THE REUNION PROJECT - VARANDA
Five masters of Brazilian jazz bridge years and styles to form The Reunion Project. On Veranda they offer a modern spin on their jazz and Brazilian music influences. The bonds forged during our formative years can be some of the strongest and most enduring throughout the rest of our lives, no matter where our paths might take us. Saxophonist Felipe Salles, guitarist Chico Pinheiro, pianist Tiago Costa and drummer Edu Ribeiro came of age in São Paulo listening to a unique blend of jazz and Brazilian music that shaped each of them as they've embarked on notable but diverging careers in music. 20 years on, all four come together for the first time and, joined by young lion bassist Bruno Migotto, form The Reunion Project. The quintet's debut, Varanda, reflects the eclectic roots and youthful camaraderie of its members, deepened and honed by the maturity gleaned from two-plus decades of study and experience. On Varanda these five Brazilian virtuosos explore the far-reaching crossroads of modern jazz and Brazilian music through nine original compositions and the aptly-chosen standard "Yesterdays," which, in Costa's tropically lush arrangement, puts the group's unique spin on a familiar tune while expressing the warm nostalgia of the group's reunion.
TEODROSS AVERY – POST MODERN TRAP MUSIC
One of the rawest records we've ever heard from saxophonist Teodross Avery – a set that's very stripped-down, and only just features his tenor alongside drums from Marvin Bugalu Smith! The open setting has Avery really stretching out, in ways we've never heard before – maybe starting with the sort of freedoms that Sonny Rollins first explored at the end of the 50s, but then moving into even more spiritual territory overall – at a level that has us really reevaluating our understanding of his music! The approach is maybe more that of a late 70s David Murray session than we'd ever expect from Teodross – completely stunning throughout. Titles include "The Mystery", "Coltrane Van Halen", "Opponent Contemplation", "Volatility", and "Life Or Death" – and the CD concludes with shorter spoken passages, in which Avery discusses the music. ~ Dusty Groove
BRANDEE YOUNGER – WAX & WANE
A hip harpist for the 21st Century – one of the few players on the instrument who've been able to carry on the soulful legacy of Dorothy Ashby in the 60s – while still also giving the instrument a new sort of placement in jazz! Brandee Younger's working here with production help from one of Robert Glasper's producers – and the album's got a well-rounded soulful sound – with some nice fusion touches and some other larger elements too – almost as if Dorothy Ashby had made it to the studio with Larry Mizell in the 70s! Other players include Anne Drummond on flute, Mark Whitfield on guitar, Dezron Douglas on bass, and Chelsea Baratz on tenor – and titles include remakes of the Ashby classics "Soul Vibrations", "Wax & Wane", and "Afro Harping" – plus the originals "Black Gold", "Ruby Echo", and "Ebony Haze". ~ Dusty Groove