If this session were to be described in just one word, that would be "Power." Hard-bop specialists Mads Vinding and Alex Riel have both recorded with Dexter Gordon and have each played powerful, yet straight-ahead jazz for over thirty years. Drummer Riel has worked with hard bop leaders such as Jackie McLean, Michael Brecker, Kenny Drew, and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis. Bassist Vinding, similarly, has worked with Johnny Griffin, Ed Thigpen, the Ernie Wilkins big band, and Duke Jordan. The third member of the trio, pianist Enrico Pieranunzi, with nine releases as a leader, works, as do the others, in a hard bop-vein. It would seem quite unnecessary to mention credentials like this if the artists lived in New York City or recorded with a major U.S. label; but Vinding and Riel are from Copenhagen and Pieranunzi is from Italy. Hence, their reputation may not have preceded them.
For much of the last two decades of his life, Chet Baker seemed to go in the studios so often that one never knew what to expect. The results were a crapshoot, depending on whether or not Baker was suffering the effects of his drug addiction at the time. Fortunately, his friendship with Chicago-based pianist Bradley Young in the early 1980s gave the younger man an opportunity to sit in with the trumpeter. As a result, Young impulsively suggested a record date during a return engagement in 1986, which Baker accepted, though everything had to come together quickly within two days, including finding a studio and assembling a band. Oddly enough, everything works, from the fine rhythm section…
You can often judge musicians by the company they keep. Float the Edge, the latest album from pianist-composer Angelica Sanchez, features her alongside two of the most sought-after rhythm-section musicians on the scene: veteran bassist Michael Formanek and rising-star Tyshawn Sorey, both acclaimed leader-composers in their own right. To be released via Clean Feed Records on March 25, 2017, Float the Edge sees this earthy, expansive trio perform Sanchez’s compositions, as well as several free improvisations. “A lot of what we do as a trio and what each of us does living a life in this music is take things to the edge, taking the risk to jump off without really knowing where you’re going to land,” the pianist says. “When it works, you feel like you’re floating it’s beautiful.”
Reissue with SHM-CD format and new 24bit remastering. Johnny Smith really helped bring the sound of jazz guitar to a huge audience in the 50s – and an album like this is a perfect demonstration of his subtle genius on the instrument! At a time when so many others were working the guitar with a hard-edged sound, Smith moves into territory that's even more careful and precise – really making the most of the amplification on the strings, so that his touch can be gentle, but very pointed – allowing for lots of space between the notes, in a way that makes each of them mean even more than they might if strung together in a flurry. The group's a trio – with the bass and drums really giving Johnny a lot of room.