This Is Jazz Today: Frank Kimbrough, Jacob Duncan, Christophe Dal Sasso, Andre Canniere and Harald Lassen



Frank Kimbrough – Solstice (Pirouet Records)

There are times on this recording when pianist Frank Kimbrough amplifies the emotional punch with just the slightest of motion.  On “Here Come the Honey Man,” the comforting murmur of melody is belied by its evocative presence, and the little curls of melody on “Question’s the Answer” possess a gravitational pull greater than what its gentle nature would otherwise indicate.  Kimbrough and his trio of bassist Jay Anderson and drummer Jeff Hirschfield keep to the quieter end of the spectrum, but they do kick up some dust on tracks like Paul Motian’s “The Sunflower” and Annette Peacock’s “El Cordobes,” so there’s no danger of permanently drifting off into daydreams.  But the imagery Kimbrough is able to conjure on his newest will inspire them plenty.

Your album personnel:  Frank Kimbrough (piano), Jay Anderson (bass) and Jeff Hirshfield (drums).

Artist site | Available at:  AmazoneMusic


Jacob Duncan – The Busker (Self-Produced)

There’s a certain magnetism to the way that alto saxophonist Jacob Duncan’s latest comes off as being both carefree and contemplative.  His trio with bassist John Goldsby and acoustic guitarist Craig Wagner keeps an active chatter going throughout The Busker, yet the melodic development leads to imagery that’s more suited to daydreaming than conversation.  It’s solidly in the jazz-folk sphere and, this, plus Duncan’s storytelling style makes for easy comparisons to Julian Lage’s Gladwell, if one were to look for the album’s bird-of-a-feather recording.  A seriously personable album, and one that’s very easy to like.

Your album personnel:  Jacob Duncan (alto sax), John Goldsby (bass) and Craig Wagner (acoustic guitar).

Artist site | Listen | Available at:  BandcampAmazon


Christophe Dal Sasso Quintet + String Trio – Les Nébuleuses (Jazz&People)

With the nebulae as his inspiration for these compositions, flautist Christophe Dal Sasso aims his melodies through a lens that focuses on both their beauty and potential for volatility.  The gorgeous presence of a string trio goes a long way to making that happen, as they reflect upon one end of that spectrum while Dal Sasso’s quintet expresses things on the edgier side of things.  And there there’s a track like “V838,” which shows that it’s not all about extreme points of view, and where beauty and volatility can exist in a common state, and where the motion possesses a beauty all its own.  It also expresses a fun side to a cerebral recording.

Your album personnel:  Christophe Dal Sasso (flute), David El-Malek (tenor & soprano saxophones), Pierre de Bethmann (piano, Fender Rhodes), Manuel Marches (bass), Lukmil Perez (drums), Youri Bessières (violin), Martin Rodriguez (viola) and Jean-Philippe Feiss (cello).

Artist site | Listen | Available at:  BandcampAmazoneMusic


Andre Canniere – The Darkening Blue (Whirlwind Recordings)

The inspiration of the compositions from the latest by trumpeter Andre Canniere resides in poetry, specifically that of Rilke and Bukowski.  It translates well.  This is not a startling result, as there’s always been a poetic element to Canniere’s recorded output… The Darkening Blue simply formalizes what was before inferred.  Vocalist Brigitte Beraha sits in for some of the tracks, and provides a nice balance to the instrumental-only tunes, allowing the focus to shift seamlessly between the meaning of the words and the message of the cadence.  Most tracks stick to the modern European jazz aesthetic, but the boozy personality of “Evening” and the volatility of “Hug the Dark” speaks to the turbulent forces that either spoke to or spoke from the source material.

Your album personnel:  Andre Canniere (trumpet), Brigitte Beraha (voice), Tori Freestone (tenor sax), Ivo Neame (piano, keyboards, accordion), Michael Janisch (electric & double basses) and Ted Poor (drums).

Artist site | Listen | Available at:  Bandcamp – Amazon – eMusic


Harald Lassen – Rainbow Session (Hagen Recordings)

What a fun and wildly expressive album.  Saxophonist Harald Lassen and crew were on tour and decided to have an impromptu recording session at Rainbow Studios.  The result is a session that radiates some serious emotional intensity, no matter whether they’re expressing themselves in contemplative tones, with overflowing enthusiasm, or with a demeanor as carefree as whistling a tune.  It’s especially interesting in the context of Lassen being a member of Duplex… a duo that situates dead center of Nordic jazz serenity.  I don’t think I can adequately express just how much I enjoy this recording.

Your album personnel: Harald Lassen (tenor sax), Bram De Looze (piano), Anneleen Boehme (double bass), Lander Gyselinck (drums) and guest: Tore Flatjord (percussion).

Artist site | Listen | Available at: BandcampAmazoneMusic