Reviews that mention Warren Smith

October 6, 2018

Michael Moss/Accidental Orchestra

HELIX
4th Stream Records ERG 10013

Extra Large Unit

More Fun, Please

PNL Records PNL040

Two CD variations of how best to perform Jazz compositions-improvisations with very big bands also bring into play questions of proper brevity and length. Featuring 29 Scandinavian musicians who are part of both his large unit plus an ensemble described as Intuitive People, Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love’s More Fun, Please is a 33-minute plus conduction which while integrating solo and group passages references several strands of music to make its points. MORE

March 12, 2016

Sam Most

From the Attic of My Mind
Xanadu Master Edition 906074

By Ken Waxman

Herbie Mann may have been the most prolific; Pail Horn the most mystical; and Moe Koffman the one who composed the tune most closely emphasized with the instrument. But the musician who assuredly created a niche for the flute in modern jazz was Sam Most. Most (1930-2013) was an unprepossessing journeyman who spent most of his career in Hollywood studios and Las Vegas show bands. But by the early 1950s, his rhythmic overblowing and expanded color palate fully confirmed the flute’s improvisationary dexterity. Backed matchlessly by pianist Kenny Barron, bassist George Mraz, drummer Walter Bolden and percussionist Warren Smith, the reissued 1978 session From the Attic of My Mind, is doubly valuable since it’s the only CD made up completely of Most’s compositions. MORE

March 23, 2014

Marty Ehrlich Large Ensemble

A Trumpet in the Morning
New World Records 80752-2

Given a rare opportunity to show off his composing and arranging skills in a big band context, multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich accepts the challenge here. But in re-casting material for more than a dozen musicians he demonstrates the superiority of some of his compositions over others. It’s not that there’s any second-rate music here. But the tunes composed for college and high school ensembles maintain their academic and pedagogical roots. They’re pleasing yet simplistic performances without the depth and compositional sophistication of the other material. MORE

July 1, 2012

Kidd Jordan

On Fire
Engine e042

Like Diogenes searching for an honest man, tenor saxophonist Kidd Jordan often has to travel great distances from his New Orleans home to find suitable playing partners. Jordan, who had long-time arrangements with the late Chicago tenor saxophonist Fred Anderson and versatile Mississippi drummer Alvin Jackson, here showcases his fire music in the company of Chicago bassist-cellist Harrison Bankhead and New York’s Warren Smith, who plays drums, vibes and percussion on this Brooklyn-recorded CD. MORE

January 5, 2012

Lest We Forget:

Julius Hemphill (1938-1995)
By Ken Waxman

Known best for the 15-odd years he spent as a founding member of the World Saxophone Quartet (WSQ), saxophonist and composer Julius Arthur Hemphill, influenced the shape of jazz before and after that affiliation. Live at Kassiopeia, a 1987 German concert recently released by NoBusiness, demonstrates his prowess in extending solo reed language and in powerful duets with German bassist Peter Kowald. Hemphill’s organizational and musical smarts also encouraged younger saxophonists such as Tim Berne and especially Marty Ehrlich, whose Julius Hemphill Sextet preserves the all-saxophone ensemble Hemphill created after splitting with the WSQ. MORE

November 30, 2011

Odean Pope

Universal Sounds
Porter Records PRCD 4053

Marshall Allen/KonstruKt

Vibrations of the Day

KonstruKt Re048

At 87 years of age, alto saxophonist, flutist and Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI) player Marshall Allen appears to be busier than ever. One would think that the wiry reedist who ascended to the leadership of the Sun Ra Arkestra shortly after Ra’s planet leaving in 1993 would have his hands full shepherding that rambunctious aggregation. Yet he’s obviously free enough – in both senses of the word – to lend his talents to such notable projects as these CDs. MORE

June 23, 2010

Giuseppi Logan

The Giuseppi Logan Quintet
Tompkins Square TSQ 2325

One of the lesser-known second generation New Thingers, woodwind player/pianist Giuseppi Logan made a couple of interesting LPs for ESP-Disk in 1964 and 1965 as well as sideman appearances with trombonist Roswell Rudd and singer Patty Waters. Known equally for the strength of his music and his weakness in coping with the music business, Philadelphia-born Logan faded from view shortly afterwards and was thought to have died in the early 1990s.

But after being re-discovered living in New York a member of a Christian evangelical cult, Logan, now 75, began playing gigs with trumpeter/bass clarinetist Matt Lavelle. Lavelle and a top-flight rhythm section of pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Francois Grillot and drummer Warren Smith are all present on this, his first session in 45 years. MORE

November 7, 2009

Old Dog

By Any Other Name
Porter Records PRCD-4027

Flow Trio

Rejuvenation

ESP-Disk 4052

John Coltrane dominated the concepts of nearly every young tenor saxophonist between the late 1950s and early 1980s – and his work is still one yardstick against which reedists are measured today. His influence was – and is – so all-pervasive, that even those saxophonists who forged their own identity often referred consciously or subconsciously to Trane’s work.

Oddly enough though the majority of reedists fastened onto Coltrane’s Hard Bop or Modal periods, with very few willing to deal with the timbral and textural achievements the sax man advanced just before his untimely death in 1967. Fearless and individualistic, New York-based Louie Belogenis on the other hand, is someone who has faced that challenge head on. MORE

November 7, 2009

Flow Trio

Rejuvenation
ESP-Disk 4052

Old Dog

By Any Other Name

Porter Records PRCD-4027

John Coltrane dominated the concepts of nearly every young tenor saxophonist between the late 1950s and early 1980s – and his work is still one yardstick against which reedists are measured today. His influence was – and is – so all-pervasive, that even those saxophonists who forged their own identity often referred consciously or subconsciously to Trane’s work.

Oddly enough though the majority of reedists fastened onto Coltrane’s Hard Bop or Modal periods, with very few willing to deal with the timbral and textural achievements the sax man advanced just before his untimely death in 1967. Fearless and individualistic, New York-based Louie Belogenis on the other hand, is someone who has faced that challenge head on. MORE

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra
Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur

AUM Fidelity AUM 046

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. MORE

December 8, 2008

Bill Dixon

17 Musicians in Search of a Sound: Darfur
AUM Fidelity AUM 046

Bill Dixon

With Exploding Star Orchestra

Thrill Jockey Thrill 192

More than an elderly lion in winter, 83-year-old trumpeter Bill Dixon seems to have reasserted his place in the jazz firmament during the dozen years since he retired from academe after nearly three decades of teaching at Vermont’s Bennington College.

Both of these big band CDs resulted from a purple patch of creativity in the summer of 2007, when Dixon was able to lead different orchestras in New York and Chicago through some of his extended compositions. Both the 56½-minute “Darfur” suite in New York and the two 18-minute versions of “Entrances” in the mid-West are shaped around a combination of composed work and spontaneously cued solos. The tonal colors emphasized on both are orchestral rather than standard big band arrangements, with woodwinds, strings and miscellaneous percussion prominent. MORE

November 14, 2008

Stephen Haynes-Taylor Ho Bynum

The Double Trio
Engine e026

Mazen Kerbaj/Birgit Ulher/Sharif Sehnaoui

3:1

Creative Sources CS 110 CD

Throughout the history of improvised music and jazz, two-trumpet sessions have never been as popular as duets between saxophonists. Oh there were dates featuring Art Framer and Donald Byrd in the 1950s, for example, and Roy Hargrove and Marlon Jordan in the 1980s, plus a whole collection of Norman Granz-instigated blowing sessions in between. But it seems as if the preferred locus for dual improvising is a commingling of many saxophone keys rather than sets of three valves. MORE

November 14, 2008

Mazen Kerbaj/Birgit Ulher/Sharif Sehnaoui

3:1
Creative Sources CS 110 CD

Stephen Haynes-Taylor Ho Bynum

The Double Trio

Engine e026

Throughout the history of improvised music and jazz, two-trumpet sessions have never been as popular as duets between saxophonists. Oh there were dates featuring Art Framer and Donald Byrd in the 1950s, for example, and Roy Hargrove and Marlon Jordan in the 1980s, plus a whole collection of Norman Granz-instigated blowing sessions in between. But it seems as if the preferred locus for dual improvising is a commingling of many saxophone keys rather than sets of three valves. MORE

September 3, 2008

Bass on Top

Yuganaut and the Andrew Lamb Trio
Buffalo, N.Y. April 8, 2008

With a half-sized violin and a didgeridoo strapped onto his double bass, a tambourine stirrup on one shoe and his tuba ready for action beside him, Tom Abbs negotiated the connection between two variants of improvised music during an early April concert at Buffalo’s Halwalls Contemporary Arts Center.

Wrapping up a tour of the co-op Yuganaut band just before recording with tenor saxophonist Andrew Lamb’s trio, a Hallwalls-associated arts grant allowed the Brooklyn-based Abbs to showcase both groups upstate. Completed by Ann Arbor-based Steve Rush playing slinky electric piano riffs, wiggly analog synthesizer oscillations plus trombone, whistles, ratchets and small percussion and Geoff Mann on drum kit, glockenspiel and trumpet, the tri-city Yuganaut expressed its instrumental bravura in jovial, foot-stomping tunes that recalled Rahsaan Roland Kirk and Roscoe Mitchell in their playful moments. MORE

October 27, 2006

Andrew Lamb Trio

New Orleans Suite
Engine Studios e019

That from tragedy comes great art is a hoary cliché which if true means that the flooding of New Orleans engendered by Hurricane Katrina will provide material for concerned artists for years to come. One of the first responses – recorded three weeks after the natural disaster – is this CD featuring saxophonist Andrew Lamb, bassist Tom Abbs and percussionist Warren. A mixture of aggressive soloing and agitprop, it sets a high standard to which others can aspire.

Among the most arresting features of the date is “Dyes and Lyes”, a sardonic blues rap Smith wrote and recites. Although the drummer’s condemnation of the American government’s inaction and disinterest in the impoverished as well as about the birthplace of 20th century improvised music gives the funky rap extra bite and resonance, the powerful musicianship of all three players is as noticeable here as on the fully instrumental tracks. MORE

July 27, 2000

BILL COLE

Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble, Live 11/20/99
Boxholder BXH 008/009

Jazz's flirtation with non-Western music has been going on almost since Duke Ellington wrote his first "Jungle" composition. But serious convergence with these sounds really happened when composer/performers such as Yusef Lateef and Art Blakey got to visit Africa in the 1940s and 1950s. Since then whole strains of so-called "ethnic" musics -- including Arabic, Greek, Balkan and Yiddish -- have been added to the jazz continuum. But few musicians bring the same aesthetic and understanding of these different cultures' sounds as do the members of Bill Cole's Untempered Ensemble.

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