Sunday, June 7, 2015


It is rare for tenor saxophonist Ivo Perelman to go a long stretch without releasing an album. From 2010 to 2013, for example, Perelman put out a whopping 20 albums. In 2014, he took a break because of health issues, but this year he made up for lost time by putting out three albums simultaneously "Callas", "Counterpoint," and "Tenor Hood". Each is free-jazz jewels. If your budget only allow you to purchase one, I’d go with Tenor Hood. Perelman teamed with drummer Whit Dickey. Both musicians are alumni of pianist Matthew Shipp’s band. For this studio date, Perelman channeled the ghosts of his ancestors Ben Webster, John Coltrane, Hank Mobley, and Sonny Rollins who is still alive and blowing. Perelman and Dickey made the compositions off-the-cuff, and the titles are the aforementioned saxophonist’s surnames. Jazz purists heavily into the various branches of bop may want to take a sick day because Perelman made "Tenor Hood" it seems for free-jazz purists. Perelman and Dickey wailed like hell while the ghosts of Webster, Coltrane, and Mobley cheered them on.

Californian Tiffany Austin is an authentic go-getter. The vocalist earned a degree in creative writing, sang professionally in Japan for five years, returned stateside earned a Juris Doctorate at the University of California Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law, and became a vocalist of note on the West Coast. Austin passed on a potentially lucrative career in law to sing. Man, Austin can really sing. Get this, she started Con Alma Music and released her debut "Nothing But Soul" June 2ndThe album is mostly an homage to Hoagy Carmichael. Six of the nine songs on it are his. "Nothing But Soul" won’t have to grow on you. You’ll be hooked after the initial listen. The boldest numbers on the album are "I Get Along Without You," and "Georgia". On the former, Austin sent three members of her band -- saxophonist Howard Wiley, bassist Ron Belcher, and drummer Sly Randolph -- on a Starbucks run while she performed a duet with pianist Glen Pearson. Austin’s version of "Georgia" would make Ray Charles blush if he were still alive.
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