Saturday, July 23, 2011


Howlin’ Wolf
Warren Wolf's self-titled debut for Mack Avenue Records is highly anticipated. For the past few years, Wolf has been  touted, and his chops rivals his peers Stefon Harris and Steve Nelson. If you think it's impossible for Wolf to be that damn good, check out Wolf's soloing on Senor Mouse and on Katrina.

If you're still skeptical after listening to Wolf soloing, your ears may need a tuneup. Wolf has two other albums Incredible Jazz Vibe and Black Wolf on the market. Both are Japanese imports. Warren Wolf is his first date for a major jazz record label.

Wolf's staffed this album with Jeremy Pelt, Greg Hutchinson, Peter Martin, Tim Green, and  Christian McBride. (McBride co-produced the album.) Wolf let them loose on his originals 427 Mass Ave., Sweet Bread, and How I Feel at This Given Moment. Warren Wolf goes on sale August 16.

Lover man
At the 2004, Detroit International Jazz Festival, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave organized a trumpet summit. He rounded up many of the top jazz trumpeters. Dominick Farinacci participated. He was the more lyrical of the trumpeters. The others were brash and enjoyed trying to outplay the other. It was all in good fun, but Farinacci had something special. You could hear a storyteller emerging in Farinacci’s playing.

Farinacci's new album Dawn of Goodbye, due out July 26, on 100% Womon Records. has a storybook feel to it. The album opens with Farinacci interpretation of the timeless love song You Don’t Know What Love Is. His phrasing on I Concentrate on You is cozy like a lounge chair. Farinacci can play upbeat songs and the blues, but his chops are designed for love songs.

Gentle streak.
I caught jazz piano player Michel Camilo last year at the Paradise Jazz Series at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. Camilo played with his all-star big band. It was my first time hearing him live. He was rambunctious and many of the originals his big band played sounded alike. he was hyped up, hammering the piano keys as if going through “roid-rage”.

On Camilo's upcoming album Mano a Mona scheduled for release September 13, he performs mostly duets with percussion player Giovanni Hidalgo and bass player Charles Flores. 

Camilo has a gentle streak. Songs such as Then and Now, Naima, and Alfonsina Y El Mas melted in my ears. Camilo arranged Coltrane’s Naima for piano and drum. And Camilo has a blast with Lee Mogan’s Sidewinder. Camilo's  rambunctious side surfaced only once on the cooker Ramba Pa’ Ti.
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