Criss Cross Jazz new releases May 2014

Here are the new Criss Cross Jazz releases for May 2014, which
will be available around May 20. All details can be found on
the website:


Johnathan Blake, one of the most in-demand drummers of his generation,
has done stellar work as a member of the Tom Harrell Quintet, the
Mingus Big Band, the Kenny Barron Trio, the Ravi Coltrane Quartet and
many others. Having brought his fire and agility to two Criss Cross
sessions by trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, Blake now offers his first Criss
Cross album as a leader, "Gone, But Not Forgotten".
The lineup is sparse but tremendously explosive -- how could it not be,
with evolving tenor saxophone masters Chris Potter and Mark Turner
paired alongside Ben Street on bass?

As the title suggests, "Gone, But Not Forgotten" takes inspiration
from greats in the jazz world who are no longer with us. That can be
a somber subject, but Blake and his quartet convey a sense of the
unbridled joy and invention that marks jazz improvisation at his
highest levels. Such is the lesson taught by the departed players
Blake has chosen to honor: Charles Fambrough, Trudy Pitts, Sid Simmons,
Cedar Walton, Jim Hall, Mulgrew Miller, Paul Motian, Frank Foster,
Frank Wess and Eddie Harris.

In addition to their deep and engaging music, Blake offers two originals:
one for Ana Grace, the daughter of saxophone great Jimmy Greene;
and another for bassist Dwayne Burno, taken much too early at age 43.


On its third Criss Cross recording since they made their 2011 debut
with "Introducing Opus 5", Opus 5 -- a collaborative quintet of New York
A-listers Alex Sipiagin (trumpet) Seamus Blake (tenor sax), David
Kikoski (piano and Fender Rhodes), Boris Kozlov (bass) and Donald
Edwards (drums) -- continues to uphold the high standards that its
steadily increasing fan base has come to expect.

Building on multiple tours over the last three years, and simpatico
developed over their mutually extended tenure in various units devoted
to Charles Mingus' music, they play the evocative tunes -- three by
Edwards, two by Kozlov, and one apiece by Blake and Sipiagin -- with
intelligence, creative abandon and cohesion, burnishing Opus 5's
stature as 21st century inheritors and extenders of the legacy left
by such predecessor quintets as Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and
Miles Davis' units of the 1950s and 1960s.


David Binney's seventh recording "Anacapa" for Criss Cross is his fourth
for the label that comprises entirely wholly original music, and the
first on which he frames his distinctive alto and tenor saxophone
concept with electric instruments and a global array of beats.

Propelling the flow of the 8 groove-oriented compositions is an ace
rhythm section of John Escreet on piano and Fender Rhodes, Matt Brewer
on electric bass and either Obed Calvaire or Dan Weiss on drums;
all but one of the tracks feature the two-guitar tandem of Wayne Krantz
and Adam Rogers.


Justin Robinson's adventurous alto saxophone sound is at the center
of this powerful quintet session, a tribute to the late bassist and
Criss Cross regular Dwayne Burno. Featuring Burno himself on bass --
in one of the last sessions before his untimely death in late December
2013 -- "Alana's Fantasy" finds Robinson and his esteemed colleagues
in peak form, playing standards, originals, music by Jackie McLean,
Thelonious Monk and more.

Trumpeter Michael Rodriguez, a noted Criss Cross leader and sideman,
joins Robinson in the frontline, while Sullivan Fortner makes his
Criss Cross debut, and drummer Willie Jones III his first label
appearance since 2008.

Steeped in the vernacular of blues, bebop and ballads, Robinson has
made signal contributions to the music of Roy Hargrove's quintet and
big band, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Band and many others.

With "Alana's Fantasy" he raises his profile as a leader, living up
to the daunting legacy of the post-bop alto while claiming a voice
of his own -- the kind of pursuit that Dwayne Burno exemplified
throughout his career.