tribute to late guitarist Emily Remler, who Bailey feels paved the way for her and other female guitarists. My favorites: her versions of three Remler-written tunes - the Wes Montgomery tribute ”East to Wes,” and the Samba-tinged “Mocha Spice” and “Carenia” - plus Bailey’s own “Miekaniemi” and rather elegiac title track “A New Promise.” This CD has a lot going for it on multiple levels. The big band and soloist support is terrific.

Rose Colella Trio, Small Hours (Lola Bard)
Chicago-based singer Rose Colella tackles an array of American Songbook chestnuts on this debut CD, released in mid-2009. She’s a veteran of quite of a few of the Windy City’s jazz clubs and bistros, and has a pleasant, enjoyable voice. My favorite tunes of the 11 tracks are “After You’ve Gone” and Blossom Dearie’s “Blossom’s Blues.” This project with guitarist Dan Effland and bassist Joe Policastro is a splendid showcase for Effland’s inventive playing and solo artistry. Colella comes by her love of song quite honestly. Her grandmother, and label namesake, Lola Bard was a 1930s singer who recorded with Bobby Hackett and The Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

Big Crazy Energy New York Band, Inspirations (Rosa)
Norwegian-born, New York-based trombonist Jens Wendelboe picked the perfect name for his robust band. It is big, it is based in the Big Apple and it has a crazy sort of energy as it works its way through a blend of originals by the leader, three jazz standards (compliments of Joe Henderson, Scott Lafaro and Billy Cobham) and Lennon and McCartney’s “A Day in the Life.” There’s also a beautiful extended rendition (featuring a fiery solo by trumpeter Vinnie Cutro) of the traditional “Dear Old Stockholm”, which many jazz players have used as a wonderful improvisation vehicle through the years. My favorite: the band’s thorough exploration of the aforementioned Beatles classic. Wendelboe is a great leader and player. He’s also a Blood, Sweat and Tears instrumentalist and musical director for disco diva Donna Summer. This is a February 16 release.

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