The "Lost" Donny McCaslin Album

Hey You! You like Donny McCaslin. Trust me, you do. You just don’t know it yet…

There’s an album that I think really exemplifies the sound that McCaslin was achieving with his now famous quartet of Mark Guiliana, Jason Lindner, and Tim Lefebvre. It’s called Fast Future. It came out right before his work with David Bowie and Blackstar, Bowie’s final record. I’m not sure what happened, I’m assuming some sort of distribution deal or representation change, that lead to this album being removed from Spotify, but, it’s sadly no longer available on the one streaming service to which I subscribe. While it may be on YouTube (discussed in another post), please go check it out and buy it on bandcamp.

The following is set to begin at one of my favorite songs of all time, “No Eyes”. PLEASE BUY THE RECORD.

Joshua Redman Master Class

A buddy of mine gave me these a while back and I thought I'd share them with you guys.  Redman was in Atlanta a little while ago with his trio at Spivey Hall and HOLY CRAP was that a good concert!  Make sure to check out Josh's website and pick up a copy of his latest release, Compass.  There's also a new CD in the works with his James Farm Band which you can read about in this related post.  The sound is a little low in both Master Class recordings, but that's fairly normal.  The third is a recording of a live concert with Bill Stewart (drums), Larry Grenadier (bass), Taylor Eigsti (piano), and of course Joshua himself.  Happy listening and hope you enjoy! Joshua Redman Master Class 1

Joshua Redman Master Class 2

Joshua Redman in Concert

Bob Reynolds Lick

Ok, so let's talk about the amazing saxophonist that is Bob Reynolds.  Bob is a graduate of Berklee in Boston and has since played with heavy hitters both in the pop and jazz realm.  He's got a couple of great albums out that I would highly recommend.  And, his long awaited Stablemates forum has just debuted this week.  I'll keep you posted on what it's like.  In the meantime, I found one video of him playing with John Mayer that was EXTRA appealing.  Check this out first:

In the video, there's about 20 seconds of what you might expect.  Then, at 26", Bob lays out this jaw-dropping line.  I was transcribing it and thought that I'd share with everyone to see what they thought.  I've annotated what's going on theory wise.  Hope you like it and leave your comments down below.

Aaron Parks "Invisible Cinema" Lead Sheets

Continuing with the Aaron-Parks-love from last week's blog post, I found a very cool jazz blog that actually has the PDF's of ALL of the charts from Aaron's debut record "Invisible Cinema".  Aaron posted the link to this great blog on his MySpace blog called  I highly recommend that while you're over there getting Aaron's charts that you check out the other stuff they have to offer.  I posted the chart of one of my favorite songs off the album below.

James Farm Band

In case you haven't heard, Joshua Redman has a new collaborative project called the James Farm Band with Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, & Eric Harland.  News from the group's Facebook Fan Page shows that they've been hard at work in the studio and are finished recording for their highly anticipated Spring 2011 release. If you haven't checked out some of the rehearsal tracks on their MySpace you're in for a treat.  The music is, of course, very cool and it'll be great to hear the finished product.  Until then, check out some of the shots from the recording session below.  Also, I'd love to hear what their shows have been like over the last tour.  Leave your stories in the comment box.

Shopping with Joshua Redman

While this article has absolutely no musical value, I thought this would be something funny to share with everyone.  Follow the link to read the full two page article by Eric Asimov.  Hint: there is mention of a personal Prada shopper.... :-)

STYLE | January 10, 1999 SHOPPING WITH: Joshua Redman; A Jazz Virtuoso Is Picky About the Details By ERIC ASIMOV AS Joshua Redman would be the first to tell you, he is a picky kind of fellow. Mr. Redman, the jazz saxophonist and band leader, was poring over shirts at the Prada store on Madison Avenue last Wednesday, looking for stagewear for his coming two-week tour of Japan. As his personal shopper at Prada, Ola Itani, brought in several dozen selections, each individually boxed with a clear plastic top, he zoomed in on defect after defect. The color was wrong on one, the collar too long on another, the shape on a third was too boxy and a single button on a fourth interrupted an otherwise clean line of Velcro closures.

Esperanza Spalding - Live @ Newport Audio

esperanza spalding 07Okay, I am VERY excited!  I just recently saw Esperanza Spalding and her band at the Schwartz Center at Emory University in Atlanta (my hometown).  This was my first time seeing her live and I can tell you I was not disappointed.  Esperanza is an unbelievably powerful performer.  Her artistry transcends label.  As one might expect from Berklee's youngest professor in the history of the university, her Bass playing is spectacular.  However, you may not expect all that Esperanza's vocals have to offer.  It is visceral and soulful, but has a force behind it fueled by a wealth of knowledge and the highest purpose.  Her style is so effortless that it's not that she's a bassist and/or a vocalist, her entire body is its own instrument.  Along with her old favorites from her album 'Esperanza', she had a host of new tunes.  For example, she performed "City of Roses" about the city of Portland (her hometown), "Wild Is the Wind", "Sunlight", "Cinnamon Tree" about a friend of hers studying for the bar, and her querky new intro tune "Jazz (Ain't Nothin' But Soul)".  All of these songs and more will be on her highly anticipated 2010 album release, few details are available at this point though.  This audio recording, provided by NPR, also has a tune entitled "Crayola".  Since it's one audio clip, I've written the time markings for each song in the set.  The entire set list is:

  1. "Jazz (Ain't Nothin' But Soul)" 0:00 - 6:43
  2. "City of Roses" 6:43 - 11:39
  3. "I Know You Know" 11:39 - 15:59
  4. "Sunlight" 17:05 - 21:46
  5. "Wild is the Wind" 21:54 - 28:18
  6. "Mela" 28:29 - 39:46
  7. "Crayola" 39:50 - 47:03

Ricardo Vogt - Guitar

Leonardo Genovese - Piano

Otis Brown III - Drums

Featured Artist - Now vs. Now

I first caught the trio version of this group at Dazzle in Denver, CO.  They have since just come out with their debut album "Now vs. Now".  The group was started and is lead by pianist Jason Lindner and includes Panagiotis Andreou (bass and vocals) and phenomenal drummer out of NY, Mark Guiliana.  They quote their sound as being "garage jazz", what it is is FREAKING AWESOME.  They are joined by a host of other musicians, but most notably by trumpet player Avishai Cohen (not the same as the bass player) and emcee/spoken-word-artist Baba Israel.  The first project I heard of Jason Lindner's was his big band album, Jason Lindner Big Band: Live at the Jazz Gallery which, for anyone interested in contemporary jazz arranging, is a must have.  I was unprepared to say the least when I showed up to hear this group at Dazzle.  I walked in, shoving past the giant red curtain that separates what feels like a jazz heaven from the rest of the world.  Everyone was sitting, just looking exhausted after the first set; I discovered why during the second.  This group takes you on a musical journey like no other.  This had to be one of the top 15 shows that I've seen to date.  Their debut album has a host of guests including Avishai and Baba, but also Anat Cohen, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Yosvany Terry, and Meshell Ndegeocello.

Featured Artist - Kneebody

I had the amazing opportunity this past July to attend a week long workshop at SIM in Brooklyn with one of my all-time FAVORITE bands, Kneebody.  This is a group that combines aspects of jazz, hip-hop, indie rock, and pretty much anything else you could throw into the pot.  They are all extremely versatile, individualized, and continuously creative musicians that when their powers combine turn into one of the best musical groups around today.

The band members are:

  • Ben Wendel - Saxophone/Bassoon/Effects
  • Shane Endsley - Trumpet & Effects
  • Adam Benjamin - Rhodes/Piano/Effects
  • Kaveh Rastegar - Bass & Effects
  • Nate Wood - Drums & Symbols

The band's discography spans four albums with a 5th, their 3rd studio album, expected in Spring 2010:

The group also appears on two other albums:

You can expect to see a couple more videos of this band up here.  Feel free to click on the links to check out or buy any of the music listed here.  Stay tuned for more Kneebody news.