Review: Charles Flores "Impressions of Gravity"

Sadly, Charles Flores’ sophomore solo CD—a sturdy set of Latin jazz originals—is a posthumously-released one.
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Sadly, Charles Flores’ sophomore solo CD—a sturdy set of Latin jazz originals—is a posthumously-released one. The Cuban-born Flores, a member of the Michel Camilo Trio since 2002, succumbed to cancer last August. Joined here by Camilo drummer Cliff Almond, pianist Elio Villafranca and guest guitarist Wayne Krantz, Flores favors his 6-string, most effectively handling the melody on the swaying “Miriam,” and issuing a dense 6/8 groove and eventful solo on “Influence.” Ultimately, it’s his lone upright statement, the haunting “Gentile Words,” that will stay with you.


CD Review: Tony Grey "Elevation"

For his fourth solo outing, Tony Grey—whose mastery of the 6-string ranges from effortless neck-scaling solo flights to panoramic collages of chordal melodies, loops, and effects—shares the spotlight with seven 6-stringers of another kind: guitarists John McLaughlin, Mike Stern, David Fiuzynski, Reb Beach, Nir Felder, Fabrizio Sotti, and Tomayasu Hotei (aided by the supple stickwork of David Throckmorton on all but one track).

Anthony Jackson & Yiorgos Fakanas: Interspirit [Abstract Logix]

After 30 years of offers from producers (beginning with Quincy Jones in the late ’70s), Anthony Jackson has released what he is calling his solo debut. As expected from one of the bass guitar’s most original, uncompromising, dynamic voices, the scenario and the music are on Anthony’s terms, and the result is both instantly electrifying and demanding of repeated deeper listening. To set the stage, Jackson’s friend, Greek composer and bassist Yiorgos Fakanas, proposed a project in which he would compose modern chamber music for rhythm section, horn section, and string quintet, affording Anthony whatever roles he wanted. For Jackson, that meant playing the ultra-challenging melodies (all with a pick, and often doubled in octaves) as well as manning both written and improvised bass lines. All bass solos come courtesy of the fully capable Fakanas.

CD Review: Adam Nitti "Not of This World"

The Nashville-based Adam Nitti, one of the first bassists to embrace the web, remains ahead of the curve on his fifth solo outing, reviving contempo fusion with strong writing, pocket-first grooves (with the help of stickmen Keith Carlock, Sonny Emory, Kirk Covington, and Derico Watson), and stratospheric solos on his new Ibanez signature 6-string.

Review: Robert Hurst "Bob: A Palindrome"

For his sixth CD, Robert Hurst, best-known for his work with Wynton and Branford Marsalis (including the Tonight Show), delivers a contender for contemporary jazz record of the year—made even more impressive given that the tracks were recorded in 2001, but not released, due to 9/11 and Hurst’s rapid rise to first-call sideman status in jazz.