Brian Charette “Groovin’ With Big G” (SCCD 31857)

SCCD 31857 Brian Charette “Groovin’ With Big G” Big G as in George Coleman, Sr. The legendary tenor saxophonist is the featured artist here on Brian Charette’s new album. George Coleman is the recipient of 2015 NEA (The National Endowment for the Arts) Jazz Masters Awards, the highest honor USA gives to jazz musician. For B-3’s most adventurous and talented practitioner Brian Charette who has known the Coleman father and son for more than a couple of decades, this recording materialized as a musical homecoming. “Both B-3 stylist and student, serious jazz scholar and glitzy entertainer, Charette is a burning soloist who understands the tradition of the Hammond B-3 as … Continue reading

Joe Magnarelli “Magic Trick” (SCCD 31845)

SCCD 31845 Joe Magnarelli “Magic Trick” When trumpeter Joe Magnarelli (known to most people as Mags) moved to New York City in 1986, he was already fully cultivated and nurtured in the rich jazz environment of upstate New York, especially around Syracuse where he was born. In NYC Joe Magnarelli has rapidly found his own voice and established himself as one of the most-in-demand artists. This is Mags’s first album as a leader on SteepleChase label. “The bop-based trumpeter Joe Magnarelli has it all: a warm, friendly sound, a splendid melodic imagination, a knack for writing memorable themes and for picking the best works by others, and a no-nonsense swing … Continue reading

Olegario Diaz “I Remember Chet” (SCCD 31853)

SCCD 31853 Olegario Diaz “I Remember Chet” Venezuela-born pianist/composer Olegario Diaz has since 2011 been presenting handful of quality recordings with firm roots in post-bop. Diaz has also published quite a few books on music and musicians. He produced this album, his 5th release to portray Chet Baker as he might write a book about the great artist. “From Juan Sebastian Bar in Caracas to all the great joints in New York, Los Angeles … and the rest of the jazz world, to great open sky concerts, theatres and festivals, Olegario´s groups always give us ¨Something To Remember¨… good jazz! …” (John N. De Souza – Jazz Y Algo Más, … Continue reading

Gary Smulyan “Alternative Contrafacts” (SCCD 31844)

SCCD 31844 Gary Smulyan “Alternative Contrafacts” Baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan brings here his trademark “contrafacts” (a music making method that shares the chord progressions with other compositions) approach to this first SteepleChase leader outing challenging us (maybe?) to guess the tunes he is employing. Smulyan whose professional career took shape by joining Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herds at age 22 (1978) has won Critics’ and Readers’ Poll awards numerous times by Downbeat and JazzTimes, among others. England’s Penguin Guide to Jazz once described Smulyan as “the leading American exponent of post-bop baritone”. GARY SMULYAN baritone saxophone DAVID WONG bass RODNEY GREEN drums Recorded April 2017 1 VODKA (Mal Waldron) 7:34 … Continue reading

Chris Byars “New York City Jazz” (SCCD 31842)

SCCD 31842 Chris Byars “New York City Jazz” Chris Byars, the award winning alto saxophonist, composer, arranger, jazz historian and a 100% native New Yorker set out to “curate the state of jazz to create a sort of time capsule” (Chris Byars) for this new album. What Byars successfully presents here is the genuine creative aspiration that prevails in world’s most diverse and competitive artistic environment. “Chris Byars has done a remarkable job reviving these neglected compositions of Frank Strozier while also putting his own stamp on them with his inventive arrangements.” (Ken Dryden – New York City Jazz on SCCD 31824 The Music Of Frank Strozier) Chris Byars alto … Continue reading

Vic Juris “Eye Contact” (SCCD 31841)

SCCD 31841 Vic Juris “Eye Contact” Vic Juris has added another guitar trio masterpiece here on his ever-growing body of recorded works. Since his SteepleChase debut album “Night Tripper” SCCD 31353 of 1994, guitarist Vic Juris has been presenting unique musical universe of unassuming virtuosity and versatility, of which John Kelman of AllAboutJazz once pertinently described as “fresh, in-the-moment and connected to the broadest possible tradition.” “Vic Plays Victor Young is a sensitive melodically exploratory album of standards and rarely covered airs, as should be expected from a seasoned ensemble with a compatible repertoire.” (Howard Mandel – DownBeat **** on SCCD 31829) VIC JURIS guitar JAY ANDERSON bass ADAM NUSSBAUM … Continue reading

Andy LaVerne “Faith” (SCCD 31840)

SCCD 31840 Andy LaVerne “Faith” Andy LaVerne continues to explore the path he set out with his previous critically acclaimed release “Genesis” (SCCD 31818), this time with an added voice in trumpet/flugelhorn by Alex Sipiagin as well as Mike Richmond’s overdubbed cello over his bass-line. As in the previous album all titles are new originals by LaVerne, who, to quote Neil Tesser, Grammy Award winning American journalist, is a committed melodist, with truly individualistic tone. “… Intelligent Design lives up to its name as one of LaVerne’s best efforts thus far and one of the finest jazz releases of the year.” (C. Andrew Hovan – AAJ on SCCD 31618 Intelligent … Continue reading

Harold Danko “Triple Play” (SCCD 31839)

SCCD 31839 Harold Danko “Triple Play” Harold Danko concludes his liner notes entitled “Arriving at The Unknown” on this “Triple Play” album, stating, “I hope … listeners of this CD are prepared to join us as we take off to undiscovered region.” Ever subtle and transcendent pianist/composer Danko and his congenial co-players Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield are unfolding a unique universe of improvising in and on the recognizable repertoire to pleasant surprises. “Danko plays with the kind of finesse and heartfelt emotion that has always marked his work. Bravo! (C. Andrew Hovan – AAJ on SCCD 31471 This Isn’t Maybe…) HAROLD DANKO piano JAY ANDERSON bass Jeff Hirshfield drums … Continue reading

Joel Weiskopf “The Message” (SCCD 31838)

SCCD 31838 Joel Weiskopf “The Message” On this second leader album for SteepleChase pianist/composer/educator Joel Weiskopf reunites his working band from the 80s which performed on fairly regular basis in and around Boston area. His “old band” sounds even greater here exploring the repertoire consisting mostly of Weiskopf’s newer challenging compositions. “A deeply personal musical statement.” (Brian Zimmerman – DownBeat **** on Where Angels Fear To Tread SCCD 31813) “Where Angeles Fear To Tread is highly recommended for the excellence of Weiskopf’s writing, smart ensemble work, and three first-rate soloists.” (David A Othmann on SCCD 31813) JOEL WEISKOPF piano ROB SCHEPS tenor & soprano saxophone JOE FITZGERALD bass MARCELLO PELLITTERI … Continue reading

Dick Oatts “Use Your Imagination” (SCCD 31837)

SCCD 31837 Dick Oatts “Use Your Imagination” Jazz critic Owen Cordle once described Dick Oatts as “an uncompromising jazz musician, one who possesses monster chops without trumpeting them.” Dick Oatts has, since his move to NYC in the late 70s, been one of the most sought-after soloists on alto sax on both the NY scene and the international stage. Dick Oatts’ sensitive and cerebral approach to music enhanced by his “monster chops” manifested here again on his 11th leader album on SteepleChase. “… maybe the best showcase we’ve ever heard for the alto sax work of Dick Oatts!” (Dusty Groove on Sweet Nowhere SCCD 31778) DICK OATTS alto saxophone JOE … Continue reading