Chris Byars – Jasmine Flower (SCCD 31773)

SCCD 31773 Chris Byars “Jasmine Flower” Chris Byars saxophone/composer/arranger leads his group in various formats including a quintet as in this album with guest instrumentalists (his father James Byars on English horn and his fiancée Mine Sadrazam on piano). Chris could be dubbed “Jazz Ambassador” conducting cultural exchange programs in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Balkans for the U.S. Department of State since 2007. While his previous three albums were highly creative tributaries to jazz’s true heroes: Freddie Redd, Lucky Thompson and Gigi Gryce, this new album is a superb collection of Chris’s original compositions many of which are depicting diverse cultures of the world. “… Byars’ treatment … Continue reading

Jed Levy – Italian Suite (SCCD 31772)

SCCD 31772 Jed Levy Quartet “The Italian Suite” In the past two decades saxophonist Jed Levy has been the stalwart of New York jazz scene leading his own group or performing with such luminaries as Jaki Byard, Junior Mance, Eddie Henderson, Jack Walrath, Kevin Mahogany, Tom Harrell, among other. On this his 7 th SteepleChase release Jed Levy the composer takes the center stage and presents an album-length suite with each section relating to Jed’s impression of Italy where he made numerous trips and gave concerts. “ Very Impressive and about as inventive a departure from the standard tenor-and –rhythm conventions as one can hope for….a first-class session .” (The … Continue reading

Peter Zak – The Eternal Triangle (SCCD 31771)

SCCD 31771 Peter Zak Trio "The Eternal Triangle” Peter Zak’s penchant and artistry for trio format has produced an impressive series of piano trio albums all of which have enjoyed superlative critical acclaims all over the world. Here on this latest release with the fitting album title Peter Zak delivers once again his trademark intelligent art of piano trio performance. “You can’t help but be drawn in by his deep swing, mastery of tempo, horn-like phrasing, orchestrative savoir faire, and ability to conjure melodic pathways through harmonic thickets.” ( Ten Panken – DownBeat on “Down East – SCCD 31715) 1. I Believe In You (Frank Loesser)2. A Body At Rest … Continue reading

Ari Ambrose – Settling In (SCCD 31770)

SCCD 31770 Ari Ambrose Quartet ”Settling In” Ari Ambrose, since his recording debut as leader on SteepleChase’s “Introducing Ari Ambrose” (SCCD 31450) some 15 years ago, has maintained his musical perspectives of modernism on tradition and has polished them to perfection on this new album. “… With so many of the young tenor voices continuing to follow John Coltrane or Sonny Rollins or turning toward free-form abstraction, it’s refreshing to find Ambrose employing the tradition, taking it back and bringing it forward, … offering something different in what often seems to be a world of clones.” (Will Smith – JazzTimes on Whatever Happens SCCD 31617) “ Ari Ambrose's Waiting (Steeplechase … Continue reading

Kirk Knuffke – Chorale (SCCD 31769)

SCCD 31769 Kirk Knuffke Quartet “Chorale” In the last few years Cornetist Kirk Knuffke has developed a formidable discography on SteepleChase label with three duo recordings with pianist Jesse Stacken, each of which is a tribute to jazz’s great composers, and one quartet collaboration with veteran saxophonist Ted Brown. Kirk Knuffke filled the new album here entirely with his own original compositions to showcase his unique compositional talent. " Over the last couple years, New York trumpeter Kirk Knuffke has quietly emerged as one of the most exciting and flexible hornmen on the scene .” Peter Margasak – Downbeat magazine 1. Wingy (Kirk Knuffke)2. Made (Kirk Knuffke)3. Kettle (Kirk Knuffke)4. … Continue reading

Martin Jacobsen – Live In Tokyo (SCCD 31768)

SCCD 31768 Martin Jacobsen Quartet “Live In Tokyo – The NHK fureai hall concert” Danish-born tenor saxophonist Martin Jacobsen resides in Paris, France and performs all over the world. Martin frequently gives concerts in many of the Asian countries including Japan, Korea and China. This release is a live recording of a very successful concert performed at Japan’s national public radio/TV network NHK’s “fureai” (contact) hall in 2011 only a few days after that devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit the north-east coast of Japan. The Martin Jacobsen Quartet which consists of Danish tenor, Japanese piano, German bass and English drummer revisited Japan later the same year to give support … Continue reading

Peter Brendler, John Abercrombie – The Angle Below (SCCD 31767)

SCCD 31767 Peter Brendler & John Abercrombie “The Angle Below” SteepleChase is proud to present the first leader album by this extraordinary talent out of the younger generation of elite double bass players, Peter Brendler. After graduating with great distinction from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2001, Peter has made New York his home, where he established himself firmly as one of the most sought after bassists. Veteran guitarist John Abercrombie and Brendler have been working together and their mutually inspired collaboration results in this spirited duo project. . Goodbye (Gordon Jenkins). Jazz Folk (John Abercrombie). Nick Of Time (John Abercrombie). Sweet 16 (John Abercrombie). Downhill Runner (Peter … Continue reading

Ronnie Cuber – Live At JazzFest Berlin (SCCD 31766)

SCCD 31766 Ronnie Cuber “Live In Berlin” The legendary baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber is, as Bill Milkowski of JazzTimes observes, “ still very much on top of his game at age 70 ”. One summer night of the famed Berlin Jazzfest of 2008 finds Ronnie and his group in a relaxed and joyous mood backed by the responsive and enthusiastic audience. “ An astonishingly lyrical player on that most unforgiving of instruments… It is the intelligence and subtlety of his playing that shines through …” (Sunday Express UK on Ronnie SCCD 31680) “… while Cuber’s ability to blow over the changes remains unquestioned, it’s his restrained approach and melodic penchant…… … Continue reading

Stephen Riley – Lover (SCCD 31765)

SCCD 31765 Stephen Riley Quartet “Lover” “…. a truly special album .” (Terrell Holmes – The New York City Jazz Record on Hart-Beat ) “… a really solid recording, with some noteworthy playing making it a worthy successor in a lineage of great tenor saxophone trio records.” (Gregg Simmons – AAJ on Hart-Beat ) 1. Nice Work If You Can Get It (George Gershwin)2. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing (Sammy Fain)3. When I Take My Sugar To Tea (Irving Kahal / Sammy Fain / Pierre Norman Connor)4. When Your Lover Has Gone (Einar Aaron Swan)5. When Lights Are Low (Ted Fio Rito)6. Deluge (Wayne Shorter)7. Lover (Richard Rodgers)8. After You, … Continue reading

Niels Vincentz – Gravity (SCCD 31764)

SCCD 31764 Niels Vincentz Trio “Gravity” January a year ago American born Danish tenor saxophonist Niels Vincentz made CD debut from SteepleChase with his American trio of Cameron Brown on bass and Billy Hart on drums (“Early Reflections SCCD 31737) to critical acclaim. Vincentz presents here the follow-up set with Brown and Hart right after their tours in USA and Denmark. “ Beautiful SteepleChase debut …so remarkable that it will open the door for Vincentz to the wider jazz audience ..” (Ivan Rod – GAFFA, DK) “ There’s perfect equilibrium here: no overreaching, no underreaching, either…You hear how centered Vincentz is, and why these Americans dig him .” (M. Jackson … Continue reading