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Sound Advice: New Jazz Releases With Gary Vercelli

Courtesy of The Verve Jazz Ensemble / Lightgroove Media

Courtesy of The Verve Jazz Ensemble / Lightgroove Media

On Sound Advice, CapRadio Jazz Music Director Gary Vercelli gets you in the jazz mood with some new releases.

Here are some of his highlights:

"Bistro" — The Verve Jazz Ensemble

This group originated as a quartet in 2006 with a name inspired by Norman Granz’s legendary Verve label. Melodic content is important to the band, and they do contemporary arrangements of classics by artists including Lee Morgan and Benny Golson. The group has grown to include flutist Alexa Torantino. She is featured in this arrangement of Lalo Shifrin's "Bistro" along with trumpeter Tatum Greenblat.

"Defiant" — Charles Lloyd & The Marvels

Now 80 years young, Charles Lloyd continues to inspire with spiritual music that combines jazz with other genres. The Marvels are an eclectic group of talented seekers, including Bill Frisell on guitar and Eric Harland on drums. It’s not too often that you hear a pedal steel guitar (played by Greg Leisz) on a jazz album, but Lloyd has been blending idioms since he grew up in Memphis playing with Bobby Blue Bland, Johnny Ace, and Howlin’ Wolf.

"East of the Village" — Cory Weeds' Little Big Band

Canadian saxophonist Cory Weeds gets things done! He ran a jazz club for several years in Vancouver, British Columbia, and founded his own label, Cellar Live. Weeds got a grant to form and record a “Little Big Band,” 11 musicians rather than the typical 17, including jazz heavy-weights Gary Smulyan and Steve Davis. Bill Coon did a swinging arrangement of Hank Mobley’s “East Of The Village” for the band, which features a great trumpet solo by Joe Magnarelli.

"Palco (a Little Dancer)" — Michika Fukumori

A native of Japan now living in NYC, Michika Fukumori’s third CD for Summit Records features beautiful solo piano interpretations of some of her favorite composers, including AC Jobim, Cole Porter, and Richard Rogers. She also composes some melodic originals. The album was produced by Michika’s mentor, the great Steve Kuhn, an unsung hero of the jazz idiom. Fukumori took the advice that Oscar Peterson’s father gave him years ago — “Learn classical music and let it be your vocabulary for jazz.”

Listen to Vercelli's playlist here:

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