Again, a lot of new material has been released in the last few months. Here comes a short list of albums which are really remarkable.
Max Moran & Neospectric
Release date: October 12
New Orleans based bassist Max Moran presents a great funk album that combines a blink to past legendary funk and groove bands with his own perspective, largely shaped by experiences while recording and out on the road. Both the band and sound grew out of a jam session, nearly ten years ago, at the home of guitarist Cliff Hines in New Orleans. In addition to Hines, the jam session also included drummer Joe Dyson and pianist Conun Pappas, Moran’s childhood friends and longtime bandmates, all of whom are prominently featured on this debut effort. Guests include Donald Harrison and Nicholas Payton.
“Something just clicked in the way that we were playing and gave me an idea in how I could structure a band,” said Moran. “I decided to put those guys [on a gig] together and that’s when I made up the word ["neospectric"] and named it. The concept of the first gig was that I had one or two songs. I knew what I wanted to do at the beginning and end of the show, but in the middle, I just wanted to improvise.”
Elliot Deutsch: Make Big Band Great Again
Release date: November 6
Elliot Deutsch is an active composer, arranger, and big band leader in Los Angeles, CA. His band, called Elliot Deutsch Big Band is one of the most exciting and inventive big bands in the greater Los Angeles area.
“My plan was to write an album to pay tribute to my hometown, Los Angeles. The first song I wrote was “Pink Sunset (Over Gray Skies),” with reverence to our beautiful evenings that are ironically decorated by pollution. After writing a draft of the melody (that was later revised heavily by Bob McChesney), I experienced a bit of writer’s block. I put it aside and began another piece. This piece became “Fake News.” It was much darker, heavier, and more energetic than typical large ensemble jazz music. The piece combines elements of many of my favorite non-jazz music, Chase, Tower of Power, Rage Against the Machine. I wasn’t writing this piece for any particular listener, rather writing music that would speak to me and my feelings about the political climate that was at the front of my mind.”
So expect a unique and intensive big band album.
Mark Winkler & Cheryl Bentyne: Eastern Standard Time
Release date: August 13
Vocalists Mark Winkler and Cheryl Bentyne teamed up to record “Eastern Standard Time”, a sophisticated project of songs picked from known standards and several less familiar songs of the Great American Songbook, as well as a couple of originals by Winkler. This is their second CD together. The first, “West Coast Cool” , was released in 2013 and received critical acclaim. For this second album they’ve chosen songs that you would hear if you habituated jazz clubs in New York City back in the late 50s and early 60s. Although the CD comprises mainly duets, they each perform two solo pieces as well. “Eastern Standard Time” is a cool and cultivated project by two stellar vocalists who can transform whatever they sing into a statement of great emotional depth.