Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New Releases: Alex Lefaivre Quartet - Yul; Black Art Jazz Collective – Armor Of Pride; Pierre Douge - Soundscapes

Alex Lefaivre Quartet - Yul

Drawing his inspiration from Montreal’s distinct urban energy, bass player Alex Lefaivre presents a series of modern jazz originals written for some of his home town’s most original musicians, notably Erik Hove on alto saxophone, Nicolas Ferron on guitar as well as Mark Nelson on drums. The lyrical, song-like melodies develop over interesting forms that leave a lot of room for the group to interact and showcase their conversational improvisations. Taking its name from Montreal’s airport code, YUL takes the listener on a cinematic trip through the city, where dreamy, hazy summer vibes are intertwined with a gritty, metropolitan edge. A highlight of this set is a surprising cover of John Carpenter’s theme to his cult-classic 1978 horror movie, Halloween. – Colette Schryburt aka Coco Jazz, CKVL 100.1FM

Black Art Jazz Collective – Armor Of Pride

A set that's bursting with every bit as much of the fantastic energy you might expect from the lineup – a bold sextet that features Wayne Escoffery on tenor, Jeremy Pelt on trumpet, James Burton III on trombone, Xavier Davis on piano, Vicente Archer on piano, and Johnathan Blake on drums – all coming together here in a righteous message that's even stronger than the sum of its parts! All titles are originals, and have this progressive, soaring vibe – spiritual, but not in a mellow way – and instead very much up to date in terms of contemporary jazz expression, thanks to the individual strengths of the soloists – who feel completely unified throughout. Titles include "Armor Of Pride", "When Will We Learn", "Black Art", "Pretty", "The Spin Doctor", and "Awuraa Amma". ~ Dusty Groove

Pierre Douge - Soundscapes

Guitarist Pierre Dorge has been giving us amazing music for many years – but he sounds especially amazing here in the company of a really great group – the excellent Kirk Knuffke on cornet, plus Stephen Riley on tenor, Conrad Herwig on trombone, Jay Anderson on bass, and Adam Nussbaum on drums – all very dynamic players who seem to make Dorge sound even fresher than ever! There's an especially strong sense of phrasing on the record – no surprise, especially with Knuffke in the mix – and while Pierre can sometimes use his instrument in more abstract ways, that quality is really balanced by all the other members of the lineup. Anderson's bass is great – nicely pointed at the best moments, and a great contrast to Dorge's strings – and all tracks are originals, with titles that include "Lullaby For Sun Ra", "Mingus' Birthday Party", "Afrikaa Mbizo Dyani", "Sim Sim Ba", and "Alligator In Paradise".~ Dusty Groove

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