For this week’s Sound Advice, CapRadio jazz music director Gary Vercelli previews new releases from Benny Green, Harold Mabern, Yellowjackets, Doug Webb and Miki Yamanaka.
"For Regulars Only" — Benny Green
This Dexter Gordon hard bop classic features rising vocalist Veronica Swift. Veronica comes from a fine pedigree. Her father was pianist Hod O’Brien, her mother jazz vocalist Stephanie Nakasian. Swift and Goodman (who grew up in the bay area and played with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers) will perform at the Mondavi Center, Feb. 27–March 2.
"A Few Miles From Memphis" — Harold Mabern
At 82, pianist Harold Mabern remains one of the idiom’s unsung heroes. In this live recording at NYC’s Smoke, Mabern and his young colleagues, including tenor sax sensation Eric Alexander, ignite the club with soulful, swinging jazz. Mabern has worked as a sideman with jazz greats Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and Frank Strozier. This is his 26th album as a leader.
"Man Facing North" — Yellowjackets
Brazilian jazz vocalist Luciana Souza enhances the always contemporary Yellowjackets, including the vibrant tenor saxophone explorations of Bob Mintzer. From their fusion roots of 1981, this band continues to evolve and explore new dimensions.
"The Things We Did Last Summer" — Doug Webb
Doug Webb is one of L.A.’s most sought-after studio musicians. His television credits include “Law & Order" and “The Simpsons” (Lisa’s Simpson’s saxophone). He is paired here with a great quartet, including pianist Mitchel Forman. Webb can burn with the best of them, but relaxes on this beautiful romantic ballad written by Jule Styne.
"For All We Know" — Miki Yamanaka
This native of Japan now gigs regularly in New York City. She has won praise from jazz great, pianist Larry Goldings. Her band features veteran vibraphonist Steve Nelson, who is featured on this ballad.
Listen to Vercelli's playlist: