D. Oscar Groomes, O’s Place
Dezron Douglas – Black Lion
Rising jazz bassist Dezron Douglas assembles a band with Stacy Dillard (t-sax), Lummie Spann (a-sax), Josh Evans (t), and Jeremy “Bean” Clemons (d). Piano duties are split equally between Willerm Delisfort and David Bryant. We liked the Reggae beats of “Great Provider”, the funky bass line on “Negroidius Maximus” and the swinging R&B of “Soulris”. Black Lion is a rather short album as just over 31 minutes but what’s here is cool!
Andy Milne – The Seasons of Being
Pianist and composer Andy Milne’s band is Dapp Theory with Aaron Kruziki (s-sax, cl), Christopher Tordini (b), Kenny Grohowski (d) and John Moon delivering vocal poetics on three selections. Andy invites guests Ben Monder (g), Ralph Alessi (t), Michael Attias (a-& b-sax), Christopher Hoffman (cello) and Jody Rudhage (cello) to expand his palate to include elements of chamber jazz, fusion, spoken word and ballads. We enjoyed the warm vocals on “The Guardian” featuring La Tanya Hall. She also sings on four other selections. The Seasons of Being is a unique approach and an applaudable outing for Milne.