Jazz New Arrivals: Week Ending Dec. 20, 2011 (Pt. 2 of 2)

Featuring Tiny Reviews of:  Oh Yeah Orchestra, Dino Saluzzi, Alfredo Naranjo, Angelo Valori & the M. Edit Ensemble, and Jazz Combo Box.


This is Part Two (of two) of my weekly Jazz Picks for emusic’s new arrivals section for the week ending December 20, 2011.  December is typically not a great month for new releases in any genre, so you’ll notice that the columns are getting a bit sparse.

Let’s begin…


Oh Yeah Orchestra – Freedom of Movement

Comprised of ten of the top jazzers on the Swedish scene and led by drummer/composer Martina Almgren, it’s a nice mix of orchestral and avant-garde jazz.  Odd dissonance woven into luxurious threads of large ensemble orchestration results in an enchanting set of tunes.  I love it when experimentalism is applied to an album, and yet the overall result is an exhilaratingly pure jazz recording.  Soprano & tenor sax, trumpet, trombone, tuba, cello, bass, Berimbau, percussion, hang & sizzleboard drums, and some vocal accompaniment are the ingredients to this excellent album.  Highly recommended.

Your album personnel:  Lisen Rylander Löve (saxophones), Björn Almgren (saxophones), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Karin Burman (vocals), Petra Lundin (cello), Niclas Rydh (trombone, tuba), Tommy Kotter (piano), Owe Almgren (electric bass), Ebba Westerberg (percussion), and Martina Almgren (drums and compositions).

NOTE:  I probably enjoy this album even more than I did a month ago when I originally wrote the above for the Emusic article.  Just a fun fun album.

Released on the Imogena Records label.  Jazz from the Swedish scene.

Available at Emusic.


Dino Saluzzi – Navidad De Los Andes

Another ECM title dropped today, this one matching up the trio of composer and bandoneon musician Dino Saluzzi, with cellist Anja Lechner, and saxophonist Felix Saluzzi. Not jazz, per se, more world-classical… I guess… or something like that.  Cripes, ECM just has its own sound when it comes to these things; they might as well be their own genre at this point.  Some people go crazy for this stuff, some not so much.  If you like sorrowful harmonization amongst a trio of concerto instruments, then just hit the download button and don’t look back.

Released on the ECM Records label.  Jazz from Argentina.

Available at Emusic.


Alfredo Naranjo – Mexico Music Fest

Vibraphonist, composer, and arranger Alfredo Naranjo brings together a quartet that includes guitar, bass, and percussion for a nice live set recorded live in April 2011. With Naranjo’s vibes out front, it’s a warm display of technique and voice, with Juan Angel Esquivel’s guitar the perfect accompaniment.  I’m very much of the opinion that vibes and guitar should always be at the hip on a jazz album; something so complementary in the instrument’s respective sounds that it’s a lonelier affair when one is excluded from the other. Thankfully, on this fine live performance, we get to hear them in action together.

Your album personnel:  Nene Quintero (percussion), Roberto Koch (bass), Alfredo Esquivel (drums), and Alfredo Naranjo (vibes).

The album is Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Caracas, Venezuela scene.

Available at Emusic.


Angelo Valori & the M. Edit Ensemble – Il Caffe Dalle Americhe

An intoxicating album of jazz fused with Mediterranean folk music.  Led by composer & pianist Angelo Valori, the ensemble consists of strings, vocals, saxophones, guitars, piano, and an accordion that sounds like a string section when it sticks to the background.  Plenty of serene moments fluttering over rustic compositions.  It gets a bit light & fusion-y at times, but that’s part of its charm.  I almost passed this album over, but something about it kept me coming back.  Now I’m getting hooked.  My patience was rewarded, maybe yours, too.  Highly recommended.

Your album personnel:  Angelo Valori (composer), Loredana Di Giovanni (vocals), Manuel Trabucco (saxophones), Angelo Trabucco (piano),
Mauro De Federicis (guitars), Danilo Di Paolonicola (accordion),
Maurizio Rolli (bass), and Roberto Desire (drums, percussion).

NOTE:  It’s been a month since I originally wrote the above Tiny Review for Emusic, and I still find this album just as charming.

Released on the Wide Sound label.  Jazz from the Pescara, Italy scene.

Available at Emusic.


Okay, this last one, I’m not sure what to make of it and everything I find on the internet about it is in French and no convenient translation page to help me out, but this is just too cool not to mention…

Jazz Combo Box – Scratcho’Band

A mix of hot jazz, hip hop, and a little bit of 70s soul.  As far as I can tell, this outfit got together a jazz outfit, including tuba and maybe a banjo, and scratch records along with it and sample others.  There are a lot of failed hip hop jazz fusion attempts out there… a lot.  I find most of them unlistenable.  This album, though, it’s so damn infectious, leaves me smiling with each track.  I’d hate to find out that they’re actually doing their thing over old vinyl jazz records, but really, what little I could find and translate, I think these guys are doing their own thing. So fun.

NOTE:  Okay, I’ve learned a little bit more about them since my above Tiny Review a month ago.  Here’s this bio from their Facebook page…

“Jazz Combo Box: born in 2008 is composed of 10 young French musicians. Have participated in major jazz festivals in Europe.

Known as a band of fanfare has dragged thousands of people behind their performances in the streets of Europe. They are known for the lyricism of the songs, harmonic ingenuity, improvisation and interpretive creativity.”

The group consists of:
Loïc Poisenet – Artistic Director and Alto Saxophone
Patrice Vignoud – Trombone
Geoffrey Chartre – Trumpet
Fabian Thomas – Tubafone
Michael Herjan – Drum
Lucca Ferrari – Percussion
Jeremy Naud – Accordion
Brestel Brieuc – Scratchphone
Mael Cageron – Tenor Sax
Hugo Journaud – Banjo

Released on the La Compagnie ID label.  Jazz from France.

Available at Emusic.


That’s the end of Part 2 (of 2) of that week’s jazz recs.

Here’s some language to protect emusic’s rights as the one to hire me originally to scour through the jazz new arrivals and write about the ones I like:

“New Arrivals Jazz Picks“, courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2011  eMusic.com, Inc.

My thanks to emusic for the freelance writing gig, the opportunity to use it in this blog, and the editorial freedom to help spread the word about cool new jazz being recorded today.