The Jazz Project

361

Here Be Dragons ••••
Oded Tzur, tenor saxophone
Nitai Hershkovits, piano;
Petros Klampanis, double bass
Johnathan Blake, drums

Tel Aviv born saxophonist Oded Tzur, is, at his best, a calming force in the jazz world – intelligent, invariably poised, big-toned, and confident. On his latest album the music is affectionate, rhythmically alive and beautifully detailed in a wide variety of repertoire. On pieces like “20 Years,” “The Dream,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” and “Gina Kronstadt October Comes Too Soon,” the music exudes infectious, highly diverse textures, spiritual and sensual elements, languid geniality and sheer joie de vivre. Mr. Tzur’s lyricism and delicacy in the tender, probing central section of “Here Be Dragons” (the title track), is particularly memorable. A stimulating release, rich in introspective evocation,  beautifully recorded, and not just for jazz musicologists.

Waiting Game ••••
Terri Lyne Carrington, drums, percussion, vocals
Aaron Parks, piano, keyboards 
Mathew Stevens, guitars
Morgan Guerin, saxophone, bass, Ewi
Debo Ray, vocals 
Kassa Overall, Mc, Dj

In today’s overcrowded field of jazz singers, Terri Lyne Carrington possess a lyrical intensity matched by few others. Above the crowd she sings with unerring purity of intonation; her voice is marvelously clean and her tone can only be called luminous; sometimes surprisingly free, but in its pacing invariably capturing rare color, atmosphere and mood as well dramatic points. The interpretations of the songs are at times mesmerizing, not just for their vocal qualities and their emotional commitment but for their exemplary use of words, which illustrates perfectly the profound unity of poetry and music. A good record is always a good record and this one is a very good one indeed. The recorded sound is ideal, the voice very present in a way that is entirely suited to this repertory. According to the liner notes “Terri Lyne Carrington and Social Science confront a wide spectrum of social justice issues on Waiting Game;” a stirring lineage of politically conscious and activist music through an eclectic program melding jazz, R&B, indie rock, contemporary improvisation, and hip-hop. Standouts include “Bells (Ring Loudly) Album version,” “Bells (Ring Loudly) featuring Malcolm-Jamal Warner,” “Waiting Game, featuring Debo Ray,” “If Not Now featuring Maimouna Youssef,” “Waiting Game (acapella) featuring Mark Kibble.”