Corea Clarke & White, New Gary Burton Quartet, Eli Degibri, Conrad Herwig, Eddie Henderson

Corea Clarke & WhiteForever (Concord): Sans guitarist Al DiMeola, three fourths of the last incarnation of Return to Forever ends up being addition by subtraction. With the exception of Chaka Khan’s obtrusive scatting, the acoustic renderings of the three-piece bring a fresh perspective even to familiar tunes like “500 Miles High.” The core trio smoothly accommodates the addition of violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and original RF guitarist Bill Connor for added color on the second cd, further stretching the visionary concept of the iconic band.

The New Gary Burton Quartet
Common Ground (Mack Avenue): This well-wrought music reaffirms how similar is Gary Burton’s career to a memorable jazz improvisation. Accessible themes give way to provocative interpretation and uncommonly sympathetic collaborations throughout this cd and while guitarist Julian Lage most conspicuously mirrors the shimmering glow of the vibes, without the insistent push and flow of drummer Antonio Sanchez and bassist Scott Colley, neither the tunes themselves nor the recording of them would stand equally tastefully, each on their own terms.

Eli Degibri Israeli Song (Anzic): The names of rhythm section here is enough to compel hearing it: how did saxophonist Eli Debibri get pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Al Foster to play on his album? Shortly into the disc, comprised mostly of the leader’s originals plus one each from his accompanists, it’s simple to hear why: he plays with an uncommon authority, giving such imaginative twists to fresh material, it inspires all four men involved to make decisive instrumental statements throughout the album.

Conrad HerwigThe Latin Side of Herbie Hancock (Half Note): It’s not a real stretch to imagine Latin arrangements of Herbie Hancock’s best material such as “Maiden Voyage,” “Cantaloupe Island” or “Watermelon Man,” but it’s nonetheless daring for Herwig to take on the challenge even when aided and abetted by the seasoned likes of pianist Eddie Palmieri and trumpeter Randy Breaker. Most stylishly rendered throughout, the tunes sounding like they were originally written for such spicy treatment and further reaffirming Hancock’s status as a master composer of modern jazz (if such reaffirmation was ever necessary at this point).

Eddie HendersonFor All We Know (Furthermore): It’s hardly surprising all eight of these performances wee recorded on a single day. Particularly with John Scofield in tow (the guitarist validating his grasp of traditional jazz for all his forays into fusion and jambandeering), hornman/leader Henderson quietly and confidently nail each tune with an uncommon flow that keeps the music of a piece from start to finish. For all its understated grace, this album will always draw your attention to listen closely.

Related Content

Recent Posts

New to Glide

Keep up-to-date with Glide