Andy LaVerne “Faith” (SCCD 31840)

SCCD 31840 Andy LaVerne “Faith” Andy LaVerne continues to explore the path he set out with his previous critically acclaimed release “Genesis” (SCCD 31818), this time with an added voice in trumpet/flugelhorn by Alex Sipiagin as well as Mike Richmond’s overdubbed cello over his bass-line. As in the previous album all titles are new originals by LaVerne, who, to quote Neil Tesser, Grammy Award winning American journalist, is a committed melodist, with truly individualistic tone. “… Intelligent Design lives up to its name as one of LaVerne’s best efforts thus far and one of the finest jazz releases of the year.” (C. Andrew Hovan – AAJ on SCCD 31618 Intelligent … Continue reading

Harold Danko “Triple Play” (SCCD 31839)

SCCD 31839 Harold Danko “Triple Play” Harold Danko concludes his liner notes entitled “Arriving at The Unknown” on this “Triple Play” album, stating, “I hope … listeners of this CD are prepared to join us as we take off to undiscovered region.” Ever subtle and transcendent pianist/composer Danko and his congenial co-players Jay Anderson and Jeff Hirshfield are unfolding a unique universe of improvising in and on the recognizable repertoire to pleasant surprises. “Danko plays with the kind of finesse and heartfelt emotion that has always marked his work. Bravo! (C. Andrew Hovan – AAJ on SCCD 31471 This Isn’t Maybe…) HAROLD DANKO piano JAY ANDERSON bass Jeff Hirshfield drums … Continue reading

Joel Weiskopf “The Message” (SCCD 31838)

SCCD 31838 Joel Weiskopf “The Message” On this second leader album for SteepleChase pianist/composer/educator Joel Weiskopf reunites his working band from the 80s which performed on fairly regular basis in and around Boston area. His “old band” sounds even greater here exploring the repertoire consisting mostly of Weiskopf’s newer challenging compositions. “A deeply personal musical statement.” (Brian Zimmerman – DownBeat **** on Where Angels Fear To Tread SCCD 31813) “Where Angeles Fear To Tread is highly recommended for the excellence of Weiskopf’s writing, smart ensemble work, and three first-rate soloists.” (David A Othmann on SCCD 31813) JOEL WEISKOPF piano ROB SCHEPS tenor & soprano saxophone JOE FITZGERALD bass MARCELLO PELLITTERI … Continue reading

Dick Oatts “Use Your Imagination” (SCCD 31837)

SCCD 31837 Dick Oatts “Use Your Imagination” Jazz critic Owen Cordle once described Dick Oatts as “an uncompromising jazz musician, one who possesses monster chops without trumpeting them.” Dick Oatts has, since his move to NYC in the late 70s, been one of the most sought-after soloists on alto sax on both the NY scene and the international stage. Dick Oatts’ sensitive and cerebral approach to music enhanced by his “monster chops” manifested here again on his 11th leader album on SteepleChase. “… maybe the best showcase we’ve ever heard for the alto sax work of Dick Oatts!” (Dusty Groove on Sweet Nowhere SCCD 31778) DICK OATTS alto saxophone JOE … Continue reading

Brian Charette “Backup” (SCCD 31836)

SCCD 31836 Brian Charette “Backup” One of New York’s (or rather World’s) top Hammond Organ players Brian Charette has kept us in anticipation of something new every time he goes into recording studios. His unique approach has deepened and expanded the boundaries of music that B-3 organ can create. Here again for his sixth release on SteepleChase Brian opted for a somewhat unusual Organ-Piano trio format with repertoire of traditional materials dotted with experimental treatments conjuring up a compelling middle ground between past and future. “Brian Charette has emerged as one of the top organists of his generation because of a fresh approach to his instrument, drawing from musical influences … Continue reading

LeeAnn Ledgerwood “Renewal” (SCCD 31835)

SCCD 31835 LeeAnn Ledgerwood “Renewal” Since her SteepleChase debut with “Now And Zen” album (SCCD31432) of 1998 LeeAnn has been one of the front runners of women in jazz. Neither her earlier lengthy sick leave nor her current fragile physique could hinder her from releasing this strong album renewing and widening her creative scope. “Ledgerwood doesn’t set out to blaze trails. Her intent is to craft thoughtful, personal originals that build on and dovetail with a rich archival repertoire. To the pianist’s credit, she succeeds. Simple Truth is an appropriate and understated title for this modest, inviting album.” (Carlo Wolff- JazzTimes on SCCD 31705 ) LEEANN LEDGERWOOD piano RON MCCLURE … Continue reading

Mark Soskin “Hearts And Minds” (SCCD 31834)

SCCD 31834 Mark Soskin “Hearts And Minds” Pianist/composer Mark Soskin has been one of the leading players on the New York jazz scene for a number of years. Although Soskin’s name still is associated with Sonny Rollins with whom he worked more than a decade in the 80s and 90s, Mark has left his own strong footprint on performing and recording front. Soskin is also a dedicated educator currently in the faculty of Manhattan School Of Music. On this his first release from SteepleChase Mark Soskin with his favorite rhythm section presents the quintessence of piano trio jazz. “Soskin combines an always melodic approach with a rich vocabulary that draws … Continue reading

Zaid Nasser “The Stroller” (SCCD 31833)

SCCD 31833 Zaid Nasser “The Stroller” Alto saxophonist/composer Zaid Nasser has been perfectly pedigreed as a jazz musician, having the legendary bassist Jamil Nasser as the father and growing up surrounded by the elite players of the New York jazz scene. Zaid has performed with Cecil Payne, Junior Cook, Joe Hendricks, Harold Mabern, among others, leads his own group and tours extensively overseas. “Zaid’s sound is organic and authentic. He plays smart music with a kind of freedom that is unusual … Nasser’s unique personal tone and phrasing reveal intricately crafted, imaginative, and ingenious musical lines, woven into tight thematic improvisation.” (Luke Kaven – Smalls) ZAID NASSER alto saxophone PASQUALE … Continue reading

Stanley Cowell “No Illusions” (SCCD 31828)

SCCD 31828 Stanley Cowell “No Illusions” New Release, shipping June 15, 2017 Pianist/composer Stanley Cowell at age 75 is having an on-going renaissance as a performer since his retirement from Rutgers University in 2013. The group presented here is scheduled to have a three-night stint at New York City’s renowned live jazz spot Smokes in May. This is Cowell’s 15th release from SteepleChase. “…Cowell’s recording career now spans more than thirty years….an impressive consistency of purpose and the highest level of musical thought.” (Richard Cook & Brian Morton – The Penguin Guide to Jazz) STANLEY COWELL piano, thumb piano, Kyma Bruce Williams alto saxophone, flute Jay Anderson bass Billy Drummond … Continue reading

Kirk Knuffke “Cherryco” (SCCD 31832)

SCCD 31832 Kirk Knuffke “Cherryco” The winner of Downbeat Magazine’s “Rising Star” critics poll 2015 cornetist and composer Kirk Knuffke is presenting here his interpretation of compositions by the two iconic practitioners of 60’s free jazz movement Don Cherry and Ornette Coleman. For Kirk – being identified himself with new jazz – who had known Coleman in his late years personally, this engaging tribute is an axiom. “One of modern jazz’s most skilled navigators of the divide between inside and outside, freedom and swing“, he has “full command of his most demanding instrument…” – (All About Jazz) KIRK KNUFFKE cornet JAY ANDERSON bass ADAM NUSSBAUM drums Recorded February 2016 1 … Continue reading