August 14th 2002
Aranita and Eastbound’s One Day on Sugartown Records. Hawaiian
composer and multi-instrumentalist Aaron Aranita has assembled fourteen
original compositions. The
CD has a good mix of vocal and instrumental tracks and I prefer the
tracks where Aranita’s soprano sax piano and gorgeous flute get a
chance to shine.
favourite vocal though is the smoky I’ll Say Goodbye featuring
Harve Thompson. The
acoustic piano/bass/drums backing is classy and Aranita’s sax solo is
very soulful. It’s
the instrumentals, the bluesy Urbanity stands out, as does the
tribute to Brazilian guitarist Toninho Horta, simply entitled Toninho.
That flute and Randall Yamamoto’s funky bass could make you think of
Dave Valentin’s tropical and jazzy outings.
is a 100-miles-per hour drums and bass workout.
Rogerio Araujo is the man with the sticks and he’s a monster!
Kaila Novicki provides a vocal backing reminiscent of Flora
uplifting Elima is the album’s best showcase for the
high-voltage sound of guitarist Robert Shinoda.
His sound is full on – any Yoshiaki Masuo fans out there?
Original songwriter, tasteful pianist and adventurous saxophonist – Aaron Aranita is all of these things. I’ll publicly apologise to him for having taken so long to write about his CD – with a bit of luck, the next one will follow soon…
Cohen’s Violin Jazz from 1994.
If you asked me to name violinists who played jazz in a
traditional style I could name two – Stephane Grappelli and Yehudi
Menuhin. That is until
Cohen is a stunning exponent of violin jazz.
His range extends from the exuberant Rose Room, which is a
true toe-tapper, to the emotional Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, which
has a gorgeous string arrangement by Allan Copeland.
features the most fabulous minor chords and is lush and moving while the
changes of tempo and mood in Black Gypsy point to a great sense
no way am I qualified to assess a violinist’s technique – but if you
enjoy your jazz traditional, I doubt that you will be more impressed by
any other player. He is
Scott’s Words and Sounds vol. 1
On this, Hidden Beach Recordings’ first release, the artist’s
name is displayed as “Who is Jill Scott?”.
So, who is she?
a Philadelphia poet with a keen eye and a sharp wit. Her voice is soft on the clever ballad Do You Remember
and is sweet enough to fool you on Exclusively.
the lyrics to hand – you don’t want to miss these thoughts on love,
relationships and spirituality.
Loves Me is
haunting and intense while It’s Love is deep and groove-laden
with brass stabs and a space-y vocal that seem eerily familiar.
Rain is the
deepest of urban beats coated with the sexiest, most upfront poetry
you’re ever likely to hear. Just
enough jazz flavour from those keyboards too.
Deep! For sexy and
deep though, check out Show Me – that phat bass is the absolute
bomb and that voice, that voice is magnificent.
a unique, landmark release.
9 Days of Christmas. No,
I can’t think about Christmas either but stick with me…
is a promo “preview” copy, not for airplay and it contains songs
that you’d expect but not done in a way you’d expect.
For example, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen starts out with a
wistful acoustic guitar – very Acoustic Alchemy (and therefore lovely)
– and builds to a latin/big band climax.
Indian percussion is a surprise on Good King Wenceslas – how
come it works so well?
vibes abound on Silent Night and the guitar sounds like Larry
Carlton on his “Discovery” album.
I use a lot of comparisons, right?
In this case it’s to illustrate the skill of musicians that I
have never heard of before.
you could be listening to any of the top smooth jazz bands on O Come
Emmanuel – the guitar and sax both sound like big-league players.
We Three Kings and Away in a Manger are given a
similarly inventive treatment.
are these talented guys? Why
are there only six tracks? Will
Santa bring me a copy of the finished CD?
Watch this space…