DariusJones & The Elizabeth Caroline Unit —
Oversoul Manual ... CD Aum Fidelity, 2014. New Copy ...
One of the most unusual projects we've ever heard from DariusJones – so much so that the record doesn't feature the instrumentalist at all – just his own ideas and compositions performed by a very unique vocal quartet! The album is dedicated to all the singers who've influenced Jones over the years – from Nina Simone to Leontyne Price, Andy Bey, and Betty Carter – but the compositions are way different than any of those references might make you expect, and are based around a created language for spiritual rituals from the planet Or'gen – with word shapes instead of actual lyrics, performed by a quartet of female singers with a very enigmatic sound! The work is far more experimental than straight jazz vocals, but still has a very haunting, captivating feel – and the 15 tracks on the album are all listed with a variety of different symbols in the notes. CD
A strong set of NYC trio jazz lead by alto sax player DariusJones – his second set as a leader – and solid mix of tightly grooving group interplay and more out, freer moments! The album is dedicated to George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic – but the music itself is prime, inventive, free thinking trio jazz, with plenty of room for improvisation. The trio features with Adam Lane on bass and Jason Nazary on drums. Includes "E=Gaz", "I Wish I Had A Choice", "Chasing The Ghost", "My Special 'D'", "A Train" and more. CD
Beautifully sensitive work from saxophonist DariusJones – a record that features these nicely-building lines on alto sax – played with an offbeat approach to tone! Jones has some very unusual inflections on his horn here – so that even some of the gentler moments still have a nice edge, and resonate strongly next to the careful rhythms from Matt Mitchell on piano, Trevor Dunn on bass, and Ches Smith on drums. Most tunes start a bit slow, and kind of blossom as Jones blows more life into them – taking things to the brink, but never too far outside. Titles include "My Baby", "Roosevelt", "So Sad", "You Have Me Seeing Red", "Winkie", and "The Fagley Blues". CD
Raw trio jazz from DariusJones – who has this invigorating, just rough enough tone on alto sax that's pretty wonderful! His trio includes Rakalam Bob Moses on drums and Cooper-Moore on piano and diddley-bo. The set blends free jazz expression with some bluesier touches very impressively. Excellent, unpredictable and fresh. Titles include "Roosevelt", "Cry Out", "We Are Unicorns", "Meekness", "Salty", "Chasing The Ghost", "Big Train Rollin" and "Forgive Me". CD
A great large group project from reedman Oliver Lake – and a great reminder of his mighty strengths as a writer and arranger too! Right from the start, Lake's had a great ability to move between smaller, intimate settings and more ensemble-based music – and here, he's at the helm of a great batch of well-chosen reed players – all of whom move together as one to realize Lake's complicated charts for the record! The set explodes with bold hues and rich tones right from the start – a shifting palette that only gets stronger as the album moves through Oliver's original compositions – material played by Mike Lee and James Stewart on tenor, DariusJones and Bruce Williams on alto, Jason Marshall on baritone, Stafford Hunter and Aaron Johnson on trombones, and Walton Ricks, EJ Allen, Nabate Isles, and Freddie Hendrix on trumpets. Titles include "Drum Thing", "Is It Real", "Philly Blues", "Maasai Moves", "Studder", and "Wheels Suite". CD
Really beautiful work from bassist Eric Revis – an album of subtle soul and really deep feelings – with a quality that's much more classic than some of the more contemporary material that we usually hear from the Clean Feed label – almost in an older avant space with echoes of Ornette Coleman, or some of the Soul Note/Black Saint recordings of the members of the 70s loft jazz scene. The group here is really strongly balanced – rich horn lines from Bill McHenry on tenor and DariusJones on alto – mixed with Revis ruminating work on bass, and some sublime drumming from Chad Taylor – a player we really love, but who seems to shine even more here than usual. Branford Marsalis makes a surprising guest appearance on two tracks – and titles include "Hits", "Unknown", "Somethin's Cookin", "If You're Lonesome Then You're Not Alone", and the multi-part "Tulpa Chronicles". CD