Tuesday, May 20, 2014

New From Smoke Sessions Records!


The Quintessential Sound of New York Jazz,
Smoke Sessions Records Releases New Albums by
Veteran Drummers Jimmy Cobb and Louis Hayes
Photo Credit: Jimmy Katz
Smoke Sessions Records, the new imprint of New York City's influential uptown club Smoke which is also serving as a studio incubator and live happening for documenting the classic New York jazz sound, embarks on their second series of new releases by two legendary drum warhorses, the age-defying Jimmy Cobb and timeless time-keeper Louis Hayes.

Their resumes and discographies read like a jazz drummers Guinness Book of Records, and so remarkable that after countless gigs, tours, and record dates, they remain two of today's most vital drummers thriving on the physical demands of their instrument and on the challenges of keeping up with players who could be their grandchildren. These new titles, Hayes' Return of the Jazz Communicators recorded live at Smoke Jazz Club and Cobb's The Original Mob recorded at Smoke Studios, capture each in top form leading bands with a little history of their own.


"This version of the group could evolve into a band
as vital as the vintage edition." - JazzTimes

 

Louis Hayes is one of the chief architects of modern jazz drumming. He's provided the rhythmic drive for historic recordings by Horace Silver, Cannonball Adderley, Oscar Peterson, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, and McCoy Tyner. His playing has an intensity that is as subtle as it is complex, creating a musical feel and vibe that is unmistakably Hayesian. When he reformed this band that he co-founded in the late '60s with Freddie Hubbard and Joe Henderson-which Freddie dubbed the Jazz Communicators-Louis purposefully deviated from a conventional quintet lineup by featuring a vibraphone / tenor saxophone frontline. It's the esteemed pair of Steve Nelson and Abraham Burton, respectively, and their chemistry with Louis, pianist David Bryant and bassist Dezron Douglas makes Return of the Jazz Communicators an inspired and rewarding set of music.

The selections include a nice balance of standards and originals such as a ballad-feature for Nelson, "Lush Life," and one for Burton, "Portrait of Jennie," as well as the deep, loose groove of Mulgrew Miller's "Soul-Leo," which opens the record. Return of the Jazz Communicators captures this important jazz quintet in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative live audience. In the words of Hayes, "I try to do what I do best and what makes me feel good...I guess I might as well keep on swinging."

For more information on Louis Hayes, please visit LouisHayes.net

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"Jimmy's ability to accompany artists by building a smoldering intensity with
brushes and sticks - without stealing their thunder - is one of the many reasons
why he has always been in demand as a session player with the
greatest names in jazz." - Jazzwax.com
 
 

Now in his seventh decade in music and swinging as hard today as he did in 1951 with Earl Bostic, Jimmy Cobb continues to display his surgical skill which has exalted him to legendary status through his work with Dinah and Cannonball to Sarah and Wes. But inescapably, Jimmy is best known for his time with Miles Davis that included the recording of several history making albums including the iconic session Kind of Blue.

His new release, The Original Mob, features three former students who have all become successful artists themselves. Brad Mehldau, Peter Bernstein, and John Webber were just getting their own careers started when they approached their teacher, Mr. Cobb, about working together as a quartet. It wasn't a hard sell, as Jimmy knew from experience that they were special talents. Soon after, they got some gigs as Jimmy Cobb's Mob and the rest is history. The Original Mob is the first recording of this original lineup in many years and their first recording together under Jimmy's leadership. It's a swinging affair that includes two of Jimmy's original compositions, and one each by Brad, Peter, and John.

The opening standard, "Old Devil Moon," was spontaneously arranged at the date when Brad suggested this novel introduction. Other highlights include the standards "Stranger in Paradise," "Sunday in New York," and "Nobody Else but Me." The Original Mob is the first Smoke Sessions Records release to be recorded using Smoke Jazz Club as a traditional recording studio-a process that Jimmy compared to recording in master engineer Rudy Van Gelder's living room half a century earlier. He adds, "it just sounds like us...like when we first started to play together years ago, but I remember like it was yesterday. I always enjoyed the way we played together."

The Original Mob is available for purchase as a 8-panel CD-Deluxe Album complete with liner notes, interview and additional photos or as a high resolution download mastered for iTunes.

For more information on Jimmy Cobb, please visit JimmyCobb.com

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New titles set for release in 2014 include Cyrus Chestnut's Midnight Melodies, Orrin Evans'Liberation Blues, and Eric Reed (title TBD).

All Smoke Sessions releases are produced using vintage techniques and audio paths - i.e.; Rupert Neve-designed mixing consoles (Amek-Angela), Studer mastering decks, and Manley tube equalization - in combination with modern high definition recording techniques. Label co-founder Paul Stache records and mixes the sessions then works closely with GRAMMY® Award-winner Roman Klun to master them. Each releases features original photography by Jimmy Katz, as well as an original 2,000-word artist interview. The recently released limited edition 200-gram audiophile collection was mastered for vinyl by celebrated engineer Kevin Gray and includes a classic "tip-on style" gatefold record jacket. Smoke Sessions titles are handsomely packaged as an 8-panel CD-deluxe album complete with liner notes, interview and additional photos or as a high resolution download mastered for iTunes.
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For more information on Smoke Sessions Records, please visit SmokeSessionsRecords.com