Tiny Reviews: Blake Lyman, Elio Villafranca & Arturo Stable, Charlie Haden & Hank Jones, Fernando Huergo, and Jessica Pyrdsa

Tiny Reviews, featuring:  Blake Lyman Anthology For Now, Elio Villafranca & Arturo Stable Dos Y Mas, Charlie Haden & Hank Jones Come Sunday, Fernando Huergo Suite En Celeste Y Blanco, and Jessica Pyrdsa Whistler’s Daughter.


Blake Lyman – Anthology For Now

This Portland saxophonist’s debut album has him sounding way more comfortable standing in his own reeds than should be expected when using the word ‘debut’.  A trio outing, I was ready for a competent but unspectacular blowing session.  Instead, what I got was a confident set of evocative tunes.  Blake Lyman takes a speak softly and carry a big sax approach to this album, letting his instrument give the impression of force without ever letting the volume get loud enough so that the neighbor’s call the police.  Very impressive album.  Nice straight-ahead music.  Lyman clearly has his own voice; it doesn’t ever sound like he’s trying to channel his sax idols.  Recommended.

Your album personnel:  Blake Lyman (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Andrew Jones (bass), and Jonas Oglesbee (drums).

This album is Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Portland, Oregon scene.

Available on eMusic.


Elio Villafranca & Arturo Stable – Dos Y Mas

The Cuban born pianist and percussionist seamlessly fuse jazz and world musics, particularly Cuban, for a sublime duo recording.  It’s a spirited affair.  Elio Villafranca is something of a virtuoso on the keys, though it maybe Arturo Stable’s varied percussive instruments and polyrhythmic approach that lend the most intriguing elements to this recording.  Tough to say for sure; they both demand my attention with the quality of their play.  This is the kind of album that I slowly become addicted to and might begin raving about on the forums in a couple months.  Released on the Motema label, who is on quite a roll these days.  Highly Recommended.

Released on Motema.

Download a free album track on AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artists and label.

Available on eMusic.


Charlie Haden & Hank Jones – Come Sunday

I was waiting for this to hit the site. Jazz masters Charlie Haden (bass) and Hank Jones (piano) come together to record another set of spirituals. Fifteen years ago, they recorded Steal Away, a remarkable recording also based on spirituals of their childhood. Come Sunday is no less sublime. Throwing their legendary experience behind simple tunes, it gives the album a weight belied by their light touch. It’s obvious they didn’t record on auto-pilot and there’s no throw-away tunes here. Just beautiful stuff, though with the sad passing of Hank Jones not long after they finished recording, it leaves for a pull on the emotions even greater than the visceral reaction to the sound.

Released on the Emarcy Records label.

Available on eMusic.


Fernando Huergo – Suite En Celeste Y Blanco

Veteran jazz bassist Fernando Huergo leads a quintet in an excellent set of Argentinean-influenced jazz. Quintet comprised of sax, flute, bass, drums, and piano. Warm tunes with long flowing lines and some delicious sharp curves. A solid recording that’s sure to cheer up the saddest of winter gloom. Some moments of thrilling beauty.

Your album personnel:  Yulia Musayelyan (flute), Javier Girotto (soprano sax), Pierre de Bethmann (piano), Fernando Huergo (bass), and Minino Garay (drums).

It appears that you can stream the entire album on his myspace page.

This album is Self-Produced.

Available on eMusic.


Jessica Pyrdsa – Whistler’s Daughter

Okay, this caught my attention. Pianist-vocalist has a real nice sound on both instruments. Jazzy in the sense of early Tom Waits. Gotta say, I warmed to a few of these tunes. Nothing that blows me away, but the music sounds pretty damn sincere, and I wanted to get a quick word in the article about it. Nice stuff.

Available on eMusic.


That’s it for today’s article, and the last 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.