A mixed bag of super CDsDon Albert
Jazzaholic by Don Albert: A real mixed bag from World Music to bebop, the blues, rock and Latin.
Take an oud (11 string Arabic lute), fretless/fretted guitar player and composer from Finland and put him with a Turkish pianist, a Swedish acoustic bass player, and percussionists from Palestine and Spain plus a guest qanun (a kind of zither) player, plus a voice and you should get some idea of what the music on Jussi Reijonen’s CD ‘un’ is about. It’s an incredible mix of Middle Eastern and African rhythms with a slight underlying of Scandinavian jazz. If you’re into World Music of the highest order, then you’ll love this fascinating and compelling listening album. If you’re a Greg Georgiades fan you are going to thoroughly enjoy this CD. No doubt about this being a five star album. www.jussireijonen.com
Guitarist/singer Bob Wolfman certainly has chops otherwise he wouldn’t have recorded with Chick Corea and Joe Beck amongst others including Larry Coryell, who produced this album titled ’Transition’ which allows Wolfman to display his blues cum rock chops. He’s also a nice singer. The band comprises Larry Coryell guitar, Kenwood Dennard drums, Victor Bailey bass and Ferdi Argenti piano. All in all a pop, rock, jazz combination of material which will be much appreciated by those who see him live. www.bobwolfman.com
‘The Greg Abate Quintet featuring Phil Woods’ is a nicely relaxed freewheeling, blowing session. Sadly Woods only appears on five of the 10 tracks. Not to take anything away from Abate who is a fine bop player in his own right and plays alto, soprano, baritone and flute. For those who don’t know him he played for two years with Ray Charles, was a member of Artie Shaw’s 1985 band and appeared with Red Rodney as well as leading his own groups. “Rocco’s Place” allows one to really hear how classy Woods is, while Abate displays his blustery baritone style. On the tracks with two altos Woods takes the second chorus. Try and hear this album. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or www.rhombus-records.com
‘Red’ from Polish born, London educated and now living in America vocalist and violinist Beata Pater has produced an album of a very listenable cross-over of Latin, New Orleans R&B, and soft rock that held my attention throughout the 12 tracks. She uses her range with wordless vocalisation like a frontline instrument. There are solos, some quite impressive, throughout from sax or flute, piano, guitar, bass, piano and underpinned by a groovy beat always there, but never loud. Pity they don’t say who the guitarist is on “Big Red”. The repertoire includes Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” and Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay” plus a host of well-honed melodic originals. It’s a case of you love it or you don’t. I must say I certainly enjoyed it. www.BeataPater.com or www.laborrecords.com
Don Albert is a saxophonist and jazz journalist. He spent 12 years with The Star Newspaper on the Tonight! section writing about jazz. Currently he writes jazz CD and book reviews for Financial Mail and is the South African Correspondent for Downbeat (USA) and Jazz Journal International (UK). He has presented radio programmes on jazz and served awards.as judge at prestigious competitions. He has also won numerous awards.