Thursday, September 22, 2011


With “at the crossroads,” James Carter is back with his organ trio drummer Leonard King and organ player Gerard Gibbs. They've been working together for a decade , and  have made some excellence jazz albums “Live at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge,” and “Out of Nowhere”. Carter loaded this new album with blues and gospel tunes, and guest appearances. “at the crossroads” isn’t a masterwork like Caribbean Rhapsody, which came out in May. But “at the crossroads” is outstanding nonetheless. Gibbs deserves the lion share of the credit. Long ago, Gibbs earned his spot as one of the top jazz organ players around. All the slick things Carter can do on the sax Gibbs can do on the organ. That no easy feat. Decca makes “at the crossroads” available for public consumption October 4th. 
Yoko Miwa new album “Live at Sculler Jazz Club” is  the best jazz trio album I've come across this year. Around the Boston jazz scene Miwa is a big deal, and after I listened to "Wheel of Life" and "Season of Wither," I understood why. She a has a mean left hand and a restless right one. She plays a little bit of everything  samba, blues, and hardcore bop. On November 17, Jazz Cat Amnesty Records makes “Live at Sculler Jazz available to the public.

Tenor saxophone player Tim Mayer built his chops from scratch. He idolized Dexter Gordon and Sonny Stitt. That comes through on Mayer's debut “Resilience”. Like his saxophone idols, Mayer has a sound that’s big and wide. Mayer went for broke playing songs by jazz heavies Charles Tolliver, Steve Turre, George Cables, and Lee Morgan. Jazz Legacy Productions releases “Resilience” September 27th. 

This is jazz piano player Geri Allen’s second solo album for Motema Records. Last year, Allen served up “Flying Toward the Sound,”  which was a nob to her idols Herbie Hancock, Cecil Taylor and McCoy Tyner. The album was praised, but I wasn’t feeling it. It came off as if Allen was home alone, killing time practicing some of her favorite tunes. I,m totally into Allen's new solo outing “A Child is Born”. Allen plays 14 Christmas songs, and she dedicated the album to her immediate family. “A Child is Born” is a jazz holiday album I'll play year around. It will be on the streets October 11th.

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