This Is Jazz Today: Phelan Burgoyne Trio, Ryan Meagher, Peter Brendler, Mark Dresser Seven and Frank Perowsky Jazz Orchestra


This Is Jazz Today


Phelan Burgoyne Trio – Unquiet Quiet (Pumpkin Records)

phelan-burgoyne-unquiet-quietThere’s an appealing contemplative tone to this trio set from drummer Phelan Burgoyne, saxophonist Martin Speake and guitarist Rob Luft.  They spur on plenty of activity, so none of these tracks are gonna get mistaken for a lullaby, but the way the trio keeps to a tight sphere of motion and how each melody is kept close at hand, the music lends itself to staring out over the horizon or just sinking comfortably in place.  When Luft switches over to acoustic guitar, the folk influence comes out strong, and the album is stronger for it.  That said, some of the electric effects add a shimmering harmonic presence that’s pretty easy to get into.  Very likable album, and one that really seems to have flown under the radar.

Your album personnel:  Phelan Burgoyne (drums, percussion, Chinese baoding balls), Martin Speake (alto sax) and Rob Luft (electric & acoustic guitars).

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp


Ryan Meagher – Mist. Moss. Home. (PJCE)

ryan-meagher-mist-moss-homeIf just the right songs are played, there’s a way that a tavern jukebox can fill the room with a soothing warmth, to where even drinking alone doesn’t seem so bad.  There are qualities to the newest from Ryan Meagher that are more than a little comparable.  There’s just four musicians going at it, but they way they accentuate the facets of the melody and embellish upon the rhythmic nuance, it results in a lot of depth and the sense of a much bigger sound than what is actually getting generated.  Meagher’s tasteful approach to blending in indie-rock expressions keeps thing solidly in the modern straight-ahead realm, but still pushes outwards to the borders to keep things interesting.  Which, actually, is pretty typical of the artists who appear on the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble label… where the borders between genres become landing spots all their own.

Your album personnel:  Ryan Meagher (guitar, Wurlitzer electric piano, voice), Tim Willcox (sax, beer bottle), Chris Higgins (bass), Charlie Doggett (drums) and guest:  Ben Turner (Wurlitzer electric piano).

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  BandcampAmazoneMusic


Peter Brendler – Message in Motion (Posi-Tone)

peter-brendler-message-in-motionIt’s a neat little straight-ahead session from bassist Pete Brendler, and featuring some players who are deft at warping straight-ahead lines into something a little less conventional.  It’s pretty cool to hear Peter Evans slur the swing on a cover of “Ptah the El Daoud.”  Same with the way Ben Monder provides some sunlight-on-the-lake treatment to the melodic development of “Easy Way Out.”  But that said, this is a nice straight-ahead set, just with little permutations here and there, adding personality to a lively, fun session.

Your album personnel:  Peter Brendler (bass), Rich Perry (sax), Peter Evans (trumpet), Vinnie Sperrazza (drums) and Ben Monder (guitar).

Artist site | Buy:  Amazon


Mark Dresser Seven – Sedimental You (Clean Feed Records)

mark-dresser-sedimental-youThere’s a strange grace to the newest from bassist Mark Dresser.  While it’s very much situated in the modern jazz form of expression, the influences of more traditional jazz forms, and the blues, echo like mad throughout.  Avant-garde and free, and those two qualities seem to strain against one another, and the result is a most intriguing flow… as if a haunted house ghost has grown accustomed to the weights of its chains, and has managed to develop a compensatory locomotion that transforms its shambling shuffle into something more fluid.  The opening tracks throw some elbows and flash some teeth, but as the album progresses, the melodicism reveals itself more fully.

Your album personnel:  Mark Dresser (contrabass), Nicole Mitchell (soprano & alto flutes), Marty Ehrlich (clarinet, bass clarinet), David Morales Boroff (violin), Michael Dessen (trombone), Joshua White (piano) and Jim Black (drums, percussion).

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Amazon


Frank Perowsky Jazz Orchestra – An Afternoon in Gowanus (Self-Produced)

frank-perowsky-jazz-orchestra-an-afternoon-in-gowanusI love everything the modern jazz and improvised music scene has to offer.  This site is loaded full with new forms of expression and new ways about thinking about the jazz art form, and I regret I can’t get to even more of it.  But that doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on the jazz that got its hooks in me in the first place.  This supremely enjoyable set from vet Frank Perowsky is like running into a long-lost best friend.  And though an old language is utilized on this big band session, it’s spoken with a voice as fresh and new as the morning’s sunrise.  Perowsky’s orchestra is stocked with some serious talent… names that will ring familiar to anyone who casually reads this site.  If the autumn gloom is starting to wear thin, and the threat of approaching winter has got you down, this is a recording that’ll provide the infusion of warmth and cheerfulness you need to get by.

Your album personnel:  Frank Perowsky (tenor sax, clarinet), Jerry Dodgion (alto sax, flute), Loren Stillman (alto sax), John Ellis (tenor sax), Bob Franceschini (tenor sax), Roger Rosenberg (baritone sax), Seneca Black, Chris Rogers, Antoine Drye, Waldren Ricks (trumpets), Sam Burtis, Jacob Garchik, Brian Drye, Joe Randazzo (trombones), Dave Berkman (piano), Aidan O’Donnel (bass), Ben Perowsky (drums) and Ira Hawkins (vocals).

Artist site | Listen | Buy:  Bandcamp