Buds aren't the only things blooming this spring. Some bright and colorful jazz CDs have also appeared on the scene. Here are some I felt might be worth adding to your collection.
The little Scotchman with the big tenor sax sound has his groove on in this latest release. Elliot, known for his pleading, ballad style of playing, is definitely on the case in this smooth jazz venture, from the cruising, laid-back feel of "Cornerpocket" to the soulful R&B romp with a vocal chorus urging him on in "So Good." There is a lot here to please any S&J fan.
Rating: 3 1/2
Elliot cooks with a steady, simmering burn that is fun and satisfying. There are musicians in jazz who consistently turn out magnificent works without getting their just recognition.
This self-titled CD is a classic case in point for pianist John Hicks. He is simply brilliant in a solo setting. Listen to his tour de force performance on the blazing "Steadfast" or his tender loving caress in Duke Ellington"s "Star Crossed Lovers." When Hicks adds vibist Bobby Hutcherson and Walter Booker's bass it becomes even more interesting in a chamber jazz setting. Hick's solo is scalding on the uptempo "Gypsy Folk Tales" with Hutcherson's glistening vibes equally as intense on top of Booker's propulsive swinging bass lines.
There is a similarity to the MJQ with the neo classical interplay among them on the delicate melodic lines of "Pas De Trois." Hicks has a broad-reaching jazz capability shown in both the trio and solo settings. He should be a household name among the hierarchy of jazz. Rating: 4 1/2 This is a state-of-the-art gem CD for John Hicks in execution, composition and passion. Definitely a jazz must.
There is a lull between holidays, but not so with the sound of jazz in this city. This week, the music continues to develop all over Indy.
The Jazz Kitchen comes alive with the linear sound of tenor saxophonist Rob Dixon's Quartet, featuring guest Benny Reid for shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, April 25. T
he popular, fun group Dog Talk returns Saturday, April 26 with its mix of mambo, R&B, jazz and Latin for shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Every Wednesday is WTPI-107.9's popular Nightbreeze Night Out live broadcast from the Jazz Kitchen with co-hosts Oleta Martin and J.C. Culver starting at 7 p.m., during Cathy Morris & the Brazilian Lounge Band's set, up through 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. with the acid jazz, groove and funk sounds of the hot Seven Pleasures band.
Sullivan's Steakhouse features the hard-swinging trio of Claude Sifferlen on piano, Joe Deal on bass and Nick Ashton on drums Friday, April 25 and Saturday, April 26 from 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
New Fountain Lounge has legendary jazz saxophonist Pookie Johnson as guest with the Jason Curry Quartet Wednesday, April 30 playing 8 p.m. to midnight.
Gregory's showcases vocalist Everett Greene with Carl Hines on keyboards Fridays and Mary Moss with Alan Burke on keyboards Saturdays. Music both nights is from 8 to 11 p.m.
Ruth's Chris Steakhouse's "Sizzling Steaks and Jazz" Sunday series will debut the vocal sounds of Josh Kauffman with the Ken Fary Duo April 27 from 7 to 10 p.m. Jazz on the Avenue in the Madame Walker Theatre Center presents the contemporary jazz of the Sounds of Essence Friday, April 25 from 6 to 10 p.m.
Circle City Bar & Grille in the Marriott showcases the smooth jazz and adult contemporary vocal and keyboard stylings of Lisa Baldwin each Friday from 7 to 10 p.m. Trey Lockerbie plays Saturday, April 25 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Sangiovese Restaurant hosts two of Indy's best vocalists with Brenda Williams backed up by David Meek on keyboards and Frank Smith on bass each Wednesday, followed by Shannon Forsell accompanied by Ray Larman on keyboards each Thursday. Performances both nights are from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Chuck Workman is the producer/host of the Sunday Morning Jazz Show at 107.9 WTPI.