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Blindfold Test 185: Identification


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Thanks for listening. I enjoyed putting this together.

Track 1: Dave Burrell and Tyrone Brown (bass), Recital (2000): The Crave (Jelly Roll Morton). I've had the good fortune to see Dave Burrell perform solo concerts twice, and on another occasion a duo with Andrew Cyrille. He has a vast repertoire and is one of my favorite living pianists. In his range and versatility he reminds me of Jaki Byard. His performances of Jelly Roll Morton compositions are  a highlight of the live sets. See also his album Jelly Roll Joys.

Track 2: Rachella Parks Washington, Meditative Inspirational Suite (2015): And I Cried (Parks-Washington). Rachella Parks Washington, tenor saxophone, Nathan Young, piano, The album is an odd mixture of religious music, spoken word, vocals and jazz that is intended to convey the story of her diagnosis and partial recovery from sarcoidosis. This is by far the best track on the album. Her best representation on record  is on Ronald Shannon Jackson's Shannon's House. Years ago, I also saw her perform with the Charles Moffett Family Band. 

Track 3: Aurora Nealand (soprano saxophone) and Tom McDermott (piano), City of Timbres (2014-2015): Opulence (Tom McDermott). Here we move to contemporary New Orleans, for two of the city's finest musicians. Auoroa Nealand is electric on soprano saxophone and clarinet and is also an excellent vocalist (she also plays accordion). Her range is broad, as her band Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses performs its own unique take on New Orleans traditional jazz, but she is also an avant gardest (Monocle). Tom McDermott I heard in person earlier this year in duet with the clarinet of Evan Christopher, which was quite impressive. The duo on this recording performs together regularly in New Orleans.

Track 4: Derek Gripper, Libraries on Fire (2016): Salama (Toumani Diabate). The South African guitarist on this recording performs West African kora music on acoustic guitar. It seems like an impossible idea. His solo performance earlier this year at the Big Ears Festival was one of my favorites heard at the festival.

Track 5: Brandee Younger, The Brandee Younger Quartet Live at the Breeding Ground (2014): Respected Destroyer (Brandee Younger). Brandee Younger, harp. Chelsea Baratz, Tenor saxophone. Dezron Douglas, bass. E.J. Strickland, drums. I haven't seen this group, unfortunately, but Brandee Younger I did see at Winter Jazzfest this year as part of the Impressions of Pepper set, with her solo performance of Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite being the highlight of the set. Chelsea Baratz is also the saxophonist in Maurice Brown's band (and is on his most recent recording The Mood), which I heard to excellent effect in New Orleans earlier this year.

Track 6: Jason Marsalis 21st Century Trad Band, Live at the 2017 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Munck): Passionate Dancer (Jason Marsalis). Jason Marsalis, vibes. (Others not listed). The elders of the Marsalis family (Eliis, Wynton and Branford), I do find to be mostly pretty dull, but for the youngsters (Jason and Delfeayo) as I've learned from live concerts in the last few years, this is not necessarily the case. Jason is a fine drummer that you are just as likely to find playing drums with a traditional New Orleans Jazz Band in Economy Hall at Jazz Fest as leading a group in the Jazz Tent, but it is his vibes playing that I prefer. 

Track 7: Sameer Gupta, A Circle Has No Beginning (2017): Innocence in Harlem (Sameer Gupta). Sameer Gupta, drums. tablas. Marc Cary, keyboards. Jay Gandhi, bansuri flute. Arun Ramamurthy, violin. Rahsaan Carter, bass. Marika Hughes, cello. Trina Basu, violin. Pawan Benjamin, saxophone. A couple of years ago, I attended part of the 24 hour, Ragas Live festival in New York. Sameer Gupta's band appeared, I think, at 3 a.m., and was quite compelling. He is the drummer in Marc Cary's group and is associated with the musician's collective, Brooklyn Raga Massive.

Track 8: Khari Allen Lee and the New Creative Collective, A New Earth (2016): Redemption Song (Bob Marley). Khari Allen Lee (alto saxophone), Davy Mooney, guitar. Kyle Roussel, keyboards. Geoff Clapp, drums. David Pulphus, bass. Marcus Akiniana, congas. Khari Allen Lee is a ubiquitous sideman on alto and soprano saxophone at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival each year. And I quickly noticed that he was usually the best soloist on stage. You can also hear him on Terence Blanchard's The Comedian.

Track 9: Trumpet Mafia, Live at the 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival (Munck): Night Time. This very large trumpet based big band has appeared at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival each of the last five years. Their set has become an annual highlight (this year the Jazz Tent was packed to the rafters). It also headlines at the annual Satchmo Summerfest. This group started as a rehearsal band for New Orleans trumpet players, hosted by trumpeter Ashlin Parker. This track features Maurice Brown and Adam Rapa for the initial solos, then Maurice Brown for the electronically modified trumpet solo. This group presents difficulties for the sound crew (it was 25 plus in size on this appearance). It's a really impressive sonic experience in person.

Track 10: Logan Richardson, Blues People (Ropeadope) (2018): Pure Change. Logan Richardson, alto saxophone. Justus West, guitar. Igor Osypov, guitar. De Andre Manning, bass. Ryan Lee, drums. I'm no purist, so fusions of jazz and rock are fine with me. Logan Richardson is a favorite younger alto player. I heard him in New Orleans last year with Christian Scott. 

Track 11: Sarah Elizabeth Charles, Inner Dialogue  (2015): Breathe. Sarah Elizabeth Charles, vocals, Christian Scott, trumpet (and producer). Jesse Elder, keyboards. Burniss Earl Travis, bass. John Davis, drums. This vocalist I heard at Winter Jazzfest earlier this year. Her set at Subculture was really great, one of the best I heard at the festival. Her more recent recording, Free of Form, is equally good.

Track 12: Calvin Johnson Jr., Native Son (2013): Midnight in Moscow. Calvin Johnson, Jr., soprano saxophone. Carl LeBlanc, banjo. Gerald French, drums. Lars Edegran, piano. Peter Harris, bass. Kevin Louis, trumpet. Stephen Walker, trombone. Back to New Orleans... Calvin Johnson is another saxophonist I've run across a few times at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival who immediately stood out for me and who plays both modern jazz and traditional New Orleans jazz. Most memorably was last year at Jazz Fest paired with Aurora Nealand playing Sidney Bechet compositions.

Track 13: Herlin Riley, New Direction (Mack Avenue) (2016): New Direction. Herlin Riley, drums. Mark Whitfield, guitar. Godwin Louis, saxophone. Bruce Harris, trumpet, Emmet Cohen, piano. Russell Hall, bass. The great New Orleans drummer is the leader here, with Mark Whitfield making a guest appearance. The quintet (without Whitfield) appeared at the New Orleans Jazz Fest a couple of years ago, opening with this composition, which swung so fiercely it was almost unbearable.

Track 14: Uncle Nef, Love Songs (Ropeadope) (2019): Saint James Infirmary. Shannon Powell, drums and vocals. Darren Hoffman, guitar. Paul David Longstreth, organ. Topsy Chapman and Solid Harmony, backup vocals. Another group led by a great New Orleans drummer. Darren Hoffman was a drum student of Shannon Powell, who one day mentioned he played a little guitar, leading to the formation of this duo Uncle Nef (augmented on the recording).



Edited by kh1958
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A number of the albums referenced above are available on Bandcamp--specifically the recordings including tracks 4, 5, 7, 10, 11 and 14. I kind of like Bandcamp because they have an iPhone app that includes any music you purchase from them.

The CDs of any New Orleans based artist can usually be obtained from the Louisiana Music Factory website.

The Live at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival is a substantial archive of recordings available as downloads or CDrs through a link on the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival website.

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