Friday, September 16, 2022

New Music: Taurey Butler, Chip Wickham, Jasmine Myra, Scone Cash Players

Taurey Butler - One Of The Others

Pianist Taurey Butler is a native of East Orange, New Jersey and now makes his home in Montreal. During his last year of high school, a prescient teacher, who was also a distinguished percussionist, Barry Centanni handed Butler a CD of Oscar Peterson and advised him to listen. He did, and from then on, he knew where he was going. ”I didn't know a piano could do that!" he recalls and began to focus more on jazz studies. With his self-titled debut, released on Justin Time Records in 2011, Butler firmly established his signature artistry in his adopted home base – he is a well-known and favorite performer in Montreal’s preeminent jazz clubs, including Dièse Onze, the Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill and the illustrious Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. He has toured internationally with stops in Asia, the Middle East, and in the USA including New York City’s Blue Note Jazz Club and The Cotton Club in New Orleans as well as the Detroit and JVC Jazz Festivals. The pianist teams up with Montreal-based Justin Time again for One Of The Others, set for release on October 7. The trio recording is a genuine, creative deepness of effort, and is selflessly shared. The album delivers the real Butler in a musical representation of who he is, and what he feels, a suite of truly personal and personalized tracks. One Of The Others is also one of the tracks on the album and like a title or heading it is an expression of the thoughts and musings presented throughout about being an outsider in a new and strange, but immediately, not so strange land. With Wali Muhammad on drums and Morgan Moore on bass, Butler tells us his story through eleven songs some authored and some re-imagined and authored. Listen to this music and travel the Taurey Butler migration from his then to his now.

Chip Wickham - Gondwana

The music of Chip Wickham just seems to get deeper and deeper with each new release – the kind of "instant classic" territory that few jazz musicians seem to hit so effortlessly – and exactly the kind of record that's had us loving Chip's music from the very first record! The groove is mostly modal, and the group has this great blend of bass, drums, and percussion that rolls along with a wonderfully fluid quality – almost in the nascent spirituality of a player like Yusef Lateef in the early 60s, but with a lot more contemporary understanding too – especially as Wickham adds in elements from the harp of Amanda Whiting, trumpet of Eoin Grace, and vibes of Ton Risco! Phil Wilkonson handles the piano with a majestic sort of grace – and Chip blows both flutes and tenor, on titles that include "Dark Eyes", "Tubby Chaser", "Winter", "Lower East Side", "Stratospheric", and "The Hit".  ~ Dusty Groove

Jasmine Myra - Horizons

Really lovely music from saxophonist Jasmine Myra – an artist who's a great fit for the contemporary spiritual sound of the Gondwana label! Myra has great ties to the contemporary British scene, and as with some of her contemporaries, she's far more than just a soloist – as the album resonates with her strength as both a leader and composer – music that moves beyond just being a showcase for her reeds, and which also has this larger vision that's really wonderful! Some tracks are straightforward, others are more ambitious, and other players include Ben Haskins on guitar, Jasper Green on piano, and Alice Roberts on harp – all musicians who really help Jasmine carve out a wonderful first statement on record – on titles that include "Morningtide", "1000 Miles", "Words Left Unspoken", "Horizons", and "Awakening". ~ Dusty Groove

Scone Cash Players - Brooklyn To Brooklin

The second Brooklin in the title here is a city in Brazil – referenced by the group as a place of new inspiration, which seems to come through in some occasionally more complicated rhythms on the set! If you love the previous work by this Hammond-heavy combo, don't fret – as there's plenty of funky organ here to love. But there's also some occasional nods to the legacy of Brazilian groove too – which breaks organist Adam Scone out of his deep funk box a bit, as he works alongside guitarist Jimmy James and tenorist Neal Sugarman – with a vibe that's nicely loose at times, tighter at others, and always right on the money! Titles include "It Wasn't Meant To Be", "Anadira", "Cold 40s", "In Our Hands", "What's Her Name", "It Wasn't Meant To Be", and "Brooklyn To Brooklin". ~ Dusty Groove

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