Tiny Reviews: Andy Biskin Ibid, John Chin, & Tal Gur

Your Sunday edition of Tiny Reviews!

Featuring:  Andy Biskin Ibid Act Necessary, John Chin Undercover, and Tal Gur Under Contractions.



Andy Biskin Ibid – Act Necessary

A quartet of clarinetist Andy Biskin, trombonist Brian Drye, drummer Jeff Davis, and cornetist Kirk KnuffkeAct Necessary plays out like each musician is attempting to recount a dream they had about performing New Orleans jazz, tin pan alley, swing, blues, and polkas… with each member of the quartet vividly channeling the dreams of early music forms, but now, awake and the dream fading, can’t help but color the dream retelling with sounds and methods of the present day.  This is not a throwback album, but there’s no doubt it will appeal greatly to the old-school fans.  And considering how entrenched each of these musicians are in the NYC scene, often with varied projects that sound nothing like Act Necessary, it’s going to offer all kinds of value to those jazz fans whose ears are very much attuned to the music of today.

Released on Strudel Media.

Available at:  eMusic | CDBaby | Amazon MP3



John Chin – Undercover

Refreshingly loquacious trio session from pianist John Chin, who’s joined on this live performance by bassist Orlando le Fleming and drummer Dan RieserUndercover has got some originals, some renditions (Coltrane, Shorter, Ellington).  A tune like “Edda” illustrates Chin’s talent for shifting from bursts of quick dialog to pauses of melodic restatement served up with a most appealing emphasis.  Whether up-tempo or simply coasting with his foot off the gas pedal, Chin’s piano seems to carry further and with greater strength than his unfussy delivery might otherwise indicate.  It’s not unlike the strange intimacy generated by a huge firework show viewed from afar.

Released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records.

Available at:  eMusic | Bandcamp | Amazon: CD – MP3



Tal Gur – Under Contractions

Under Contractions is an oddly compelling album.  Led by Tal Gur‘s alto & soprano saxes, this quartet (rounded out by Eyal Maoz on electric guitar, Sam Trapchak on double bass and Nick Anderson on drums) uses languorous passages as the seed for further explorations.  Many tracks possess a lazy, peaceful ambiance that is all kinds of attractive, and sometimes these moments build into freer, more vociferous passages that leave the serenity behind.  The quieter moments make the rousing sections that much more compelling by point of comparison.  Neat album.

The album is Self-Produced.

Available at:  eMusic | CDBaby | Amazon MP3



Some of this material was used originally in the weekly new jazz releases column I write for eMusic’s Wondering Sound, so here’s some language protecting their rights to the reprinted material as the one to hire me to write about new jazz arrivals to their site…

“New Arrivals Jazz Picks” reprints courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2014  eMusic.com, Inc.

As always, my sincere thanks to eMusic for the gig.