by: Hobert Taylor
Frank Catalano / Jimmy Chamberlin - God's Gonna Cut You Down - (Ropeadope)
Finally. A party record so nuanced and musically perfect that you can dance with your feet or your brain or your groin or all of them at once. Following up on last year's Love Supreme Collective release (my pick for releases of the year which dialoged with and re-invented Coltrane's sound), Catalano and Chamberlin re-write the soul jazz Sonny Stitt vibe with six killer up tempo wonders. Add Demos Petropoulos channeling Jimmy McGriff on Hammond B-3 and you can smell the collards and ox-tails back in the kitchen. Drummer Chamberlin's AK-47 rapid fire beats alternate with deep in the pocket grooves. It's all seasoned with the hot sauce of tasty guitar licks where appropriate.
Nick Finzer - The Chase - (Origin)
Trombonist Finzer along with Lucas Pino sax, (check out Pino's recent release "No Net Nonet"), and the rest of his sextet groove along straight ahead. Finzer's playing contains a rich tone palette that gives these familiar changes personality and depth. Highlights include "Just Passed the Horizon" (intro and main tune),
"Spheres of Influence", the up tempo romp "The Chase" and "Why Aren't You Excited".
Jose Negroni - Negroni Piano + 9 - (Sony Latin)
Pianist Negroni duets with different artists on each cut of this recording. His playing is fluid and expressive to the max, straddling the edge of the deeply percussive and then slipping back into subtle tonal explorations. The tunes range from jazz standards, "Caravan" and "Take Five", to Argentine tangos from Piazolla and Gardel to Caribbean melodies as well as three originals. The version of "Take Five" features Negroni's son Nomar on snare and is a stand out. Also take a listen to "Francisca" with Dr. Ed Calle on sax, "Antes que La Luna Salga" with Rafael Valencia on fretless electric bass, and "Rayo de Sol" with guitarist Leo Quintero.
Mason Razavi / Bennett Roth-Newell - After You - (First Orbit Sounds)
Guitar piano duets with lots of heart. Great take on the classic "Mercy,Mercy,Mercy", as well as strong originals "A Daughter is a Gift to the World", and "Through the Fog".