The Bebop Shop : Current Events: New Jazz and Beyond : Fretwork: Scofield, Frisell, & Current Guitarists
September 2020, Stevens was hunkering down in his wife's family's hometown of Pittsburgh, while navigating his way through the crisis. He had with him a vintage Martin 00-17, a small-body mahogany guitar. Practicing daily on the Martin, he began generating a series of short song "starts" - ideas and sketches he thought might lead somewhere. Then one rainy Pittsburgh day, Stevens' bike slid out from under him and he broke his right elbow. Rather than getting derailed musically, he became immersed in a creative process that led straight to 'Pittsburgh': a document of those short song "starts" from the notebook, now hatched as completed compositions. "Playing this music became a big part of my rehab," Stevens recalls.
As the album took shape, it became clear to Stevens that he was headed in the direction of a wholly unaccompanied recital, with no overdubs or sound layering of any kind. Just him and this special Martin, two Neumann U89 mics and enough peace of mind across two separate sessions to make 'Pittsburgh' the triumph that it is. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
On 'R&B', Rogers and Binney unite to co-lead a lean and hard-swinging quartet with bassist Reuben Rogers (no relation) and drummer Gerald Cleaver. In a departure from their usual focus on original material, Rogers and Binney aim straight for bebop, ballads and classics by Thelonious Monk, Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter, among others. The feel is rock-solid, the improvisations bracing. It's a fresh, unexpected take on the jazz tradition, viewed through a modern prism.
Personnel: Adam Rogers (guitar), David Binney (alto saxophone), Reuben Rogers (bass), Gerald Cleaver (drums) (Proper Note) Price: £13.99
A first exploratory duo session was recorded in 2010. After Paul Motian's death the following year it was decided to expand and complete the project with another highly influential and innovative drummer, Andrew Cyrille, adding also Pete Rende on synthesizer on two pieces. So here we hear Monder solo, in duo with Motian, in duo with Cyrille, and in trio with Cyrille and Rende.
This range of expressive options casts light upon Monder's musical concepts and their adaptability. A guitarist's guitarist, Monder's also a master of texture and unusual voicings, creating what one reviewer has called "detailed sonic landscapes of mystery and power". All the music on 'Amorphae' is his, apart from "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'", the Rodgers & Hammerstein chestnut from the musical Oklahoma!, performed here by Monder and Motian. (Proper Music) Price: £14.99
This album is part of the ECM TOUCHSTONES series: Great music and full-dimensional sound at download price, in cardboard covers with original artwork. (ECM Records) Price: £11.99
All the compositions on Music IS were composed by Frisell, some are brand-new - Change in the Air, Thankful, What Do You Want, Miss You and Go Happy Lucky - others are solo adaptions of now classic original compositions Frisell has previously recorded - In Line, Rambler, Ron Carter, Pretty Stars, Monica Jane, and The Pioneers. The focus of Music IS is on the telling of musical stories from Frisells original and inimitable perspective. The end result is Frisell at his most distilled and fully realised. (Sony Music) Price: £13.99
Like their acclaimed ECM release Small Town of 2017 which The Guardian called wistful and mesmerizing
tonally ingenious and haunting Epistrophy by guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan was recorded at New York Citys Village Vanguard. The new album once again captures the rare empathy these two players achieve together in this intimate environment. There are further poetic takes on pieces from the duos Americana songbook (All in Fun, Red River Valley, Save the Last Dance for Me), as well as another intense version of a composition by Paul Motian (Mumbo Jumbo), an artist whom both the guitarist and bassist knew well. Frisell and Morgan communicate the essence of Billy Strayhorns Lush Life and the Frank Sinatra hit In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, so much so that the famous words seem to hang in the air even without a singer. At the center of the album is a pair of pieces by Thelonious Monk: the funky, angular Epistrophy and the ruminative ballad Pannonica. And as with Goldfinger on Small Town, Frisell and Morgan offer a glowing duo interpretation of a melody-rich John Barry title tune from a James Bond film You Only Live Twice. (ECM Records) Price: £14.99