Jazz Consumer Guide (13):

This is the surplus file for Jazz Consumer Guide #13. These are short reviews of records that for one reason or another have been dropped from active consideration while working on this column. These reviews will be published in the blog when the column comes out.

Many were culled at the end of the cycle, when the "done" file was reduced from 132 records to 66.

The Heckler by Juan Pablo Balcazar Quartet: Heckler City (2005, Fresh Sound New Talent): Some confusion on the group name or title or whatever, almost like this was meant as some sort of film noir soundtrack. Group leader is bassist Balcazar, working with tenor sax, guitar, drums -- all little recognized outside of Spain. One of those records I like quite a bit but can't quite describe and never seem to be able to get back to. Must be postbop. B+(***)

The Crimson Jazz Trio: The King Crimson Songbook Volume One (2005, Voiceprint): Standard issue piano trio, led by drummer Ian Wallace, who played in a Frippless spinoff group called 21st Century Schizoid Band, with Joey Nardone on piano, Tim Landers on fretless bass guitar. I'm surprised both that the songbook holds up so well and that they make so much of it. B+(***)

Hank Jones/Frank Wess: Hank and Frank (2003 [2006], Lineage): Would have been a logical tie-in to consider this for HM at the same time as the Jones-Lovano record, but the two records don't come close enough, and not just because Wess isn't a match for Lovano. Third wheel here is guitarist Ilya Lushtak, who runs an interesting label meant to score gigs with his heroes. He's actually better working on the Ray Appleton-Melvin Rhyne album. B+(**)

Tom Lellis: Avenue of the Americas (2004-05 [2006], Beamtide): Male jazz singer, combines the worst effects of heroes Mark Murphy and Jon Hendricks, but gets a pass on disarming modesty. Got some help from people I respect, and pretty much wasted it all. This should have been flagged as a Dud, but I chose not to waste my ammo on such a nonentity. C

John Lindberg/Karl Berger: Duets 1 (2004 [2007], Between the Lines): The sort of modest, minor, but charming record that gets killed by the numbers game here. One of the world's great bassist-composers, intimately bound to a pretty interesting guy on piano and vibes. About what you'd expect within those limits. B+(**)

Branford Marsalis: Braggtown (2006, Marsalis Music/Rounder): I recall him quoted as emphatically insisting that "Wynton's good for the music." I'm not so sure I agree, but I don't doubt that Branford is good for the music. His label does good work; even if his Marsalis Music Honors series makes players like Alvin Batiste and Michael Carvin out to be more mainstream than they really are (were in Batiste's case), they provide a real service. And Branford's a damn fine tenor sax player, not that he always plays up to snuff. He's weak on ballads; I'd like to hear him without a pianist (and not just without Joey Calderazzo); and I wish he'd lose the soprano. This is his average record, with the usual mix of good spots and not-so-good spots, for all the usual reasons. Actually, maybe a bit better than average. B+(**)

Delfeayo Marsalis: Minions Dominion (2002 [2006], Troubadour Jazz): Most enjoyable Marsalis album in recent memory. The family trombonist doesn't have the ego or ambitions of his older brothers, he makes a nice setting for the guests, and he keeps pretty good company: Branford and Donald Harrison split the sax chores, Mulgrew Miller plays piano, and Elvin Jones took on the drum kit -- a special treat. Good trombone, too. B+(**)

Myra Melford/Be Bread: The Image of Your Body (2003 [2006], Cryptogramophone): Jessica Williams attacked this savagely on a recent blindfold test, which motivates me to scratch both of their recent records from the list. Both are marginal HM candidates, somewhat more annoying than their grades indicate -- a backhanded testament to their talents. Pace Williams, Melford is an extraordinary pianist, but that's not fully in evidence here, with her harmonium experiments and a rather mixed bag of world-fusion helpers. B+(**)

Mike Melvoin Trio: You Know (2006, City Light): A very nice little piano trio -- the sort of thing that folks who like that sort of thing should like quite a bit, but even they may have trouble getting excited. B+(**)

Wolfgang Muthspiel/Brian Blade: Friendly Travelers (2006 [2007], Material): A casualty of convenience: in picking Bright Side as my Muthspiel pick hit, I cited this in a passing line, thereby knocking it off the priority list. The interplay with Blade is at least as enticing as anything on the trio album. The main reason I went with the trio was that I thought the bass resonance made it more accessible, and a slightly better picture of Muthspiel's unique guitar artistry. But I came damn close to going the other way, and if I had the space I'd do both. A-

Anders Nilsson's Aorta: Janus (2005, Kopasetic): A second album that got swept up in the pick hit review, but otherwise is worth citing on its own. More varied than Blood but less representative of what makes Nilsson unique. Saxophonist Mattias Carlson has some good moments. If anyone can turn heavy metal into jazz it's Nilsson, although the result isn't always as satisfying as you might hope. B+(***)

Les Primitifs du Future: World Musette (1999 [2006], Sunnyside): Not really a jazz album, although I kept it in the file based on the label, and the fact that its old-timey Eurofolk has so much slop and verve to it. R. Crumb is involved, in more than just cover art. A-

Matt Renzi: The Cave (2003 [2005], Fresh Sound New Talent): Plays tenor sax and clarinet, in a straightforward trio setting. Studied with George Garzone, then set out to travel the world. Learned from both. B+(***)

Irène Schweizer: First Choice: Piano Solo KKL Luzern (2005 [2006], Intakt): After Portrait I expressed a desire to hear her everything, then balked on the first new thing that came out -- tough, acerbic solo piano, natch. Then got struck from the label's mailing list, missing her later album with Hamid Drake, a couple of Alex von Schlippenbach 12-tone exercises, and who knows what else? Can't we be friends? B+(**)

David Sills: Down the Line (2005 [2006], Origin): Big toned tenor saxman, mainstream group with some recognizable names (Gary Foster, Larry Koonse, Alan Broadbent), and a drummer appropriately named Tim Pleasant. I like records like this so easily I may wind up being overly hard on them. B+(**)

Soft Machine: Grides (1970-71 [2006], Cuneiform): Space crunch here, compounded by the fact that I haven't fully done my homework. This makes a good case for the band's prog fusion as jazz, suggesting that studio albums I heard back in the day hadn't really been heard. Deprioritized after I wrote about this in RG, but interesting enough I've kept it on the list much too long. Still haven't watched the DVD. A-

Mike Stern: Who Let the Cats Out? (2006, Heads Up): Probably should have been a Dud, but so far managed to dodge that bullet three times, even though he got his mug on the cover of Downbeat. Ugly fusion, wasted guests, lousy vocals. B-

Jessica Williams: Billy's Theme: A Tribute to Dr. Billy Taylor (2006, Origin): Solo piano, something she's done a lot of, and manages to sustain a high level of interest despite the lack of color variation. The trick, of course, is rhythm -- few pianists can compete with her. In particular, Taylor can't, which makes me wonder how that angle fits in. B+(***)

Other Drops

Also dropping the following. Don't have anything to add to what was previously said in the prospecting notes (for this or some previous Jazz CG cycle).

  • Ab Baars Quartet: Kinda Dukish (2005 [2006], Wig) B+(**)
  • Gilad Barkan: Live Sessions (2004-06 [2007], New Step, 2CD) B
  • Beatle Jazz: All You Need (2006 [2007], Lightyear) B
  • Joe Beck/Santi Debriano/Thierry Arpino: Trio 7 (2007, Whaling City Sound) B+(*)
  • Roni Ben-Hur: Keepin' It Open (2005 [2007], Motéma Music) B+(*)
  • Alan Bergman: Lyrically, Alan Bergman (2007, Verve) B-
  • Sean Bergin's Song Mob: Fat Fish (2005-06 [2007], Data) B+(*)
  • Will Bernard: Party Hats (2007, Palmetto) B+(*)
  • Michael Blanco: In the Morning (2004 [2006], Fresh Sound New Talent) B+(**)
  • Stan Bock Ensemble: Your Check's in the Mail (2006 [2007], OA2) B+(*)
  • The Brooklyn Repertory Ensemble: Pragmatic Optimism (2006, 360 Degree) B-
  • Bobby Broom: Song and Dance (2005 [2007], Origin) B
  • The Catz in the Hatz featuring Steve Johnson: Resilience (2006, Rhombus) C+
  • Amy Cervini Quartet: Famous Blue (2007, Orange Grove Jazz) B-
  • Anat Cohen: Poetica (2006 [2007], Anzic) B+(*)
  • Scott Colley: Architect of the Silent Moment (2005 [2007], CAM Jazz) B+(*)
  • Coyote Poets of the Universe: Unmistakable Evidence! (2004-05 [2006], Square Shaped) B+(*)
  • Cyminology: Bemun (2007, Challenge) B
  • Meredith d'Ambrosio: Wishing on the Moon (2004 [2006], Sunnyside) B+(**)
  • Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle: Battery Milk (2006 [2007], Hyena) B+(**)
  • Darby Dizard: Down for You (2004 [2007], One Soul) B-
  • Paquito D'Rivera Quintet: Funk Tango (2007, Paquito) B+(*)
  • Pierre Dørge & New Jungle Orchestra: Negra Tigra (2005 [2006], ILK) B+(**)
  • Ismael Dueñas: Mirage (2005 [2006], Fresh Sound New Talent) B+(***)
  • Duo Baars-Henneman: Stof (2006, Wig) B+(*)
  • Elin: Lazy Afternoon (2004-05 [2006], Blue Toucan) B
  • Enders Room: Hotel Alba (2006, Tuition) B+(**)
  • John Ettinger: August Rain (2003, Ettinger Music) B+(**)
  • Family Pet (2007, Foreign Frequency) B/E
  • Pierre Favre Ensemble: Fleuve (2005 [2007], ECM) B+(*)
  • John Fedchock New York Big Band: Up & Running (2006 [2007], Reservoir) B
  • Scott Fields Ensemble: Beckett (2005 [2007], Clean Feed) B+(**)
  • Sammy Figueroa & His Latin Jazz Explosion: The Magician (2007, Savant) B
  • Mitchel Forman: Perspectives (2005-06 [2006], Marsis Jazz) B+(*)
  • The Four Bags: Live at Barbès (2006, NCM East) B
  • Billy Fox: The Uncle Wiggly Suite (2004 [2007], Clean Feed) B+(*)
  • Mimi Fox: Perpetually Hip (2005 [2006], Favored Nations, 2CD) B+(**)
  • Towner Galaher: Panorama (2005 [2007], Towner Galaher Music) B+(**)
  • Hal Galper/Jeff Johnson/John Bishop: Furious Rubato (2006 [2007], Origin) B+(**)
  • George Gee and the Jump, Jivin' Wailers Swing Orchestra: If Dreams Come True (2007, GJazz) B+(*)
  • Robert Glasper: In My Element (2006 [2007], Blue Note) B+(*)
  • Jimmy Hall & the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Collective: Build Your Own Fire (2007, Zoho) B+(*)
  • Scotty Hard's Radical Reconstructive Surgery (2004 [2006], Thirsty Ear) B+(**)
  • Taylor Haskins: Metaview (2004 [2006], Fresh Sound New Talent) B+(**)
  • Bobby Hebb: That's All I Wanna Know (2005 [2007], Tuition) B
  • Anke Helfrich Trio: Better Times Ahead (2005 [2006], Double Moon) B+(**)
  • Steve Herberman Trio: Action:Reaction (2006, Reach Music) B+(**)
  • The Fred Hersch Trio: Night and the Music (2007, Palmetto) B
  • Holly Hofmann/Mike Wofford: Live at Athenaeum Jazz, Voume 2 (2006 [2007], Capri) B-
  • Owen Howard: Time Cycles (2005 [2006], Fresh Sound New Talent) B+(**)
  • Bobby Hutcherson: For Sentimental Reasons (2006 [2007], Kind of Blue) B+(**)
  • Chie Imaizumi: Unfailing Kindness (2006, Capri) B+(**)
  • Robert Irving III: New Momentum (2004-06 [2007], Sonic Portals) B
  • Bob James: Angels of Shanghai (2004-05 [2007], Koch) B
  • Norah Jones: Not Too Late (2007, Blue Note) B+(*)
  • Steve Khan: Borrowed Time (2005-07 [2007], Tone Center) B
  • Dmitri Kolesnik: Five Corners (2006 [2007], Challenge) B
  • The Leaders: Spirits Alike (2006 [2007], Challenge) B
  • Michael Marcus/Ted Daniel: Duology (2006 [2007], Boxholder) B
  • Thomas Marriott: Both Sides of the Fence (2006 [2007], Origin) B
  • Hector Martignon: Refugee (2007, Zoho) B+(*)
  • Nicolas Masson: Yellow (A Little Orange) (2004 [2006], Fresh Sound New Talent) B+(*)
  • MB3: Jazz Hits Volume 1 (2006, Mel Bay) B+(*)
  • Jim McNeely/Kelly Sill/Joel Spencer: Boneyard (2007, Origin) B+(**)
  • Metta Quintet: Subway Songs (2005 [2006], Sunnyside) B+(**)
  • Hendrik Meurkens: New York Samba Jazz Quintet (2005 [2007], Zoho) B+(**)
  • Mi3: We Will Make a Home for You (2002-03 [2005], Clean Feed) B+(***)
  • Stephan Micus: On the Wing (2003-06 [2007], ECM) B
  • Paul Motian/Bill Frisell/Joe Lovano: Time and Time Again (2006 [2007], ECM) B
  • Wolfgang Muthspiel: Solo (2004, Material) B+(**)
  • Jeff Newell's New-Trad Octet: Brownstone (2007, BluJazz) B+(**)
  • New York Electric Piano: Blues in Full Moon (2007, Buffalo Puppy) B
  • Judy Niemack: Blue Nights (2007, BluJazz) B+(**)
  • Sean Noonan Brewed by Noon: Stories to Tell (2006 [2007], Songlines) B+(*)
  • One More: The Summary: Music of Thad Jones, Vol. 2 (2005 [2007], IPO) B+(**)
  • Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos: Invites Chris Cheek (2006, Fresh Sound New Talent) C+
  • Judith Owen: Happy This Way (2006 [2007], Couragette) C+
  • João Paulo: Memórias de Quem (2006 [2007], Clean Feed) B
  • Enrico Pieranunzi/Marc Johnson/Joey Baron: Live in Japan (2004 [2007], CAM Jazz, 2CD) B+(**)
  • Bucky & John Pizzarelli: Generations (2006 [2007], Arbors) B+(**)
  • Mikkel Ploug Group (2006, Fresh Sound New Talent) B+(**)
  • Roger Powell: Fossil Poets (2006, Inner Knot) B+(**)
  • Ed Reed: Sings Love Stories (2006 [2007], Blue Shorts) B
  • Florian Ross Trio: Big Fish & Small Pond (2006, Intuition) B+(**)
  • Roundtrip: Two Way Street (2005, Jazzaway) B+(***)
  • Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Solo (2005 [2006], Blue Note) B+(*)
  • Roswell Rudd/Mark Dresser: Airwalkers (2004 [2006], Clean Feed) B+(**)
  • Rutherford/Vandermark/Müller/van der Schyff: Hoxha (2004 [2005], Spool/Line) B+(**)
  • Jerome Sabbagh: Pogo (2006 [2007], Sunnyside) B+(**)
  • Scenes [John Stowell/Jeff Johnson/John Bishop]: Along the Way (2006, Origin) B+(**)
  • Jan Shapiro: Back to Basics (2006 [2007], CD Baby) B+(*)
  • Mark Sherman: Family First (2006 [2007], MHP/City Hall) B+(*)
  • Shoup/Burns/Radding/Campbell: The Levitation Shuffle (2003 [2007], Clean Feed) B+(*)
  • Judi Silvano: Women's Work: Live at Sweet Rhythm NYC (2006 [2007], JSL) B+(*)
  • Mark Soskin: One Hopeful Day (2006 [2007], Kind of Blue) B+(*)
  • Geoff Stradling: Les Is Mo' (2006 [2007], Origin) B+(**)
  • Jane Stuart: Beginning to See the Light (2006 [2007], Jane Stuart Music) B
  • Yosvany Terry Cabrera: Metamorphosis (2004 [2005], Ewe) B+(**)
  • Scott Tinkler: Backwards (2007, Extreme) B+(*)
  • Gian Tornatore: Blackout (2005 [2006], Fresh Sound New Talent) B+(**)
  • Trio East: Best Bets (2005 [2006], Origin) B+(**)
  • James Blood Ulmer: Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions (2006 [2007], Hyena) B+(***)
  • The Unseen Guest: Out There (2005, Tuition) B+(**)
  • Allan Vaché: With Benny in Mind (2006 [2007], Arbors) B+(*)
  • Larry Vuckovich Trio: Street Scene (2005 [2006], Tetrachord) B+(***)
  • Waverly Seven: Yo! Bobby (2006 [2007], Anzic, 2CD) B
  • Mort Weiss: The B3 and Me (2003 [2006], SMS Jazz) B+(**)
  • Kenny Werner: Lawn Chair Society (2007, Blue Note) B+(*)
  • Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts: The Scenic Route (2006 [2007], Palmetto) B+(**)
  • Ethan Winogrand: Tangled Tango (2005 [2007], Clean Feed) B+(**)
  • Wishful Thinking (2005 [2007], Clean Feed) B+(*)
  • Sam Yahel Trio: Truth and Beauty (2005 [2007], Origin) B+(*)
  • Joe Zawinul: Brown Street (2005 [2007], Heads Up, 2CD) B+(*)

Finally, the following appeared (or soon will) in Recycled Goods:

  • Antonio Adolfo e Carol Saboya: Ao Vivo/Live (2005 [2007], Points South) B+(**)
  • Charly Antolini: Knock Out 2000 (1999, Inak) B+(**)
  • Pablo Aslan: Avantango (2003 [2004], Zoho) B+(**)
  • Nacho Arimany World-Flamenco Septet: Silence-Light (2006, Fresh Sound World Jazz) B+(*)
  • Jaki Byard: Sunshine of My Soul (1978 [2007], High Note) B+(*)
  • Havana Carbo: Through a Window . . . Like a Dream (2006 [2007], MODL Music) B+(*)
  • Ray Charles/The Count Basie Orchestra: Ray Sings, Basie Swings (2006, Concord/Hear Music) B+(*)
  • Ornette Coleman: To Whom Who Keeps a Record (1959-60 [2007], Water) A-
  • Graham Collier: Hoarded Dreams (1983 [2007], Cuneiform) B+(*)
  • Contemporary America: Another Center (2007, Adventure Music) B+(*)
  • Ibrahim Ferrer: Mi Sueño (1998-2005 [2007], World Circuit/Nonesuch) B+(**)
  • Funky Organ: B3 Jazz Grooves (1997-2006 [2007], High Note) B
  • Bebel Gilberto: Momento (2007, Ziriguiboom/Six Degrees) B+(*)
  • Juliette Greco: Le Temps d'une Chanson (2006 [2007], Sunnyside) B
  • Matthew Herbert: Score (1997-2006 [2007], !K7) B
  • Hugh Hopper: Hopper Tunity Box (1977 [2007], Cuneiform) B+(*)
  • Jazz After Midnight (1998-2006 [2007], High Note) B-
  • Niño Josele: Paz (2006, Calle 54) B+(**)
  • KCP 5: Many Ways (2005 [2007], Challenge) B+(**)
  • Ben Bowen King: Sidewalk Saints: Roots Gospel Guitar (Talking Taco Music) B+(***)
  • Sofia Koutsovitis: Ojalá (2005 [2006], CD Baby) B+(***)
  • David Krakauer: Bubbemeises: Lies My Grandma Told Me (2006, Label Bleu) B+(***)

    Vusi Mahlasela: Guiding Star (2007, ATO) B+(**)

  • The Microscopic Septet: Seven Men in Neckties: History of the Micros Volume One (1982-90 [2006], Cuneiform, 2CD) B+(*)
  • The Microscopic Septet: Surrealistic Swing: History of the Micros Volume Two (1981-90 [2006], Cuneiform, 2CD) B+(**)
  • Charles Mingus: In Paris: The Complete America Session (1970 [2007], Sunnyside, 2CD) B+(**)
  • Oscar Peterson and Friends: JATP Lausanne 1953 (1953 [2007], TCB) B+(***)
  • Juan Carlos Quintero: Las Cumbias . . . Las Guitarras (1997-2006 [2006], Inner Knot) B+(**)
  • Henry Salvador: Révérence (2007, Circular Moves) A-
  • Secret Oyster: Sea Son (1974 [2006], The Laser's Edge) B+(*)
  • Zoot Sims: Zoot Suite (1973 [2007], High Note) B+(**)
  • Soft Machine Legacy: Live at the New Morning (2005 [2006], Inakustik, 2CD) B+(***)
  • Tammen Harth Rosen Dahlgren: Expedition (2001 [2006], ESP-Disk) B+(**)