Tiny Reviews: Chris Stover, Bobby Sanabria, David Ullmann, & Ed Byrne

Tiny Reviews, featuring:  Chris Stover Circle By Night, Bobby Sanabria Big Band Multiverse, David Ullmann Quintet Falling, and Ed Byrne’s Latin Jazz Evolution Conquistador.



Chris Stover – Circle By Night

Though having recently relocated to New York, there’s no mistaking the Seattle influence on trombonist Chris Stover‘s Circle By Night.  Some combination of the perpetually rainy day skies and the tight-knit jazz community imbues so much of the Seattle jazz recordings with a shimmering veneer and a casual sway… even when the tempo gets raised and the instruments choose to emit fire, not water.  So as it is here, as Stover’s quintet has created a set of solid tunes more akin to kicking back on a cloudy day than racing through it.  Stover does a nifty job of reigning in the trombone’s grouchy voice and displaying its melancholy side.  An album that makes liking it a very easy thing to do.

Your album personnel:  Chris Stover (trombone), Victor Noriega (piano), Chris Symer (bass), and Byron Vannoy (drums).

Released on More Zero Music, which is Stover’s own label.

You can stream the entire album on the artist’s bandcamp page.

Jazz from the Seattle, WA scene (though Stover now lives in NYC).

Available at eMusic.


Bobby Sanabria Big Band – Multiverse

Big Band leader Bobby Sanabria deftly blends Cuban and Puerto Rican musics with the music of his New York environment… rock, funk, jazz, hip hop, and whatever other ingredients catch his interest.  The result is a very dynamic and richly textured album that features a groove front-and-center.  And though the influences are many, there’s no mistaking this as anything but a Latin jazz Big Band recording.  Very likable album, and also one that keeps on giving.  The more I listened, the more the details moved into the foreground.  For instance, pianist Enrique Haneine’s free piano solo sandwiched so suddenly, yet so fluidly between a deluge of rhythm sections.  Another example… in how Sanabria gives one voice to the three-headed conversation between trumpets, trombone, and rhythm to open the terrific “Que Viva Candido!”  There’s a lot of that kind of discovery that goes on the more time that’s spent with this recording.

Your album personnel:  Bobby Sanabria (drum set, percussion, vocals), Cristian Rivera (congas, vocals), Obanilu Allende (percussion, vocals), Matthew Gonzalez (percussion, vocals), Enrique Haneine (piano), Leo Traversa (electric bass, vocals), David Dejesus (alto & soprano saxes, flute), John Beaty (alto flute), Peter Brainin (tenor sax, clarinet), Norbert Stachel (tenor sax, clarinet, flute), Jeff Lederer (tenor sax), Danny Rivera (baritone sax, bass clarinet), Kevin Bryan (trumpet), Shareef Clayton (trumpet), Jonathan Barnes (trumpet), Andrew Neesley (trumpet), Dave Miller (trombone), Tim Sessions (trombone), Joe Beaty (trombone), Chris Washburne (bass trombone, tuba, didgeridoo), La Bruja/Caridad De La Luz (spoken word/rap, vocals), Charenee Wade, Gene Jefferson, Mary Gatchell, Georgia Schmidt, Ernesto Lucar, Gene Marlow, Hiram “El Pavo” Remon (vocals).

Released on the Jazzheads label.

Jazz from NYC.

Available at eMusic.


David Ullmann Quintet – Falling

A set of modern jazz pieces by guitarist David Ullmann. Quintet features vibe man Chris Dingman, who I would’ve liked to hear featured a bit more, both because he’s a talented musician, but also because I think the pairing of guitar and vibes is something special on a jazz album. Saxophonist Karel Ruzicka Jr. is most often in the spotlight, and his opaque sound blends with Ullmann’s similar sound on guitar for a set of warm tunes. Over the span of four months, I’m finding that my enjoyment of this album has increased a bit. It could be that I generally take to guitar jazz more in the colder seasons, though it’s more likely a result of compositions that reveal some attractive nuances behind a pretty straight-forward modern jazz album. It reminds me a bit of the music of saxophonist Brian Patneaude and his talent for shading his music with hints of dreamy contemplation.

Your album personnel: David Ullmann (guitar), Chris Dingman (vibes), Gary Wang (bass), Karel Ruzicka Jr. (saxophone), and Vinnie Sperrazza (drums).

You can stream three album tracks on the artist’s site HERE.

Released on the Wet Cash Records label, which might be Ullmann’s own label.

Jazz from NYC.

Available at eMusic.


Ed Byrne’s Latin Jazz Evolution – Conquistador

Jazz veteran Ed Byrne has been the trombonist for many of the jazz greats, from Mingus to Mulligan to Hampton.  One of his current projects is the Latin Jazz Evolution septet, whose goal is to take experimental and technical approaches to Latin music, while still making it something that’s easy to dance to.  Immediate proof of success in his goal is found in opening track “Conquistador,” which opens with chipper rhythms blanketed by lovely saxophone sighs, followed by a punchy trombone section.  A fun listen, and worth exploring.

Your album personnel:  Ed Byrne (composer, arranger, trombone), Carlos Clinton (conga drums, bongos, cowbell), Carl Clements (tenor & soprano saxes), Damian Curtis (piano, keyboards), Maureen Choi (violin), Art Jayco Clinton, Luques Curtis (Ampeg baby bass), and Esteban Arrufatt (timbales, cowbell, guiro).

Released on the Blue Truffle Music label.

Jazz from the Springfield, MA scene.

Available at eMusic.



The Chris Stover review is original to Bird is the Worm, but portions of the other reviews were originally used in my Jazz Picks weekly article for eMusic, so here’s some language protecting their rights to that 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.
© 2012  eMusic.com, Inc.

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