Kenny Werner & Brussels Jazz Orchestra: Institute of Higher Learning available August 26
Donald Harrison, Ron Carter, Billy Cobham: This Is Jazz available September 6
Francisco Mela & Cuban Safari with Special Guest Esperanza Spalding: Tree Of Life available September 6
The Brussels Jazz Orchestra (BJO), led by founder and Artistic Director Frank Vaganée, once again reinforces its reputation as one of Europe's premier big bands, a group that manifests love," according to Grammy-winning arranger Maria Schneider. Kenny Werner and the BJO have joined forces to create the perfect canvas for Wernerʼs lush compositions and arrangements. The Institute of Higher Learning features 5 tracks, among them the opening Cantabile," a three-movement suite showcasing Wernerʼs progressive touch. It was inspired by and dedicated to Bob Brookmeyer. Liner notes by Maria Schneider.
For its second Half Note issue, the power trio of Donald Harrison, Ron Carter and Billy Cobham declare themselves spokesmen for a kind of exploratory improvisation and interplay known only to seasoned jazz professionals. Staunch individualists all, they come together with a unified voice of alto, bass and drumsat once steeped in jazz's richly variegated traditions yet forward- thinking in the cause of new creative expression. The group play here is all about a stylized call and response, featuring guys with excellent listening skills and the means to keep the conversation going. Recorded Live at the Blue Note.
Drummer Francisco Melapresents his second release on Half Note, a tour-de-force featuring 10 newly conceived compositions. With the help of his band, Cuban Safari, Mela offers a passionate fusion of Cuban polyrhythms and propulsive modernism. Renown for his play with Joe Lovanoʼs Us Five, Mela and the full scope of his musicianship take center stage with an unexpected turn as a vocalist, duetting with pianist Elio Villafranca, and trading improvs with special guest Esperanza Spalding. Tree Of Life is spirited evidence of Melaʼs distinguished place among young group leaders.
Francisco Mela & Cuban Safari will perform at the Blue Note jazz club on October 10.
September 16, 4:00pm: Randy Brecker
A Conversation with Dave Schroeder, Director, Jazz Studies, New York University
Barnes & Noble 150 East 86th St. New York City (212) 369-2180
Brecker will be featured in B&N's ongoing Jazz discussion series, sponsored by NYU Steinhardt and the Blue Note Jazz Club. Featured topics will include Brecker's latest Half Note recording The Jazz Ballad Song Book, along with accounts of his distinguished careerpast, present and future.
September 13-18, 8:00pm & 10:30pm: Brecker BrothersBand Reunion
Blue Note Jazz Club 131 W 3rd St. New York City 212-475-8592
During his long reign as one of jazz's premier trumpeters, Randy Brecker and brother Michael created a most enduring musical partnership. This Reunion brings together the celebrated musicians who comprised the Brecker Brothers Band.