I haven’t had a chance to feature new releases in a while and want to sing the praises of three new albums before the year ends. The first is guitarist Yotam Silberstein‘s The Village. The Tel Aviv native moved to New York in 2005 after receiving a scholarship to the New School. His latest album features a great rhythm section: Aaron Goldberg on piano, Reuben Rogers plays bass, and Greg Hutchinson, drums. Silberstein is a thoughtful improviser, with a clear, precise attack that is reminiscent of the great Kurt Rosenwinkel album The Legend, one of my favorites and an incredible tour de force. Silberstein is versatile as well, having performed at the Kennedy Center’s production of “Ella,” and recently won the Sundance Time Warner Award for film music. He is a rising star to be watched.
The next new and noteworthy album is Bob Mintzer‘s All L.A. Band, out on Peter Erskine’s label, Fuzzy Music. Mintzer, a veteran sax player who was part of Jaco Pastorius’ World of Mouth band, also runs the jazz division of USC’s Thornton School of Music. He composed the tracks on the album, and the big band is made up of talented jazz musicians based here in Los Angeles, including Erskine on drums. We should be proud to have such a great ensemble in our midst. As an added plus, an innovative app developed by Fuzzy Music Mobile lets students and musicians play along, record, and mix any of the tracks on the album. The app allows the user to solo or take away any of the instruments on the recording, and parts can be printed from the app. That’s pretty cool!
The third and final album I want to highlight is pianist Frank Kimbrough‘s Solstice. He’s aided and abetted by two veterans–Jay Anderson on bass and Jeff Hirschfield on drums. Kimbrough is a musical adventurer; he stretches songs kind of like the late Paul Bley did. He does a gorgeous version of Gershwin’s “Here Come the Honey Man,” and his original composition, “Walking by Flashlight” should be in a romantic movie. It’s just that gorgeous. I have always loved the interplay between musicians in a trio setting. Rather than just backing up a horn soloist, the three musicians share a great deal of interplay; in effect, they are all soloists, which makes it more interesting.