Friday, July 1, 2011


I Dig Jazz recommends three new jazz albums, Kaiso, 33, and Something Special set for release soon.

Caribbean bop
Trumpeter Etienne Charles was born in the Caribbean. Charles’ third album Kaiso , which is set for release by Culture Shock Music July 12, is a bop album with a calypso feel, especially on songs such as Ten to one is murder, congo bara, and Kitch’s bebop of calypso. Charles is a lyrical trumpeter like Johnny Cole. Charles can speed up the pace when necessary. Charles hired a talented rhythm section. Ben Williams keeps time throughout Kaiso accurately like a grandfather clock. (Williams' first album as a leader State of Art hit record stores last month.) And there's plenty highlight worthy solos from piano player Sullivan Fortner Jr. 

A few years ago, Canadian jazz singer Alex Pangman had a double lung transplant that could’ve ended her career, which was on an upswing. But she’s tougher than rubber, and she kicked the odds that were stacked against her in the ass. On July 12, her comeback album 33 goes on sale. 33 is her first recording for Justin Times Records. She didn’t play it safe. 33 is a period piece jazz album. Pangman sings songs--I Found a New Baby, Ain’t Cha Glad, and A Hundred Years from Today--that were big in 1933. She blew the dust off those relics and modernized them.

The bionic man
Piano player Jimmy Amadie stopped playing for 30 years because he developed a terrible case of tendonitis in his hands. Amadie was a workaholic and a favorite of many top tier jazz saxophone players Coleman Hawkins, Benny Golson, Lew Tabackin, Phil Woods, and Lee Konitz. When Amadie was out of the public eye, he kept busy composing and writing instructional music books. He had surgery on his hands. Over time, he painstaking rebuilt his chops. Then he returned to active duty, releasing some solid albums Always with Me and Philadelphia Story are two of his best dates. August 16, TRRecordings is scheduled to unveil Something Special, a cover album of some well-known standards such as All the Things You Are, Sweet Lorraine and Fly Me To The Moon. Those and seven other classics are reinterpreted brilliantly by Amadie and his mate’s bass player Tony Marino, drummer Bill Goodwin.
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