POST-BOP HEAVEN-Will Calhoun: Life In This World, Chris Massey & The NJP: Whosoever

If you like your jazz straight down the line, but not predictable and still looking forward, here are a couple discs lead by a pair of drummers that should be in your sights.

Will Calhoun, better known as the drummer for the hard rock group Living Color, puts out an incredibly impressive disc here with a mix of originals and jazz standards. He knows how to pick teammates, as he’s got Ron Carter, Donald Harrison, Wallace Roney, Charnette Moffett, Marc Cary, John Benitez and Cheick Tidiane Seck cooking through material like a swining “Love For Sale,” a combustible “Spectum” and a gloriously eccentric reading of Monk’s “Evidence.” Wayne Shorter’s “Etcetera” has some gorgeous work by Carter, while Roney’s trumpet bites down hard on  Moffett’s “Brother Will.” A bit of exotica pops in with Malian Seck on the piano on “Afrique Kan’e” making this release gloriously assertive and filled with pleasant surprises.

Drummer Chris Massey brings together a hot quintet with Adam Larson/ts-ss, Benny Benack III/tp, Willerm Delisfort/p and Chris Talio/b through a mix of originals and standards. An exciting read of Roland Kirk’s “Pedal Up” and earthy take of “Giant Steps” are counterbalanced by some intriguingly dark chords on the title track and some sophisticated rhythms on “Crooked Creek.” Larson’s tenor is chocolate dark and Benack’s horn is full of orange blossoms. Impressively macho.

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