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Flux Music Essentials

Greeting’s jazz connoisseurs, it’s great to return with another intriguing palette of creative music from some of today’s most unique, adventurous and inspiring voices known and unknown artists alike in the world of jazz.

Joshua Redman - Beyond

Joshua Redman -][- Beyond – [Warner Bros, 2000]

mr. redman gives us an outstanding jazz session on this album. the first three tracks (“courage,” “belonging,” and “neverend”) draw us into a solid neo-bop atmosphere. mr. redman has obviously grasped the lessons of the masters. one hears the echoes of sonny rollins, dexter gordon, and hank mobley as mr. redman weaves and dances through these songs. all the while, though, mr. redman continues to give us his own voice. he swings and sings throughout the album with high energy. the album really hits it stride on the lengthier selections in the middle (“leap of faith,” “balance” and “twilight”). here we get to hear mr. redman stretch out and never meander, never lose focus as he developes his themes with style and grace. moreover, his support really shines through. aaron goldberg is a find on piano. just dig his soloes and comping throughout, you’ll want to find more by him. also, hearing mr. redman and mark turner together is a real treat (“leap of faith”). finally, mr. redman shows his mastery of all the major saxes. his work on alto and soprano throughout are outstanding. the only gripe is that i wish he would dabble with some of the adventuresome spirit of his father, dewey redman. son joshua obviously has the ability to explore, it’d be nice to hear the results. —p dizzle | Amazon.com

Pat Metheny - Day Trip

Pat Metheny -][- Day Trip – [Nonesuch, 2008]

Our job is to be deeply in the moment, says Pat Metheny. Day Trip, the first release from Metheny’s current trio lineup, featuring bassist Christian McBride and drummer Antonio Sanchez, vividly depicts the group at one particularly inspired moment. As Metheny explains, We did it the old-school way. We’d been touring for about four or five years at different times and then went in and recorded, rather than making a record and touring behind it. We worked like gangbusters and finished in a day, so the title Day Trip fit. Besides, this is kind of a trip band; they take you on a journey. The Day Trip sessions were recorded at Manhattan’s Right Track studio in late October 2005 and sequenced into a ten-song set earlier this year.

The album is being released in conjunction with a national tour the trio will embark upon in February 2008. Metheny already reconvened the group this fall for an enthusiastically received series of small market dates at colleges and theatres; the trio ended its preliminary run with four concerts in South Africa. Reviews from the daily U.S. press along the way have been a compendium of superlatives. The Buffalo News declared, Metheny is sharing his musical soul with the two finest musicians of their generation. The Times Union of Albany concurred: Christian McBride on stand-up bass and drummer Antonio Sanchez wove their way into Metheny’s music… and played with a telepathic virtuosity. –Amazon.com

Bobbi Humphrey - Fancy Dancer

Bobbi Humphrey -][- Fancy Dancer – [Blue Note, 1975]

The Mizell brothers (Larry and Fonce) have their formula down pat. Take mellow, superfly-like grooves, add cheesy arp string ensemble riffs, passive male background vocals that make the Blackbyrds sound like the O’Jays, and a lead horn or woodwind instrument. The end result is music that could easily fit into any 1970’s blaxploitation flick. These brothers have applied their production formula on bestselling jazz-fusion albums by trumpeter Donald Byrd, saxophonist Gary Bartz and of course flute player Bobbi Humphrey.

FANCY DANCER is the third Bobbi Humphrey album produced by the Mizells and her last recorded during her classic Blue Note period. Her playing is pleasant, but as usual, the backing grooves take center stage. If you’re a fan of mellow 70’s soul-jazz, this release does not disappoint. —John L. Hughes | Amazon.com