by Glenn Daniels, the Jazz Page

Ben Wolfe- Fatherhood
Bassist Ben Wolfe delivers a beautiful tribute to fatherhood with his latest. Fatherhood is both a tribute to Wolfe’s father Dan, who was also a bassist and a dedication to his own son, Milo. The varying moods of the tunes reflect the changing nature of a father-son relationship. The compositions are wonderful and the performances of the material are up to the task. The project boasts a quality line-up of players, including trumpeter Giveton Gelin, saxophonists Immanuel Wilkins, Ruben Fox and JD Allen, trombonist Steve Davis, pianists Luis Perdomo and Orrin Evans, vibraphonist Joel Ross and drummer Donald Edwards. Solid musicianship and music make this one really special recording.

Soul Awakening- Brandee Younger
On Soul Awakening, the latest from harpist Brandee Younger, the more classical music-associated instrument powers a musically-rich jazz recording. The recording produced by bassist Dezron Douglas (who also plays on the production), demonstrates that the harp is no lightweight in this group effort. The project features a stellar cadre of talents, which includes saxophonists Stacy Dillard and Chelsea Baratz, drummer E.J. Strickland and special guests Ravi Coltrane, Antoine Roney, Chris Beck, Freddie Hendrix, Sean Jones, Niia, Corey Wilcox and Nicole Camacho. The songs are mainly original compositions, which nicely accompanies the wonderful distinctiveness of the unique sound and approach here.

Soulful Days- Soul Message Band
Soulful Days is the fantastic debut recording from the ensemble Soul Message Band. Led by B3 organist Chris Foreman and drummer Greg Rockingham, formerly of the Deep Blue Organ Trio, the ensemble powers a blend of jazz and soul that is energetic and engaging. The musical set is a nice blend of colorfully re-worked gems, including tunes by Wayne Shorter, Grant Green and Jimmy Smith, as well as some fantastic original compositions from the band. The Chicago-based powerhouse unit also includes the talents of guitarist Lee Rothenberg, saxophonists Greg Ward and Geof Bradfield. The songs are great and blend of sound is truly captivating. An outstanding production.

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