Guitarist Corey Christiansen gets rockin’ with Zach Lapidus/key, Jeremy Allen/b, Matt Jorgensen/dr and Michael Spiro/perc on this mix of new and traditional Americana. The team flows on a relaxed and bluesy “Shenandoah” with graceful strums on the strings, while Christiansen picks and grins on ”John Hardy” the team boogie’s on “Old Joe Clark” and sounds swampy as they go deep in the delta with Christiansen’s steel strings on “Beour.” Where’s Tony Joe White?
Joonsam is a bassist that brings together a wide palate of sounds and colors. The core trio with Aaron Parks/p and Nate Woods/dr are augmented by a rotating team of Ralph Alessi/tp, Ben Monder/g, and a handful of cameos. Wood rocks hard with Monder’s guitar on “Zadrak” and the trio rustles to Alessi’s horn on “Whirlwind.” Reflective and quiet, “Love Trauma” is enhanced by Yeahwon Shin’s vocals” and Chung Eun Han’s bamboo flute reflects like a poi pond on “Doraji The Flower.” Joonsam knows how to develop a deep groove as he displays his wares on the hip “2 Tunes” and he creates sepia tones with Parks on “Where Water Comes Together With Other Waters.” Rich textures abound.
Joel Miller sings, plays sax, piano, guitar and percussion while Sienna Dahlen joins him in voice on this folksy collection with jazz sensibilities. Horns produced by David Carbonneau/tp and Dave Grott/tb ad textures to the guitars provided by Francois Jalbert and Jordey Tucker, while Simon Page/b and Kevin Warren/dr keep the pace steady. There’s a synth pop feel to material like “Blue Times” and the folksy “Flying Dream” while the most jazzy pieces like “Warm Lake” and “Tantramar” feel like made for radio charmers. Indie sounds are delivered by Dahlen on “Streamlined” making the album moods range from quirky to pensive.
Pianist Dan Gray delivers the most bona fide jazz album of the quartet. He brings together Dayna Stephens/ts, Clark Sommers/b and Mark Ferber/dr for a split of seven songs between covers and originals. Stephens’ warm and breathy tenor is a highlight here, relaxed and yearning with Cray’s pulse on “Small Sir” and filling the room with smoke rings with glistening piano chimes on the relaxed “Where Springs.” Cray and company bop with style and aplomb on “Oblivion” and gets impressionistic on a drop dead gorgeous read of “Where Are You.” Sommer’s bass creates a thick paste as the team goes into deep waters on a penetrating take of “A Flower Is A Lovesome Thing.” If this team tours around the States, I’m getting in line!