The Jazz Project – July 2017


Dance of Time ••••
Elaine Elias, vocalist, pianist
Two years after winning the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album with her sensational Made in Brazil, the sultry Brazilian vocalist Elaine Elias has consummated her affair with American jazz music with her brilliant testimonial album Dance of Time. This is a remarkably smooth and engaging set and Ms. Elias should be applauded for celebrating her cultural embrace with such grace and freedom of vision. Recorded in Brazil, the album features Randy Brecker (flugelhorn), Mike Mainieri (vibraphone), Mark Kibble (background vocals), Amilton Godoy (piano), and Toquinho (vocal, guitar), and Joao Bosco (vocal, guitar). Standouts include “Coisa Fieta,” “Speak Low,” “Samba De Orley,” Na Batucada Da Vida.”

Main Street Beat •••
Jackiem Joyner, Saxophone
Jackiem Joyner’s new album, Main Street Beat from Artistry Music, is a funky, dance inspiring, Motown-influenced collection. Mr. Joyner (a native of Norfolk, Virginia) who plays tenor, alto, soprano and baritone saxophone, often enriches his tracks by laying layer upon layer of horns to form a powerhouse sax section, most notable on the album opener “Main Street.” Musicians include drummer Raymond Johnson, bassist Darryl Williams, electric guitarist Kyle Bolden and piano player Carnell Harrell. Nick Colionne guests on “When You Smile” to flash his cool electric jazz guitar on the infectious mid-tempo R&B cut.

Electric Sax •••
Elan Trotman, saxophonist
Saxophonist Elan Trotman’s six soul-jazz album is dubbed Electro Sax, an energizing, dance-happy mix of impromptu jazz sax licks, kinetic dance beats and festive Caribbean rhythms. Adding nuances to the audacious alchemy are guitarists Wayne Jones, Freddie Fox, and JJ Sansavarino, and steel pan player Kareem Thompson. Standouts include the reggae-infused “Island Gal,” the balladic tribute “Purple Emotion,” along with the session’s lone cover that is a tropical, dance hall take of Walk The Moon’s infectious pop smash “Shut Up and Dance.”

Keep It Movin’ •••
Frank Piombo, guitar
New-Jersey based musician Frank Piombo imbues a sense of quixotic romance and passion into his spirited melodies and sultry grooves on Keep It Movin’. Illuminated by Michael Mahadeen’s whimsical flute and sax flourishes, the album opens with the instrumental version of “Keep It Movin’” and closes with a vocal rendition featuring empowering lyrics sung by Joe Arminio. Mr. Piombo and his fellow musicians ratchet up the tension on “Sunset Beach,” a steamy nocturnal number. That theme continues on “Middle Of The Night,” a track bolstered by Sam Hankins’ heated trumpet explorations. Saxophonist Tony Exum Jr. trades soulful jabs with Mr. Piombo on “Rush Hour Funk.” Rich authentic Italian sensibilities mesh with improvisational jazz riffing and a robust R&B beat on the charming “Sogno D’Amore.” According to the musician, the music that was written for Keep It Movin’ represents an appreciation for the journey of life and the unknown possibilities ahead. “Do what makes your heart smile and inspire others to follow their dream,” he says.