Sunday, August 12, 2012


Trombonist Vincent Chandler
Moving to the next level
Jazz Trombone player Vincent Chandler has a new album, Embraceable, in the works and he promises it's something special. On Detroit’s jazz scene, Chandler is an in demand sideman whose career spans over two decades. Chandler has worked with greats such as Joe Henderson, Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Gerald Wilson and James Carter. Not bad company. To date, Chandler’s biggest musical achievement is the wonderful music he created with the jazz band Urban Transport, which Chandler co-led with alto sax player Dean Moore. Regionally, the band was hot. Before the band split, it made two outstanding albums Introducing Urban Transport and Urban Transport Live. Each member wrote tunes, but Chandler wrote Urban Transport's biggest hits The Beast, Seldom Blues, Just for Tonight, and The Closing Door.

Surprisingly, Chandler is largely unsung as a composer. With Embraceable, his new project, he plans to correct that. It will be his first album as the leader, the producer and the composer, and the first time nationally known jazz musicians will play his music. Bass player Bob Hurst, piano player Geri Allen and drummer Karriem Riggins have signed on. Chandler wrote seven new tightly structured tunes for Embraceable. Are the tunes structured so they leave little room for improvising? Absoulutely not. Chandler wants Hurst, Allen and Riggin to put their stamp on the tumes.  At this point, that’s all Chandler will let on about the tunes. To pay for the project Chandler has joined, a website designed to help artists raise money for their projects. Embraceable cost $4,500 to make and Chandler is banking on hitting the studio in September.  

Art Pepper
More Pepper please!
On the 28th of August, Widow Taste Records will release Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. VII Sankei Hall-Oska, Japan, a live concert Pepper played in 1980 with his band George Cables, Tony Dumas and Carl Burnett. Laurie Pepper, Art’s wife, runs Widow Taste Records and she has put out unreleased music Pepper left behind. Last year, she released the box set Blues for the Fisherman.  Unreleased Art Pepper Vol. VII is a two disc set. Pepper’s band performed some oldies such as Over the Rainbow, Cherokee and some of his well-known tunes such as Landscape, Talk, Ophelia, and Y.I. Blues. The 1980 concert was the first time Pepper had performed with his all-time favorite piano player George Cables in years. Years before, Cables left Pepper’s band to start his own. Pepper, Cables, Dumas, and Burnett were in top form, especially Pepper, roaring through the changes of fast tempo numbers like a bobsledder, but the sound quality of the discs is poor. You can hardly hear Pepper talk to the crowd between numbers. Clearly, the discs are re-mastered bootlegs. But who gives a damn. Any live Art Pepper album is worth having.

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