We love the work of trombonist Michael Dease, and a record like this really has him in the best possible setting to really do his thing – working with a combo of well-chosen, sympathetic players, getting to unfurl some great new compositions, and stepping forward with this rock-solid energy that easily makes him one of the greatest contemporary musicians on his instrument! Dease isn't one to take the trombone into free jazz territory – but he does evolve the instrument a few steps past the territory of predecessors like JJ Johnson, Curtis Fuller, and even Steve Turre – working with a voice that's all his own, and a tight sense of phrasing that resonates especially well here with work on trumpet from Alex Sipiagin. But, as mentioned, the whole group's great – a wonderfully warm lineup with Renee Rosnes on piano, Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto, Boris Kozlov on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums – the last two of whom are wonderfully hard-swinging, and are fast becoming one of our favorite contemporary rhythm teams. Titles include the Dease originals "Horse Trading", "Lullaby For Rita", "Charly Jaye", and "Parker's Brood" – plus the tracks "Tiktaalk", "Glory", "Rainbow People", and "With Love". ~ Dusty Groove
Alex Sipiagin - Ascent To The Blues
Trumpeter Alex Sipiagin is no newcomer to jazz, but he also seems to have really grown as both a player and a leader in recent years – deepening his sound sound with a sense of color and timing that we've never heard before, and really making the most of his comrades in a combo – especially in a setting like this! The tunes are mostly all originals by Alex, delivered with a strong focus by the quintet – a lineup that also features Diego Rivera on tenor, Art Hirihara on piano and Rhodes, Boris Kozlov on bass, and Rudy Royston on drums and percussion – a group who work with an innate sort of energy throughout, really packing a heck of a lot into a small space – while still allowing for plenty of individual moments of expression! Titles include "Dolphin's View", "Doppio", "Hindsight", "No Doubts", "Rush Hour", "Sandrigo Blues", and "Novorod Bells". ~ Dusty Groove
Soil & Pimp Sessions - Lost In Tokyo
Soil & Pimp Sessions sound better here than ever – still working with a style that nobody else can touch – but in a way that's also a nice change from some of their previous records too! If anything, these guys have really perfected their ability to step out and soar – with horn passages that are not as tightly tied to the rhythms as before, so that they can find all sorts of colors and moods on their own – really illuminating the music in a beautiful way, as the bass and drums step in at points to keep things funky and moving forward! There's nothing "lost" in their music at all – and although we've been following these guys from the start, and loving every minute – we might well be loving this record than any previous set. Titles include "Valley Of The Light", "Ring Route 7", "Meji Jingumae", "Riverflow", "Funky Pongi", and "Generation Tree". ~ Dusty Groove
Doug Webb - Message
An album that really soars with a saxophone-heavy sound right from the very first note – a unique quintet outing that not only features the tenor of leader Doug Webb, but also the alto of Greg Osby and additional tenor of Bob Reynolds – in a lineup that just also includes Hammond from Brian Charette and drums from Charles Ruggiero! The three horns really soar together over the organ lines – then break off into some well-focused solos before giving Charette some solo space too – although that might not even be needed, given that his superb handling of his instrument strongly colors the album at every single moment. As with most Posi-Tone albums, the set's brimming over with original material – a feature that we really love from the label – on titles that include "Where Did You Come From", "Doug's Dilemma", "Frustration", "Nekide", "Caught In The Webb", "New Beginning", and "Bonnie Lass".~ Dusty Groove.