Four good choices and a sack­but joke, too

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - ENTERTAINMENT -

THERE’S been a rush of new, good CDs to re­view. Here are four you might want to con­sider:

Anat Co­hen, Claroscuro (Anzic Records)

Multi-reedist Anat Co­hen show­cases her ver­sa­til­ity as an in­stru­men­tal­ist and in her choice of mu­si­cal styles on her sixth al­bum as a leader.

The Is­raeli­born, New York-based Co­hen com­bines buoy­ant dances and dark bal­lads; thus the ti­tle, which de­scribes the play of light and shade in art.

Co­hen — play­ing clar­inet, bass clar­inet, tenor and so­prano sax­o­phones — swings on an Ar­tie Shaw tune, Night­mare, and trans­ports La Vie En Rose from Paris to New Orleans with the help of trom­bon­ist and vo­cal­ist Wy­cliffe Gor­don.

She and her work­ing band of pi­anist Ja­son Lind­ner, bassist Joe Martin and drum­mer Daniel Freed­man are also joined by clar­inet great Paquito D’Rivera and per­cus­sion­ist Gil­mar Gomes.

And The World Weeps, a Dr. Lon­nie Smith blues, is a tour de force with sax­o­phon­ist Co­hen and trom­bon­ist Gor­don get­ting down and dirty, with a Mid­dle Eastern tinge. An­other great Co­hen record­ing. Fred Her­sch Trio, Alive at the Van­guard (Pal­metto Records)

New York Pi­anist Fred Her­sch has a cer­tain affin­ity for the Vil­lage Van­guard jazz club, where he per­forms of­ten and has recorded trio and solo CDs.

Ei­ther one of the two discs in this set — recorded with bassist John Hébert and drum­mer Eric McPher­son — would make an­other great trio record­ing by the sup­ple pi­anist. In­stead, you get a twofer.

Her­sch com­posed seven of the 15 tracks, and on Opener, writ­ten for McPher­son, he del­i­cately draws a beau­ti­ful melody while Hébert and McPher­son burn be­hind him. The pi­anist also gives a nod to jazz le­gends such as Sonny Rollins, Th­elo­nious Monk, Or­nette Cole­man and Paul Mo­tian.

Alive is a bril­liant trio record­ing by a ter­rific group.

Brandi Dis­ter­heft, Grat­i­tude (Justin Time)

New York bassist and Cana­dian ex­pat Brandi Dis­ter­heft fronts an A-list band on this, her third al­bum.

Dis­ter­heft, who com­posed six of the 10 tunes here, has a warm tone, great com­mand of her in­stru­ment, and she can swing eas­ily along­side band­mates Re­nee Rosnes (pi­ano), Gre­gory Hutchin­son (drums), Sean Jones (trum­pet), Vin­cent Her­ring (alto sax­o­phone) and Anne Drum­mond (flutes).

The bassist shines on her com­po­si­tion Por­trait of Duke, re­main­ing a front-line pres­ence throughout great so­los by Jones and Hutchin­son as well as solo­ing her­self.

She plays Gersh­win’s The Man I Love unac­com­pa­nied and she and Hutchin­son per­form a duo ver­sion of Com­pared to What, the soul-jazz num­ber that Les McCann and Eddie Har­ris turned into a hit on the 1969 al­bum Swiss Move­ment — it’s a treat.

Joe Fiedler’s Big Sack­but (Yel­low Sound La­bel)

For those few of you who may not be fa­mil­iar with the sack­but, it is the ear­li­est form of the trom­bone. De­spite the ti­tle, no sack­buts were used in the pro­duc­tion of this record­ing — in­stead there are three trom­bones played by Joe Fiedler, Ryan Ke­berle and Josh Roseman and a rhythm sec­tion of Mar- cus Ro­jas on tuba.

The Crab, one of seven Fiedler com­po­si­tions on the 10-tune CD, is the kind of punchy piece you’d ex­pect from a brass quar­tet; Don Pullen, a trib­ute to the late pi­anist, is a de­light­ful soul­ful num­ber with Ke­berle get­ting the solo spot­light. Fiedler’s solo­ing on #11 is won­der­fully melodic, evoca­tive.

Ro­jas steps up front with an in­tro­duc­tion to Ging Gong in long, low tones and a lovely melodic solo about mid­way.

This quar­tet is worth a lis­ten, even if you’re not fa­mil­iar with brass en­sem­bles. And Fiedler has a lit­tle fun with the sack­but name in the al­bum ti­tle and on the track Does This Make My Sack­but Look Big? C’mon, who doesn’t like sack­but jokes?

Don’t for­get The Bad Plus per­forms Thurs­day, Oct. 4, at West End Cul­tural Cen­tre as part of Jazz Win­nipeg’s fall/ win­ter concert sea­son. The pro­gres­sive jazz trio, which last was here in 2009, per­forms at 8 p.m.; tick­ets $25 ad­vance/$30 door.


Co­hen show­cases her ver­sa­til­ity as an in­stru­men­tal­ist and in her choice of mu­si­cal styles on Claroscuro.


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