Monday, January 16, 2006

Sonic Liberation Front - Ashe a Go-Go (High Two, 2004)

Despite their militant name, which might suggest an out-of-control free jazz ensemble, Sonic Liberation Front is actually a collective of musicians who work within the bounds of melody for the most part, but manage to have a new and different sound by incorporating different layers of percussion and some vocal tracks. The music has touch of Latin Jazz, but still sounds very modern and the soloists are excellent and fit well into the bands overall concept.

Marvin Sewell - The Worker's Dance (Lewis Recordings/CD Baby, 2005)

Guitarist Marvin Sewell was the secret weapon on last years excellent album Same Mother by Jason Moran. That disc was an exploration of the blues in jazz and Sewell's urgent, ringing tone was a tremendous asset to the music. On his own, Sewell branches out quite a bit, but still keeps one foot in the blues, especially on the first track "Uncle Red" which is a wonderful electric jazz meets John Lee Hooker boogie woogie, and "Mexico Blues" where he goes way down in the alley as B.B. King would say. Accordion is featured throughout the album and on the title track, where Rachelle Garniez is featured on that instrument and Sewell takes a gentle tango-ish tone in a restrained and beautiful performance by all concerned.

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