This Is Jazz Today: Mike Holober, Tobias Meinhart, Oscar Perez and Will Herrington


BitW square avatarGot a short list for you as we try to dig ourselves out of the hole of backlogged new releases.  Today, we’re serving up four relatively straight-ahead recordings, and the diversity of their sound goes a long way to illustrating just how varied even the ground at Jazz center can be.

But all that aside, this small batch should keep you occupied before the next pour.

Let’s begin…


Mike Holober – Balancing Act

Mike Holober - "Balancing Act"Enjoyable recording from pianist and big band guy Mike Holober, who heads up an octet for his newest.  Nice opportunity to catch drummer Brian Blade and bassist John Hebert synch up, but it’s the duo-saxophone attack of Dick Oatts and Jason Rigby that results in the biggest fireworks.  Vocalist Kate McGarry’s contributions, both word and non-word, are pretty damn effective in the way she gets her parts to mingle in with the ensemble like snow settling onto the surface of a winter pond.  A rendition of “Piece Of My Heart” should’ve been a disaster, and it speaks to the strength of this outing that it actually has its moments.  The rest of the album achieves an even higher level of success.

Your album personnel:  Mike Holober (piano), Kate McGarry (voice), Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn), Dick Oatts (alto & soprano saxes, flute), Jason Rigby (tenor sax, clarinet, bass clarinet), Mark Patterson (trombone), John Hebert (bass) and Brian Blade (drums).

Released on Palmetto Records.

Available at:  eMusic | Amazon


Tobias Meinhart – Natural Perception

Tobias Meinhart - "Natural Perception"Saxophonist Tobias Meinhart is a pretty reliable guy.  His newest gives more of that style of modern post-bop that delivers a mix of heavy propulsion and moody reveries that are just as likely to glitter and sparkle like a diamond as they are to lay deep and heavy on the ocean floor.  Leading a quintet that includes trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, Meinhart serves up plenty of likable tunes, a tasteful sort of jazz that knows where its standing at the moment of its creation, two feet planted firmly in place.  The album’s oddball tune, a rendition of Bill Frisell’s “Throughout,” is arguably the strongest track, though the genial warmth and brisk cant of “You’re My Everything” could make a strong claim for that title, too.

Your album personnel:  Tobias Meinhart (soprano & tenor saxes), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Yago Vazquez (piano, Rhodes), Phil Donkin (bass) and Jesse Simpson (drums).

Released on Enja Records.

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

Listen to the album track of that Frisell cover at Fully Altered Media’s Soundcloud page.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon


Oscar Perez – Prepare a Place For Me

Oscar Perez - "Prepare a Place For Me"Nice straight-ahead session from pianist Oscar Perez, leading a trio (plus frequent guest alto saxophonist), and gets a stellar performance from bassist Thomson Kneeland.  Old-school fans who like their jazz served up right over the heart of the plate will take to this one just fine.  The album’s standout track is a nifty take on Monk’s “‘Round Midnight,” which phases in and out of a Latin form, yet never threatens to leave the realm of the recognizable.  Just a solid outing.

Your album personnel:  Oscar Perez (piano), Thomson Kneeland (bass), Alvester Garnett (drums) and guest:  Bruce Williams (alto sax).

Released on Myna Records.

Available at:  Amazon


Will Herrington – Solace

Will Herrington - "Solace"The debut of pianist Will Herrington is thick with the New Orleans sound and beats with a heart full of blues.  His trio set with bassist Jon Richards and drummer Andrew Boyle exudes all kinds of warmth, whether upbeat and chipper or deeply introspective.  Ambrose Akinmusire adds his trumpet on two tracks, and damn if those songs don’t sing with all kinds of feel.  Next time Herrington heads back into the studio, if he doesn’t schedule Akinmusire to work a full shift, he’s out of his mind.  This is one of those recordings that doesn’t necessarily make a huge first impression with those opening notes, but over the course of its duration reveals itself as a standout recording.

Your album personnel:  Will Herrington (piano), Jon Richards (bass), Andrew Boyle (drums) and guests:  Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet) and Kiel Feher (percussion).

The album is Self-Produced.

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

Available at:  Bandcamp | eMusic | Amazon



Have a great time digging through the list!

And remember, it’s simple:  You like what you like.