A strong set from the seemingly ageless jazz drummer Roy Haynes – joined by eventual legend and trumpeter RoyHargrove on a number of tunes, the legendary Chick Corea on piano for a couple, Haynes' solid Fountain Of Youth group and other guests on another sharp effort for Dreyfus! Here Haynes interprets classics by Monk, Miles & McCoy Tyner, a bit of loose improvisation, and some moody balladry – doing each very well in with timeless craft and inspiration. Includes "Grand Street", "These Foolish Things", "Equipoise", "They Call The Wind Mariah", "Tin Tin Deo", "Pinky" and "Passion Dance". CD
Features Vincent Herring on saxes, RoyHargrove on trumpet, and Donald Brown on piano – with guest work from Freddie Hubbard too! CD
Jowee Omicil —
Let's Bash ... CD Jazz Village (France), 2017. New Copy ...
Sweet reeds and plenty of Fender Rhodes – a set that has Jowee Omicil blowing soprano sax, alto, flute, and clarinet – over a set of tunes that move along with a gentle sort of groove! The album's got a nice polish, but is also hipper than smooth jazz too – with some rootsier currents from time to time, and just the right sort of use of electric elements, so that they never overwhelm the acoustic sound of the leader. Songs are dedicated to Ornette Coleman, Tinariwen, RoyHargrove, and others – and titles include "Sur Le Pont D'Avignon", "A Si Pare", "Love & Honesty", "Something Clear", "Twa Groove", and "Pipillita". CD
Johnny O'Neal is a hell of a pianist, but here it's especially nice to hear him working with some horns – the trumpet of RoyHargrove and tenor of Grant Stewart – who each get a chance to appear on a number of the album's tracks! At the heart of the record is the usual Johnny O'Neal trio format – with Johnny sometimes singing along, in that wonderfully unique voice of his – working alongside Ben Rubens on bass and Itay Morchi on drums. But when the horns come in, it really feels like something special happens – a bit more edge in the piano, and even the vocals as well – as if Johnny's sitting up even straighter, and bringing more of himself to the performance. The whole thing's great, though – and if you already love O'Neal's trio recordings, you'll find plenty to love – and may feel even more so on the other tracks too. Titles include "Sweet Monk", "Churchill Grounds", "Slow Hot Wind", "Please Be Kind", "CGLS", "People Make The World Go Round", "Sunday In New York", "Just A Dream", "Being In Love With You", and "Travelin Light". CD
D'Angelo comes back after many years awol from the studio – and the result is a stunning new step in his music! We've loved the man from day one – and some folks could well say that he really helped reinvigorate soul back in the 90s – and all his time away from the studio has definitely been formative, as he comes back here with a righteous power that really blows away all his previous work! D'Angelo still loves the slow beat and mellow approach to funk – but he's also picked up a lot more fuzz and freak, too – righteous energy that more than lives up to the Black Messiah promised by the title, as do the lyrics. Instrumentation includes work by Questlove on drums, RoyHargrove on trumpet, and Jesse Johnson on guitar – and the grooves have these tripping, slow-percolating elements that really give the lyrics a great sort of crackle. More than worth the wait – as you'll hear on titles that include "Back To The Future (parts 1 & 2)", "Sugah Daddy", "Really Love", "1000 Deaths", "Ain't That Easy", "Betray My Heart", "The Door", and "Till It's Done (Tutu)". LP, Vinyl record album
Singer Cyrille Aimee gets help from some great "friends" here – a tight quintet with RoyHargrove on trumpet, Joel Frahm on tenor, and Spike Wilner on piano – really helping set up her vocals with a solid instrumental footing! Aimee's got a slight Billie Holiday quality to her phrasing – at least in the way her tone comes across – but the set's a mix of numbers that move way past traditional jazz vocal numbers, thanks partly to the way the group is swinging the rhythms, and bringing in a more contemporary vibe overall. Titles include a nice Wilner original – "East Village Inamorata" – plus "Yesterdays", "Que Reste Il", "I Was Beginning To See The Light", "When I Was A Child", "I Mean You", and "Stand By Me". CD