Sunday, July 17, 2016


The Power Trio is a new all-star jazz group co-led by saxophonist David Murray, pianist Geri Allen, and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. "Perfection" is the trio's debut, and they dedicated it to the late free-jazz sage, Ornette Coleman. The album only has one of Coleman's works, the title cut, but this perfectly wrought album is laced with Coleman's spirit. The trio included as guest stars bassist Charnett Moffett and trombonist Craig Harris, who had ties to Coleman. There’s outstanding trumpeting by Wallace Roney, Jr. Murray, Allen, and Carrington are global figures. They played for keeps on each cut. The ones certain to leave a mark are Barbara Allen, Geri-Rigged, and the trio's mission statement The David, Geri & Terri Show. Pray, the Power Trio is blessed with longevity.

Jazz all-star groups are more popular now than ever. They are popping up all over the place. Groups such as the Cookers, the Heads of State, and the Power Trio are making terrific music. The Power Quintet is an all-star group with an imposing presence, staffed with musicians with fat reputations. The members are vibraphonist Steve Nelson, trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, pianist Danny Grissett, drummer Bill Stewart, and bassist Peter Washington. Washington approached Pelt about forming a band with each member writing original music and sharing all the heavy lifting. Washington knew the musicians he wanted. Pelt, one of the top jazz trumpeters breathing, was gamed about bringing a new all-star group into the world. The quintet has already toured Europe and the States. High Note Records released the quintet's first album, High Art, a post-bop extravaganza for the ages. Pelt has major sway, but Nelson is the centerpiece, strutting is virtuosity on Look at Here, Mr. Wiggleworm, and Tincture. Pelt's solo on But Beautiful was so damn good the devil would feel compelled to write Pelt a thank you note. Keep your fingers crossed that the Power Quintet can keep the magic going in the coming years.

In 2104, the jazz drummer Matt Wilson's wife, Felicia, an accomplished violinist, died. For three decades they were one. Palmetto Records released Matt Wilson's Big Happy Family Beginning Of A Memory Wilson's tribute, or his final love letter to Felicia. It’s the most joyous tribute album you are likely to hear in a lifetime. Wilson included seventeen originals on the album. Many of the musicians who have been in and out of his various bands for years Terell Stafford, Larry Golding, Gary Versace, and Chris Lightcap participated in this tribute. The playing on Lester, Searchlight, Request Potatoes, Father of The Year, and 25 Years Of Rootabagathis is stunning. Major props to Wilson for keeping this marvelous tribute to his beloved Felicia spirited
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