A year after his impressionistic, critically-lauded ECM debut Into The Silence, trumpeter Avishai Cohen s Cross My Palm With Silver introduces a program of new pieces which put the focus on the ensemble, on teamwork, with a quartet of the highest caliber. The adroit, almost telepathic interplay among the musicians allows Avishai Cohen to soar, making it clear why he is one of the most talked-about jazz musicians on the contemporary scene. All of these people together are my dream team , says the charismatic trumpeter of fellow players Yonathan Avishai, Barak Mori and Nasheet Waits, who share his sense for daring improvisation and his feeling for structure. I feel we're in a perfect place with the balance. It's open and there s so much room for the improvisation to take the music any place we can.
Touring behind icons like Michael Bolton and Mariah Carey has no doubt enhanced guitarist Chris Camozzi's sense of a pop melody, and he shares those expert acoustic and electric chops in a solo spotlight of his own on Windows of My Soul, Higher Octave's latest rock guitarist turned smooth jazz cat release. He's found a fitting home on the label, because his rich tapestry of cool yet just aggressive enough to be invigorating sounds blend the rhythmic charms of Craig Chaquico and the smoky after hours passion of Neal Schon. A tender nylon string reading of The Beatles' "Michelle" complements a snappy repertoire of fiery electricity ("Go Wes Young Man" has an obvious influence) and charming romance along the lines of the seductive "The Dreamers." Program a few of the later cuts in sequence and your soul mate won't complain any time soon. For, like his labelmates, Camozzi's production skills are all about creating moodswings which best fit each tune's lyrical lilt. More often than not, these windows look out optimistically, through the eyes of love.
My Secret Studio really isn't a secret, and never has been, unless you count the period of time when problems of life and surroundings seemed to make it impossible for Bill Nelson to actually get anything musical out into the open. His larger commercial connections had evaporated, his own label had been wracked by unethical behavior by his manager, and his life as a whole seemed to be one gigantically complex knot. Rather than letting these problems crushing the inspiration out of him, Nelson was energized by them. He might not have been able to release much of a anything for a while, but this didn't stop him from recording hundreds of new songs and instrumental pieces.