"That's Wassup" is the debut release from Charles Langford. This imaginative creator displays his knowledge of musical history on his latest release, "That's Wassup". Mr. Langford seems to move effortlessly from straight ahead swing to funk to crooning, romantic ballads...there is literally something for every taste on this album. "Chucky's Funk" lays down some classic Stanley Clark jazz bass funk and the horn work is reminiscent of the great George Coleman. "Someone To Love" fills the senses with a romantic David Sanborn melody that you are left humming for hours.
Mr. Langford has studied under Archie Shepp, Yusef Latef, Donald Byrd and Barry Harris, among others. He has done sessions or toured with artists as diverse as The Toni Lynn Washington Blues Band to The Temptations and Mighty Sam McClain.
Charles Langford is an artist with a lot to say and he gets his point across with many different voices on his debut, "That's Wassup". With such dynamic musicianship, we will certainly be hearing his name for years to come.
One of the most highly regarded trombonist of his generation, Ron Westray continues to expand upon the legacy set before him with his CD release, "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City".
Ron's work as an instructor, mentor, recording artist and leader, has earned him world-wide recognition. Ron is perhaps best known for his work as lead trombonist in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra conducted by Wynton Marsalis, as well as his collaborative effort with Wycliffe Gordon, Marcus Roberts and the Charles Mingus Big Band. Now Ron Westray brings his compositional vision and improvisational skills to his latest CD effort, "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City". Featuring Ryan Kisor on trumpet, Walter Blanding Jr. on tenor saxophone, Eric Revis on Double Bass, Montez Coleman on drums and Tony Suggs on keyboards.
While "Medical Cures..." is a groove based recording, its steeped in a rich traditional jazz history, yet with a modern contemporary appeal. "The idea behind the recording" states Ron, "was to compose a jazz/hip hop score and live iteration of the evolution of hip hop and jazz. I became a jazz musician, but I searched on the concept of why jazz couldn't be as popular as funk. Medical Cures is that answer" sites Ron. Song's like "Fuzzy Dice", "The Jiggy" and "Bumpsie's Got it" will have the listener dancing to the vibe while enjoying lush, rich harmonies from this stellar ensemble of players. Mr. Westray's compositional achievements allow him a notable position among jazz composers, additionally his accomplishments on the trombone showcase him as a virtuoso instrumentalist.
Ron has recorded as a sideman on labels such as Columbia, Sony Classical, and RCA Novus and his accomplishments in the field have gained him exposure in publications such as Ebony, Essence, Downbeat, JazzTimes, Life Magazine and The New Yorker. Fan's of Ron Westray's earlier works and collaborations won't leave the listener disappointed. If "Medical Cures For The Chromatic Commands Of The Inner City" is any indication into Ron's vision, courage and longevity; Mr. Westray has a bright future indeed.
Punk jazz improvisational trio Megaphone Man, pride themselves on a loose avant-garde approach in creating their unique blend of jazz music. Hailing from Athens Georgia USA, Megaphone Man consists of Neal Fountain on bass, Jeff Reilly on drums and Bryan Lopes on tenor saxophone. With carefully crafted thematic notes and rhythms, this young group of virtuosos demand as much from themselves as they do the overall group interplay of their contributing melodic ideas. Megaphone Man's debut CD recording "Live At The Tabernacle", is such an experience.
Recorded live at The Tabernacle Concert Hall in Atlanta, GA USA, Megaphone Man's performance captures their forty-five minute opening set with headliner and James Brown sideman, Maceo Parker. Instrumental songs such as "Razor Egg Hunt", "Reoccurring Nightmare", "Fat Gambling Liar", "Miles of Rust" and "Bubble Hat" not only demonstrate clever and witty song titles, they musically transform these titles into a work of art. Megaphone Man is not timid in taking chances with their improvisational skills, which should be evident by the fact their debut CD is a live recording and not a conceived studio recording.
"Megaphone Man has a style all their own," states Jazziz writer James Rozzi. "The manner in which these accomplished musicians approach a particular tune will drastically change from one performance to the next. In an effort to maintain their own interests, they create an abundance of spontaneous, razor-sharp musical maneuvers for their audience. One concert with these guys is like a lesson in improvisational wit and daring." With Megaphone Man's turn-on-a-dime approach, one particular song will metamorphose numerous times--harmonically and rhythmically--before coming to a close. The end result is an exciting foray with enough depth to please an audience of hard-core jazz fans--or the more laid back patrons of the jam band circuit.
Describing the music of Megaphone Man is difficult. Although all members shy away from calling themselves a jazz trio, their music contains full elements of jazz--and then some. "We all have wide varieties of music in our backgrounds," states Fountain, "so I think it best not to call ourselves a 'jazz band' per se." Whether it's hard-bop, funk, free-form, R&B, R&R, country…you name it and Megaphone Man has it in the mix somewhere. As Lopes (whose inspirations include Coltrane and Joe Lovano) is quick to inform, "Hey, if I want to quote Led Zeppelin, I'm going to quote Led Zeppelin!"
In 2001, Atlanta based culture rag and weekly newspaper 'The Creative Loafing', named Megaphone Man the "Best Jazz Band" in the Atlanta metro area. One only has to listen to "Live At The Tabernacle" to see why the Creative Loafing title holds true. The trio of bassist Neal Fountain, saxophonist Bryan Lopes, and drummer Jeff Reilly is genuinely articulate, highly artistic, intellectually stimulating, and perhaps best of all, full of surprises. If this debut CD recording is any indication into the future of Megaphone Man, many exciting performances and musical journeys await.
The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s debut cd for Blue Canoe Records, “Blues Man from Memphis”, is a most adventurous big band effort featuring the work of Donald Brown. The recording also highlights the prodigious talents of three other world renowned artists: bassist John Clayton, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, and saxophonist Greg Tardy.
Pianist Donald Brown (who also produced the cd) is considered to be one of the most innovative composers in the field of jazz today. Among the many accolades Brown has received, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis says: “Donald Brown is a genius.” Bassist Ron Carter adds: “For those who look around and ask, ‘Where is the next great jazz composer? Who is going to lead the music into the twenty-first century?’ Look no further. Donald Brown is here.” Brown’s compositions have been recorded by many artists. Wynton Marsalis’ recording of “Insane Asylum” on “J-Mood” was nominated for a Grammy, as was Donald Byrd’s recording of “Theme for Malcolm”.
As a testimonial to Donald Brown’s expertise as a piano player, the late Art Blakey professed: “Donald Brown is one of my favorite accompanists with The Jazz Messengers since Cedar Walton and Walter Bishop, Jr.”
The KJO is a supercharged, motivated ensemble formed in 1999 by trumpet player/arranger Vance Thompson. Although a large group (17+ members), they perform regularly and have played prestigious venues such as The Montreaux Jazz Festival. The Knoxville Jazz Orchestra has a wide fan base, largely due to the enthusiasm incurred by compelling and exciting arrangements and famous guest artists.
All of the compositions on this cd are by Donald Brown. The arrangements and orchestrations are by Vance Thompson and Bill Mobley, respectively.
“Blues Man from Memphis” is an ingenious, inspired work for the contemporary jazz big band. Twenty-first century jazz is alive and thriving.
"Decade", the newest release by Joseph Patrick Moore on Blue Canoe Records, contains material compiled from his recording efforts spanning the years 1996-2005. Unlike other compilation or "best of" recordings, Decade is not a testimonial of past achievements but a preface, or glimpse, into the artist's future.
JPM is a master bassist, equally proficient with upright and electric instruments; his technical virtuosity and artistic curiosity has taken him in pursuit of many musical styles. It is apparent that Moore's works are inspired by mainstream jazz and contemporary jazz as well as r&b, gospel and pop. The result of this exploratory approach to composition is fresh, imaginative, and adds an air of excitement and serves as a foil to the all too often boring and overworked state of academic classroom jazz.
A great sense of adventure thrives in this compelling 80 minute, 19 song CD. Moore pays tribute to mentors Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis with original compositions "Herbie" and "Pause 1". His solo bass version of The Police tune "Masoko Tanga" and the full-band vocal rendition of Men at Work's "Down Under" (in the spirit of Hancock's "Possibilities" and Davis "Tutu") are evidence that pop music is an excellent source of inspiration of jazz arrangements. JPM's abilities come full circle on the title track: he composed and played all the instruments on this soon to be smooth jazz anthem.
If you are searching for music with rich textures and groove oriented arrangements, look no further than Joseph Patrick Moore's Decade on Blue Canoe Records. Aptly titled, it is a remarkable odyssey through the world of contemporary jazz.
Review by: Pete Pardo
Bassist Joseph Patrick Moore’s latest album Live in 05 is a fun and spirited jazz-fusion collection of songs recorded at This House Rocks in Atlanta, Georgia on April 2nd, 2005. Moore has been busy over the last few years, putting out a few albums of his own as well as appearing on various other artist’s recordings. Here, he and his crack band of Al Smith on keyboards, drummer Jon Chalden, EWI player Al Mcspadden, and percussionist Emrah Kotan really give a five performance on eleven tracks of smokin’ and funky fusion, melodic cool jazz, and progressive tinged improvisations.
Moore himself is a very smooth player with some serious chops, whether he is laying down deep grooves or lean melodic solos on electric, fretless, or double bass. Fans of Victor Bailey, Gary Willis, John Pattitucci, Stanley Clarke, and Marcus Miller, will instantly dig Moore’s energetic style. Although there are plenty of great bass solos on the album, the live setting affords his bandmates to also get in on the action, especially keyboard player Smith, who launches into a wild synth frenzy on the funky “Gypsy Moon Father Sun”. He also provides a nice melodic foundation in which Moore can dig into some serious popping bass lines on the light jazz piece “Fall”. Drummers will love the percussion/drum spotlight “Drum Dance”, which allows Chalden and Kotan some room to show off before the song segues into the fine “Datz It (version 2005)”, a song with plenty of funk bass melodies and 70′s styled electric piano.
Ultimately it comes down to compositions, and Moore is no slouch in that department. These are all memorable tunes with catchy melodies, which go along just fine with the solid chops of the band. So if you in the mood for some well played and melodic modern jazzfusion, you can’t go wrong with Live in 05.
3. Prayer of Solitude
4. Chief Dagga
5. Gypsy Moon Father Sun
6. Bless You
8. Bebop Charlie
10. Drum Dance
11. Datz It (version 2005)
Review by: Mark Sabbatini
When an album opens with a quirky reinterpretation of the 1980s hit “Down Under” it’s safe to assume the artist is looking to have a good time. Joseph Patrick Moore succeeds to a degree in bringing listeners along on Drum And Bass Society, Vol. 1, even if the cast of players doesn’t quite let its collective hair down enough to make this a consistent fun fest throughout. It’s an all-over-the-map jam band romp where nobody’s the life of the party, but almost everyone has something interesting to say if you focus on them amidst the din.
The fifteen tracks include seven originals by the bass player, plus reinterpretations of hits by groups such as Phish, The Specials, and The Fixx. It’s a radical departure from Moore’s 2002 multi-tracked solo album Alone Together, with the new release featuring more than twenty musicians and only a couple of songs where Moore solos—his arranging of this huge cast is the main contribution.
The most unfortunate moment is Moore’s slow reggae treatment of “Down Under,” which might have been a readily identifiable crowd-pleaser, but instead comes across as unimaginative and badly at odds with the album’s overall beat. The vocals are played straight and the instrumentalists avoid anything notable for a radio-safe four minutes. The concept works much better on “One Thing Leads To Another” as one of the wind players takes over immediately on flute and doesn’t let go throughout a peppery string of phrases. It’s hardly the inspired madness of the Bad Plus, but is a plus rather than a minus to the album.
Speaking of inspired madness, some of the better moments of it occur on the hybrid world/funk/whatever collage of “Cheesefrog Funk.” “Groove Messenger” delivers a decent bit of fusion in the style of Miles Davis, who Moore cites as one of his big influences. And the scope of variety can be seen on the rather flute-heavy New Agey “Rain Dance” and the almost mainstream jazz of “Herbie,” a tribute to pianist Herbie Hancock.
The CD, released on Moore’s Blue Canoe Records, has a $9 list price, and two songs, “Jamband Express” and “Groove Messenger (The Story of Jazztronica),” are available as free MP3 downloads from Moore’s web site and online vendors such as Amazon.com .
Moore has proven a solid player in a variety of settings since appearing on the recording scene in the mid 1990s, and this album ranks well among his releases. Fans wanting to hear him in this setting will likely be satisfied and new listeners of such music will find it worthwhile to at least investigate the free previews. Those wanting to hear his playing will find Alone Together a better and also intriguing bet, since the overdubbing includes unexpected sounds such as percussion generated by tapping on his bass.
Review by Todd S. Jenkins
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock
Versatile Atlanta-based bassist Moore’s new album is packed with fun grooves from the word go. His technique and ideas are steeped in the electric bass developments of the past thirty years, but with a fresh contemporary edge.
The band fries up a hot passel of funk on track #1. The horns are hot and deep into the boogie, Moore’s envelope-filtered bass adds a Bootsy Collins vibe, and Aquarium Rescue Unit guitarist Jimmy Herring tempers the sauce with a cupful of hot bluesiness. Tracks #2 and #5 give the expected nod to Jaco; track #3 begins with thumping worthy of Marcus Miller and evolves into pretty double-stops. These tracks especially flaunt Moore’s studio-quality chops.
Though most of their names are unfamiliar, Moore’s sidemen are complementary, empathetic and well chosen. Pianist Bill Anschell lays down a Ramsey Lewis-style groove on #7 and Buzz Amato boots the organ around the floor before trumpeter Vance Thompson enters with soulful lyricism. Moore closes the disc with covers of classic songs by Led Zeppelin and Kansas. The former is driven smoothly along by Moore’s taut harmonics and fingerstyle melodicism, while the latter floats on an unexpectedly successful Latin jazz beat. Palmer Williams‘ vocals on the last tune are notably fluid and enjoyable. Joseph Patrick Moore is definitely a talent worth hearing, and this well-made disc will be of particular interest to electric bass aficionados.
Track listing: Datz It; Ashes To Ashes; Big Butt Bass; Soulcloud; Pause #3; Mumphis Cosanostra; Cosmic Dance; Going To California; Dust In The Wind.
Personnel: Moore, acoustic and electric basses, shaker; Jimmy Herring, guitar; Yonrico Scott, Phillip Smith, drums; Bill Anschell, Bob Marbach, piano; Frank “Buzz” Amato, keyboards; Vance Thompson, trumpet and flugelhorn; Stan Cherednik, alto and soprano saxes; Bryan Lopes, tenor sax; Palmer Williams Jr., vocals.