I’ve been feeling a bit bummed out and guilty that a combination of personal issues and then no internet connection for several hours kept me from publishing a review yesterday. The internet connection problem is resolved. The personal issues will with me for a while, until I can find the money to have the thermostat on my Magic Chef oven replaced.
My original intention when I sat down to write this a few hours ago was for it to be 200-300 words total about three new CD’s that I received recently.
Somewhere in the writing, it has blossomed to over 900 words!
So I am not too bummed out any more. The oven will be a comparatively cheap fix, cheaper than buying a new oven, and even though I’m a day late with this article, I think I have more than made up for skipping out on you yesterday.
I hope so, anyway.
The mailman was kind to me last week. He brought me not one, not two, but THREE new or recent releases, courtesy of the folks at BluJazz Productions.
I haven’t had time to make up my mind yet whether any of these three fit the premise that is the driving force behind this blog (did I, or would I have, played this on “Saturday Night Jazz?”). It is possible that separate, full-length reviews of one or more of these albums will appear here later on.
In the meantime, since these are three newly released albums from folks who aren’t exactly household names, I want to at least call your attention to them.
I would also like to mention that when I was online researching these three artists and their albums, I couldn’t help but notice that allmusic.com has classified all three as “pop/rock.”
Far be it from me to disagree with the professionals who presumably get paid nice money for sharing their opinions with us little people, but I think whoever classified these three was perhaps a tad bit hasty in their judgment.
I must admit it has occurred to me that at least two of these discs may very well be more appropriately classified as “smooth jazz,” the one jazz genre that I have sworn never to sully this blog with. If so, I will deal with that eventuality when the time comes.
One last comment before we get to the music. To give no preference to the order they are mentioned here, I shuffled all three albums in my hands with my eyes closed. What you see below is the order they were in when I finally peeked. 😉
“January – The Birth and Development of The Ian Torres Big Band” is a recently-released album from Chicago trumpet player and composer, Ian Torres.
The album brings us eleven songs, with the words and music for ten of them written by Torres.
The one song here not written by Torres is track 1, “Air in G” by Johann Sebastian Bach.
This album is different than anything I’ve heard or written about before, and I’m not sure my plebeian skills are up to the challenge of giving this a fair review. So I’ll refer you instead to Jack Bowers, who wrote about this album for allaboutjazz.com back in September. You can find his review right here.
More information about Ian Torres and this project is available on their Kickstarter funding page. You read that right, I said Kickstarter. “January” is a true child of the 21st century, with production costs paid for by 85 investors who, in one 30 day time period, donated just under $5000 to bring the album to fruition.
“Shiny Metal Objects” from a group called The Elec Tet is an altogether different sort of album, in that it is much closer to mainstream jazz than “January.”
This is the brainchild of a native Portlander now residing in Chicago, drummer Ben Scholz.
Scholz has long loved jazz fusion, and originally conceived this project as an homage to that arm of the jazz world.
While there certainly are elements of fusion to be found here, I would have to say that the casual listener who is used to jazz that is closer to the mainstream will find a lot here to like.
Last but certainly not least, we have “Diggin’ The Day” from Marsha Heydt and The Project of Love. Saxophonist Heydt, who was born in Allentown, PA and now resides in New York City, previously released a CD called “One Night” which did very well and received much positive attention from NPR and jazz broadcasters across the country.
As befitting the title, “Diggin’ The Day” offers us fourteen light-hearted songs, all apparently from Heydt’s fertile mind.
Three very different albums from three very different artists. Whether or not they are the stuff “Jazz For A Saturday Night” is made of is, for the time being, up to you.
Thank you for reading this. J
Wood Village, Oregon
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I would like to once again discuss newer releases here, as well as older, classic jazz. If you represent a jazz artist with an album you feel would “fit in” here, whether new release or old, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will provide you with an address you can submit a review copy.
Please note that acceptance by me of a copy of your album for consideration is no guarantee that it will be reviewed here.
Copyright © 2013 by Al Evans. All rights reserved.