Tiny Reviews: Ahmad Jamal, Jim Black, Yuriy Galkin Nonet, & Nubim

Tiny Reviews, featuring:  Ahmad Jamal Blue Moon, Jim Black Trio Somatic, Yuriy Galkin Nonet Nine of a Kind, and Nubim Between Silence and Light.

Let’s begin…


Ahmad Jamal – Blue Moon

Truly a jazz legend, Ahmad Jamal has been blazing a trail in music, well, it seems like forever.  This is a guy that Miles Davis admitted to being influenced by, and allegedly, wanted his pianist, the equally legendary Red Garland, to play more like.  A quartet date with Reginald Veal (double bass), Herlin Riley (drums), and Manolo Badrena (percussion).  This ain’t a musician simply going through the motions.  Whereas Jamal has achieved a level of virtuosity that, perhaps, can’t be expanded upon, he shows here that the shine on this gem is nowhere close to fading.  Just so happy to see this recording hit the new arrivals list.

Released on the Jazz Village label.

Available at eMusic.


Jim Black Trio – Somatic

I’ve read in some places where Somatic is considered a huge departure for Jim Black and his longtime project AlasNoAxis, but I’m not so sure of that.  If AlaxNoAxis songs were reduced down to their most elemental form, whether it’s the scratchy noise-rock or the surging Cuong Vu-like serene-dissonance, the seeds of those songs can be heard in the tranquility that comprises Somatic.  This is a Winter & Winter release, which elicits imagery of peaceful ambiance and Paul Motian, who put out some amazing albums on the label, and which were typified by long sonorous notes and almost slurred tones distilled from hazy days.  This album sounds informed from both sources… the Jim Black AlasNoAxis compositions and the Paul Motian sonority. But make no mistake, this is quiet morning music.

Your album personnel:  Jim Black (drums), Elias Stemeseder (piano), and Thomas Morgan (upright bass).

Released on the Winter & Winter label.

Available at eMusic.


Yuriy Galkin Nonet – Nine of a Kind

A nice large ensemble recording by the Russian bassists and composer, Yuriy Galkin. His background in jazz, classical, and Latin music is evident throughout. All the energy and fullness one would hope for. Released by the F-IRE Collective, which has proven to be a label to keep an eye on.

Your album personnel:  Yuriy Galkin (acoustic & electric bass), Freddie Gavita (trumpet, flugelhorn), Richard Turner (trumpet), Jon Stokes (trombone), Dafydd Williams (alto sax), George Crowley (tenor sax), Tamar Osborn (baritone & soprano saxes, bass clarinet), John Turville (piano), and Dave Hamblett (drums).

Available at eMusic.


Nubim – Between Silence and Light

Okay, this is one where I’m not sure if I can trust my first impressions; maybe like a little time to let this album sink in.  But here I go anyways.  This is really really pretty. Not so much jazz; more music with serious classical and folk influences.  Piano with oboe, accordion, cello, various percussion instruments and occasional Korean vocals. When it leans on the classical and folk elements, the music is dripping with mystery and moodiness; when it leans on the jazz, the music gets a little light and mainstream.  One that non-jazz fans might want to let their ears linger on for awhile.

Released on the Joy-Tone Records label.

Available at eMusic.


That’s it for today’s article, and the fourth of four parts of the Tiny Reviews from this batch of new arrivals.

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.
© 2012  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.