Tiny Reviews: Greg Foat, Jurgen Friedrich, Duo Hatti, Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola, & Insolit Trio

Tiny Reviews edition!

Featured album: Greg Foat Group Girl and Robot with Flowers.

Plus:  Jurgen Friedrich Monosuite, Insolit Trio Insolit Trio, Duo Hatti Beaute Ma Toute Droite, and Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead.



Greg Foat Group – Girl and Robot with Flowers

Greg Foat - "Girl & Robot with Flowers"Interesting fusion of ambient textures, jazz allusions, electronic submersion, and folky attitudes.  The Greg Foat Group walks the border of where modern jazz and the trippy ambient post-rock of Cinematic Orchestra touch.  The album wastes no time illustrating its odd mix of influences, beginning with album opener, the “Part 1” of the six-part title suite… folk harmonica drifts over electronic waves, post-rock rhythms, and a whisper of jazz.  “Have Spacesuit Will Travel” fits more snugly in with the previously mentioned Cinematic Orchestra sound… a tune that would be right at place on a playlist along with Stuart McCallum.  But then on tracks like “For a Breath I Tarry,” the strong presence of trumpeter Matthew Halsall gets things squarely back in Jazz territory.  “Part 4” is a lively mix of jazz funk and space groove, whereas tracks like “Part 5” are bright as rays of sun and light as the breeze that carries their warmth.

An album where there’s lots going on and isn’t afraid to get things all muddied up.  That’s part of its charm and a reason why it’s a fun listen.

Your album personnel:  Greg Foat (Hammond organ, synthesizers, keys, piano, vibes, effects), Rob Mach (clarinet & soprano, tenor, baritone saxes), Phillip Achille (harmonica, tambourine), Tony Coote (drums, percussion), Jacob Ohvrall (double bass, electric bass), Henric Strahl (12-string, acoustic, & electric guitars), and guests:  Jonathan Gustavsson (flugelhorn), Trevor Walker (flugelhorn), Nils Boren (tenor sax), David Bystrom (trombone), Matthew Halsall (trumpet), Karin Krantz Duraffourd (tuba).

Released on the Jazzman Records label.

Jazz from the UK.

Download a free album track at the artist Bandcamp page, courtesy of the artist and label.  Note:  This track was included on the Label Love Jazz Edition free download, so if you already downloaded that, then you have this track already.

Available at eMusic.  Available at Amazon: CD | MP3 | Vinyl


Other Albums of Note:


Jurgen Friedrich – Monosuite

Jurgen Friedrich - "Monosuite"Pianist Jurgen Friedrich takes on the roles of composer and conductor, and leads a talented jazz quartet, along with an army of strings, for a chamber jazz album that sometimes isn’t much jazz at all and at other times nails that beauteous third-stream synergy of Ornette Coleman’s collaboration with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.  An album that alternates between expansive sounds and those that wouldn’t disturb a flickering candlelight.  Challenging music that doesn’t sacrifice any beauty in the process.  Plus, some stunning moments.

Your album personnel:  Jurgen Friedrich (composer, conductor), Hayden Chisholm (alto sax), Achim Kaufmann (piano), John Hebert (bass), John Hollenbeck (drums), plus:  Gerdur Gunnarsdottir, Constanze Sannemuller, Elias Schodel, Adrian Bleyer, Kira Kohlmann, Christine Rox, Irmgard Zavelberg, Mirjam Steymans, Alwin Moser, Naomi Binder, Adi Czeiger (violins), Marla Hansen, Pauline Moser, Yodfat Miron, Andrea Sanz-Vela, Valentin Alexandru (violas), Ulrike Zavelberg, Teemu Myohanen, Nil Kocamangil, Marnix Mohring (cellos), and Axel Ruge, Matan Gurevitz (bass).

As best as I can tell, you can stream three album songs, HERE, on the artist’s site.

Released on the Pirouet Records label.

Available at eMusic.


Insolit Trio – Insolit Trio

Insolit Trio - "Insolit Trio"Insolit Trio throws in synths, kitchenware, and a bombo legüero like cooks experimenting with wild ingredients. The thing of it is, the album remains a jazz piano trio recording, and all those extra textures simply enhances the music, not define it. A very nifty recording.

Your album personnel: Marco Mezquida (piano), Marti Hosta (drums), and Miguel Serna (bass).

Released on the Temps Record label.

Available at eMusic.


Duo Hatti – Beaute Ma Toute Droite

Interesting duo album that has Matteo Mengoni doubling up on melodica and piano, and teaming up with Gerard Premand’s clarinets.  The album is best reflected through the clashes of jazz composition versus free improvisation, as well as jazz vs. tango and Latin music vs. classical. Can’t say the album has a lot of cohesion, nor would I say it’s an obstacle to enjoying it.  I love finding albums like this.

Released on the Unit Records label.

Available at eMusic.


Charlie Hunter & Scott Amendola – Not Getting Behind Is the New Getting Ahead

Charlie Hunter-Scott Amendola - "Not Getting Behind"Interesting duo recording of unconventional guitarist Charlie Hunter and drummer Scott Amendola, who has an impressive history working with unconventional guitarists (ie, Bill Frisell and Nels Cline to name just a few).  This pared-down recording is rooted in blues as much as jazz, and it gives the album an earthy feel, keeping it heartfelt without ever becoming over-burdensome or melodramatic.  Two artists comfortable speaking in their own voice, no matter what music they set out to make.  Good stuff.

The album is Self-Produced.

Available at eMusic.



The Greg Foat Group 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,“ and “New Arrivals Jazz Picks“ and “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.