Written by 7:00 am Audiophile, Audiophile Music

New Music Fridays

Paul Wilson reviews five new works of jazz and other genres.


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Ashley Lockheed & Chris Rottmayer – “So In Love”

Timucua Arts Foundation

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Vocalist, bandleader and recording artist Ashley Lockheed partnered with freelance jazz pianist Chris Rottmayer in a new release of original, vocal driven traditional jazz and pop standards. Despite the music being performed by Rottmayer’s piano, electric bass and drums, this work does not feel “small” in presentation. The eleven tracks, all originals, are headlined by Lockheed on vocals and presented in a relaxed, contemporary style. This work has been called “a delicate balance between enjoyable listening and modern jazz substance…” I found this music very welcoming, relaxing and enjoyable. In fact, I can see myself hearing it for the first time in my audio room or equally in a jazz nightclub atmosphere. 

Overall: 8

Sonics: 8

Igor Kogan – “In A Big City” Self-Released

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Born in Russia, Igor Kogan began playing the violin at age seven. At fifteen, he immigrated to Israel, then to the US where he switched to bass and studied at The New School For Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York. He has played at many prestigious venues around the world. His US performances include Jazz at Lincoln Center and Steinway Hall, both in New York. He now resides in Los Angles where he is a busy session player contributing to music, TV and movie scores. “Big City,” his first release under his own name, is his own take on the places he’s lived – all of which were “big cities.” This is traditional jazz with a standup, acoustic bass as the lead instrument. Kogan is joined by a horn section, piano, drums and track 8, “Vocalese,” is, not surprisingly, a vocal track. Most of the tracks were medium tempo with one or two displaying a faster paced beat. I thought it sounded quite large scale despite having only five musicians. All in all, I enjoyed “In a Big City” in a pretty big way. 

Overall: 8

Sonics: 8

Nicholas Brust – “Frozen In Time” Fresh Sound Records

AR-NicholasBrust225.jpgNicholas Brust is a saxophonist, bandleader and composer. He is also a music teacher and is currently part of the faculty of The Music Conservatory of Westchester, the Elefante School for the Performing Arts and The Hudson School, all of whom offer respected music curriculums. With sax as the principal instrument, Brust is joined by a guitar, bass, piano and drums – all of which are typical instruments used in a jazz presentation. “Time” is a work of traditional jazz, with tracks 1, 6 and 7 quite up tempo and fast paced, something I certainly enjoy. The remainder are mostly soft, slow and melodic. All tracks display excellent arrangements and all the instruments work well together. Brust is also an excellent saxophonist and frequently displays his impressive skills throughout the work. This is simply a very enjoyable work of traditional jazz, one I enjoyed very much. 

Overall: 8

Sonics: 8

DL Marble – “One Line At A Time” Self-Released

AR-DLMarble225.jpgAfter hearing the first four tracks I still had not decided if this was a work of country or a work of rock and roll. Because frankly, it could be either. And I believe that’s exactly the way DL Marble wanted it. I could talk about his Arizona upbringing which would lend itself to a more country influence. I could rely on what I heard to form my own impressions. What is for sure Marble is a storyteller, a raconteur if you will. All ten tracks tell a story, some more obvious than others but a story is there for the taking. Musically, there is clearly a country styled tune, but also, a rock style as well. Several songs are quite fast paced and really get that toe a tappin’ while others are more reflective. Most of these songs Marble wrote on the road while he was touring. All of them are stories about life, perhaps Marble’s own life, but certainly about the things we all encounter ourselves. This release has a lot to enjoy, country, rock, fast paced music, slow and melodic music and all the while set to an interesting story. 

Overall: 8

Sonics: 8

The Flying Horse Big Band – “Florida Rays” Flying Horse Records

AR-FlyingHorseBigBand225.jpgIn my first review of a work from the Flying Horse Big Band, I wrote I was not sure what to expect. I had never heard of the guys from Orlando, FL before and while their name sort of gave things away, it was not completely indicative of what was inside. Well, with three other reviews now under my belt, and having enjoyed them all, I know exactly what to expect. Band, no, make that orchestra director Jeff Rupert is obviously endeared to big band music. In their latest release, “Florida Rays,” the guys from the “Sunshine State” have released a thirteen-track tribute to the legendary Ray Charles, who was also born in Florida. While Charles released works in a variety of genres, jazz, R&B, pop, and country to name a few, The Flying Horse band covers many of Charles’ greatest hits with their own special twist. I must believe that somewhere I wrote “the world needs a little more big band music.” If I didn’t, I should have. Hearing tunes like “Hit The Road Jack,” “What I Say” and “Unchain My Heart” done in a big band style was stylistically magnificent. When I knew the words to the songs, I sang along, When I didn’t, I sort of sung / hummed along. I was having fun. If big band music is in any way liked, this is a really spectacular work and a great listen. I can’t wait to see what the “Horse Band” comes up with next. 

Overall: 10

Sonics: 8

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