Greg Ward's group here is named 10 Tongues – a great label for an ensemble that's overflowing with individual voices on their instruments – less a big band than a combo that can bring together so many different tones and colors at once! Ward himself is wonderful on alto, but maybe even more impressive as both the leader and composer here – writing in this fresh voice that's extremely positive and uplifting, but without ever resorting to any cloying cliches – and the group seems to respond by playing his music with a sense of joy and discovery at each new twist and turn! Players include Keefe Jackson on baritone and tenor, Tim Haldeman on tenor, Ben LaMar Gay on cornet, Russ Johnson on trumpet, Norman Palm on trombone, Christopher Davis on bass trombone, Jason Roebke on bass, Marcus Evans on drums, and Dennis Luxion on piano – on titles that include "Singular Serenade", "Daybreak", "Grit", "With All Your Sorry Sing A Song Of Jubilation", "Dialogue Of The Black Saint", and "Gather Round The Revolution Is At Hand". ~ Dusty Groove
DAVE DOUGLAS – DARK TERRITORY
Great work from Dave Douglas and his High Risk quartet – a group who definitely step into dark territory here, in a heady blend of electric elements and Dave's bold frontline work on trumpet! The group electric bass, electric drums, and more electronics – plus some acoustic drums – yet somehow manage to come across with a very organic vibe, and one that's quite different than you might expect – especially in comparison to other trumpet-led projects like this, which often have the leader processed and filtered into the mix. Instead, Dave's sound is as rich and warm as ever – never a slave to the backings, and instead right out front ahead of them – blowing with lines that arc and turn beautifully, and remind us what a personal, poetic soloist Douglas can be. Titles include "Celine", "Ridge Hill", "Mission Acropolis", "All The Pretty Horsepower", and "Loom Large". ~ Dusty Groove
THIERRY CONDOR - SO CLOSE
In his fourth album ‘So Close’ Thierry Condor once again draws upon the U.S. West Coast Pop of the 1980s, but adds new flavour to the style. His personality is evident on the entire album and he speaks to the listener directly; his singing profile has become even more distinct and original. Amongst others, the album contains three compositions until now unpublished. Highlights include: Heart to Heart - Thierry Condor has a very personal relationship to this mid-tempo number from Kenny Loggins, David Foster and Michael McDonald. The song is a pop classic and brings together top session musicians such as John Robinson, Daniel Küffer and Bernhard Schoch. Love Will Rise and Fall - inspired by the Chicago album ’17’, and intended as a homage to its signature musical style, Urs Wiesendanger composed this song at the age of 17 (lyrics: Alexander Jaggy). It is being released for the first time. Deeper Than The Night - Tom Snow wrote the song together with John Vastano for Olivia Newton-John. The saxophonist Tom Scott, who accompanied the singer on her 1982 ‘Physical’ tour, can be heard in the recording as a special guest. Hard To Say Goodbye - this duet, until now unpublished, was written by Grammy-nominated American songwriter Jeri Lynne. Thierry Condor and Jeri met each other in Switzerland in 2013 and spontaneously decided to record this song together.