Jazz Notes 10/3/07 

During the last days of summer, various jazz artists released albums worthy of note. They include the following.

Straight-ahead jazz

McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner Quartet

Half Note Records

Here is a formidable jazz group displaying a keen sense of musical interaction in a live club setting. Joe Lovano’s tenor sax complements McCoy’s piano excursions, which are anchored by the premier jazz rhythm section of Christian McBride on bass and Jeff “Tain” Watts on drums.

The One The Only
Maynard Ferguson
Maynard Ferguson Trust

This is trumpeter/bandleader Maynard Ferguson’s last recording with his Big Bop Nouveau Band, released by his family. Ferguson plays emotionally in front of players he picked for this session. Five standards make up the nine-track recording. As his family writes in the liner notes, “For him it wasn’t his last; it was going to be his best.”

Notes To and From My Friends
Bobby Floyd
Chicken Coup Records

Columbus, Ohio’s Bobby Floyd used to be a regular jazz pianist. Here, he has switched to B-3 organ to honor his late friends, musicians Hank Marr and Don Patterson. In their tradition, Floyd turns out a lively trio session of blues, soul jazz and standards with a hip version the “Odd Couple Theme.”

Smooth jazz

Kirk Whalum

Saxophonist Kirk Whalum has been on the R&B/smooth jazz and contemporary jazz scene for over two decades. His latest offering is reflective of his musical journey in a variety of musical settings with guest Earl Klugh, Gerald Albright and Jeff Golub.

Above the Clouds
Brian Simpson

Keyboardist Brian Simpson’s second recording shows off his rangy composing skills. His grooves are adventurous, yet melodic. The album’s highpoint is the far-from-smooth “That’s Right” with saxophonist Michael Brecker, an awesome pyrotechnic feature.


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