This Is Jazz Today: Reis-Demuth-Wiltgen, Parker Abbott Trio, Stoop Quintet, Joonsam and TAB


This Is Jazz Today


Reis-Demuth-Wiltgen – Places In Between

reis-demuth-wiltgen-places-in-betweenThe trio of pianist Michel Reis, bassist Marc Demuth and drummer Paul Wiltgen pour out every melody nice and slow, letting the light strike though them as gravity takes hold.  Of no less astounding beauty is the way they splash against the surface of the songs, creating ripples of rhythmic activity that give the melodies shape and accents to where cause and effect suddenly isn’t so clearly drawn.  This is an instance where the tempo and tone of a song doesn’t change the music’s abiding serenity, and it’s why even when the temperature gets raised on this lovely session, the music retains its dreamy quality.  So good.

Your album personnel:  Michel Reis (piano), Marc Demuth (bass) and Paul Wiltgen (drums).

Released on Double Moon Records.

Listen to another album track at the distributor’s Soundcloud page.

Available at:  Amazon | eMusic


Parker Abbott Trio – Elevation

parker-abbott-trio-elevationThe newest from the Parker Abbott Trio is very much like their previous recording, 2014’s The WayfindersElevation is an album of striking melodic interludes, the kind that could leave a serious imprint but for that they’re only momentary, as the trio is already giving form to the next spell of imagery before the last has settled in.  This kind of existence is one where maintaining a sense of shape or form or cohesion is a lost cause.  The result is an album where it lives only the moment, which is truly the best way to enjoy this strange but beautiful recording.  If the instrument has keys to press, then Teri Parker and Simeon Abbott are all over it.  Their small armory of keyboard instruments offer all kinds of options for introducing paint to canvas, while the drums and percussion of Mark Segger is probably all that keeps them from drifting away in the embrace of their own imagery.

Your album personnel:  Teri Parker (piano, Nord Electro, MicroKorg, Mopho x4, Glockenspiel, melodica), Simeon Abbott (piano, Hammond B3, Nord Electro, MicroKorg, Moog Sub Phatty, Microbrute) and Mark Segger (drums, percussion).

The album is Self-Produced.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon | eMusic


Joonsam – A Door

joonsam-a-doorThere’s an unconventional dichotomy of sharp orchestration and quirky eccentricity on this debut from bassist Joonsam Lee.  But even in this, it’s a little different, as A Door is just as likely to flash some fangs as craft a catchy melody aimed at eliciting a smile and spurring the foot into action.  That added dose of the unexpected is a big attraction for the recording, and it’s why the likelihood of developing a minor addiction isn’t entirely unexpected.

Opening track “Whirlwind” is a nice example of this, with Ralph Alessi’s trumpet voicing a melody that says, hi, come on in, nothing to fear, which, he later contradicts with a ferocious solo that’s more about blowing the roof off the joint than it is to get the foot tapping.  And then there’s the way Ben Monder rips through “Zadrak,” which, despite the hi-voltage electricity, has a melody that’s gonna get its hooks into anyone caught in its path.  Occasionally the guitar electricity subsides, and the way pianist Aaron Parks is able to work in a moody tone while honoring both the melody and the intensity that surrounds his contributions is an any-port-in-the-storm moment that shows this album in its best light.

Your album personnel:  Joonsam Lee (bass), Aaron Parks (piano), Nate Wood (drums) and guests:  Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Ben Monder (guitar), Yeahwon Sgin (vocal), Yvonnick Prene (harmonica) and Chung Eun Han (bamboo flute).

Released on Origin Arts.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Soundcloud page.

Available at:  Amazon | eMusic


Stoop Quintet – Confession

stoop-quintet-confessionThere’s something particularly appealing about the way the bright melodies of Stoop Quintet cast a long shadow.  The music of Confession has a warm presence, but there’s also something a little ominous about it, too, and those dark tones add a complementary quality that makes all the difference between this being just another modern jazz session and something more special.  But pianist Jonathan Brigg lent a similar touch to his collaboration with Threads Orchestra on their 2012 release Ranch, and in light of the fact that Stoop Quintet’s debut utilizes several of those same compositions, it’s not altogether surprising that the album exudes a similar presence.  But it is refreshing to see that the band is a separate affair altogether, and expands on those compositions (and other originals) with some messy blues and messier free improv.

Your album personnel:  Sam Miles (saxophones), Alex Munk (guitar), Flo Moore (bass), Dave Smyth (drums) and Jonathan Brigg (piano).

Released on ASC Records.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Available at: Bandcamp | Amazon | eMusic


TAB – Seahorse

HR4446148_Digi_07.inddThis intoxicating blend of folk, European-style jazz and chamber music is made for sitting in front of a fireplace and watching the snow fall outside.  TAB is a quartet of acoustic guitar, reeds, percussion and bansuri, and their album Seahorse is an immediate buy for anyone who has a huge collection of Oregon albums on their shelf and looking for still more.  The moodiness of each piece is no obstacle to a supreme tunefulness, and the bursts of intensity that inevitably strike in no way do anything to dispel the palpable tranquility that hangs over the entire album.  Seriously beautiful music.

Your album personnel:  Alex Beaurain (acoustic guitar), Tom Bougeois (soprano & tenor saxophones, bass clarinet), Frédéric Malempré (percussion) and Frederic Becker (bansuri).

Released on Home Records (.be).

Listen to more of the album at the label’s Bandcamp page.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon | (not currently on eMusic, but check in later)