Bigmouth – a project of bassist Chris Lightcap – apparently is inspired by stretched-out, two-toned, tail-finned, white-wall-tired cars of the mid-'50s, in reference to the cover art on Deluxe. The music is ultra-modern from a compositional standpoint, only hinting at neo-bop while pushing the creative improvised harmonic envelope. Lightcap's expertise on the bass is second to none, as he pushes and prods his way through these original works with an absolutely stellar band of drummer Gerald Cleaver, electric keyboardist Craig Taborn, tenor saxophonists Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek, and on three tracks alto saxophonist Andrew D'Angelo. While some allusions to the vintage autos are reflected in the titles, Lightcap's vision is of the future, a heady mix of heart and soul embedded in this refreshing new music.
It's both significant and troubling that Billy Bragg's best albums since releasing Talking with the Taxman About Poetry in 1986 were the two Mermaid Avenue volumes, in which Bragg set Woody Guthrie's unpublished lyrics to new music with Wilco serving as his collaborators and backing band, suggesting that this former one-man band suddenly needed plenty of help to communicate with his audience. Bragg sounded confident and all but unbeatable on his first few albums in the '80s, but political and creative uncertainty have dominated much of his work since then. Which is why Mr. Love & Justice is a pleasant and encouraging surprise – while hardly perfect, it's easily Bragg's best and most consistent solo effort since Don't Try This at Home, and finds him coming to terms with maturity and the changing face of the world, two bugaboos that have been dogging his muse for some time.
Sometimes words are not enough. Sometimes you just have to listen, let the music catch you and carry you with it. Sometimes the music is everything. Catching Sunlight has everything. Pianist and composer Dave Stapleton’s new album Catching Sunlight is filled with gorgeous melodies, drenched in sensual harmonies and driven by subtle, shifting rhythms and strange, exotic time signatures. New Music group, the Lunar Saxophone Quartet, commissioned Stapleton to write a long work in 2007 for four saxophones and piano.
This is a fabulous release with two albums from Shirley and Dolly Collins recorded on Harvest records and collected together. CD one brings us the album Anthems in Eden. Anthems in Eden is perhaps the most famous album and the most creative one from Shirley and Dolly Collins. This sixth album from Shirley is from 1969 and it is an incredible project. The album has been released and re released a few times. Here on this fabulous album Shirley provides her unique vocals along with Sister Dolly on portative organ. But this time there are a whole host of other musicians involved.
A companion release to Hollywood Quintet Sessions, The Complete Regent Sessions (including tracks from the LPs Art Pepper/Sonny Redd, Jazz Is Busting Out All Over, and The Cool Sound of Pepper Adams), also from 1957, features emerging baritone saxophone star Pepper Adams in a series of lengthy jazz jams, unlike the shorter and compact studio recordings he did with West Coast musicians. These two East Coast dates done during the early winter in Hackensack, NJ, at Rudy Van Gelder's house studio feature Adams' running mates who matriculated from Detroit to New York City with him, including Doug Watkins (who was also on the Hollywood tracks), Elvin Jones on all selections, Hank Jones, and Bernard McKinney.