post-bop Archive

Jonathan SARAGA: Journey to a New World – Fresh Sounds New Talent 

Jonathan SARAGA: Journey to a New World – Fresh Sounds New Talent 

Jonathan SARAGA: Journey to a New World – Fresh Sounds New Talent 535, 72.05 (10/1/17) ***½:  Feisty, uptempo post-bop ensemble with agile soloing by Fresh Sound New Talent trumpeter in front. (Jonathan Saraga; trumpet/ Remy Le Boeuf; alto sax/ Aki Ishiguro; guitar/ Chris Pattishall; piano/keyboards/ Rick Rosato;bass/ Kenneth Salters; drums) There is scarcely a person who has done more to promote the Jazz of our time (and not only our generation) than Jordi Pujol, who indefatigably works to bring new jazz artists to public attention. It is always with keen appreciation that I audition a new recording on his Fresh Sound New Talent label. On this occasion, we have a bright trumpet player, Jonathan Saraga, leading a sextet on mostly his own compositions. Things start off promisingly on Uprising. The front line exudes confidence in assertive solos and intricate twining sax/trumpet theme, while the rhythm section gives good account on a propulsive swinging beat that allows a very inventive drummer (Kenneth Salters) latitude for many-handed embellishments and wily accents. Saraga has a bright tone, quick articulation, a penchant for old-school sonic effects, and smeared, pungently bent notes. Alto Remy Le Boeuf demonstrates an extroverted style, but also a fine skill […]

Nate Lepine Quartet: Vortices – ears&eyes

Nate Lepine Quartet: Vortices – ears&eyes

Saxophonist Nate Lepine: helping put the new Chicago sound on the musical map. Nate Lepine Quartet: Vortices – ears&eyes ee:16-054, 44:48 [9/30/16] ****: (Clark Sommers – bass; Nick Mazzarella – alto saxophone; Nate Lepine – tenor saxophone; Quin Kirchner – drums) Jazz fans may not realize it, but Chicago is a city with a vibrant jazz scene with talented musicians who regularly move outside of the jazz norm. For instance, tenor saxophonist Nate Lepine often goes toward the edges where free improvisation meets composed jazz. He cultivates material which has one step in the past and one foot in the ever-changing present. A sense of shifting between straightforward and forward-thinking permeates Lepine’s 44-minute debut, titled Quartet: Vortices. Alongside Lepine are other Chicago jazz artists who appreciate Lepine’s musical vision: bassist Clark Sommers (who has performed with Brian Blade, Bennie Maupin, Jeff Parker, and others); alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella (who has participated in other Chicago-based improv/jazz groups); and drummer Quin Kirchner (who has connections to Chicago bands such as Bill MacKay’s Darts & Arrows, the Rob Clearfield Trio and Old Door Phantoms). This foursome brings sympathetic perception to Lepine’s 11 originals, which range from whirlwind tunes to wafting cuts which have […]

Some great jazz from a B-3 quartet.

Some great jazz from a B-3 quartet.

Mike LeDonne – I Love Music – Savant Recordings SCD 2135, 53:38 [5/11/14] ****1/2: (Mike Ledonne – B-3 organ; Eric Alexander – tenor saxophone; Peter Bernstein – guitar; Joe Farnsworth – drums) Like many jazz organists, Mike Ledonne started out on piano. Growing up around the family music store where his father Micki played jazz guitar, his path to music was inevitable. After graduating from The New England Conservatory, he moved to New York and became a fixture in jazz circles. Earlier in his career, he established himself as a sought-after pianist, playing with Benny Goodman, the Art-Farmer-Clifford Jordan Quartet, Dizzy Gillespie, Stanley Turrentine and Sonny Rollins. His eleven-year association with Milt Jackson and three recording projects with Benny Golson solidified his prominence as a sideman. But it was his transition to Hammond B-3 that launched his bandleader ascension. The Groover Quartet (with Eric Alexander/tenor saxophone; Peter Bernstein/guitar and Joe Farnsworth (drums) continue to be a must-see act appearing nearly every Tuesday night at New York’s esteemed club, Smoke, for over a decade. Their debut, The Groover (2010) reached the tip slot on the jazz charts for 14 weeks. The follow-up, Keep The Faith also garnered critical and commercial acclaim. […]