What's New

RSR CD 198 Jed Levy: Good People
This is tenor saxophonist Jed Levys first recording as a leader. It was released in 1987 in the LP format at a time when the music business was in a state of transition from the LP to the CD. The music on this CD release has been beautifully remastered by Allan Tucker with the addition of two extra excellent tracks which the LP did not have room for. Featured with Levy are guitarist Peter Leitch, who has eight CDs as a leader on the Reservoir label, and a great rhythm section with pianist Peter Madsen, bassist Rufus Reid, and the ever adventurous drummer Billy Hart.

The exciting and uncompromising nature of this truly original music is clearly heard in five of Levys originals, an original blues by Leitch, and two standards, Billy Strayhorn's Daydream and Jule Styne's Just In Time. After all these years, Good People remains a very good listen. With this release, all of the Reservoir titles are now on CD.

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RSR CD 197 Jon Mayer: Nightscape
Pianist Jon Mayer is once again united with the incomparable rhythm section
of bassist Rufus Reid and drummer Roy McCurdy for his fifth CD on Reservoir
Music. As with his previous CDs, Mayer explores the essence of the jazz
piano trio with a program of wonderfully conceived arrangements of jazz
classics, standards from the American song book, and original compositions.
The highlights of this 59 minutes program of 11 selections include Mayer’s
arrangement of The Touch Of Your Lips (with a touch of Two Bass Hits thrown
in the mix), Harold Land’s seldom played haunting composition Rapture,
Horace Silver’s Room 608, Oscar Petitford’s Bohemia After Dark, Mayer's
original ballad Nightscape, and a beautiful solo performance of Theme For

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RSR CD 196 Helio Alves: It's Clear
For his third recording on the Reservoir Music label, “It’s Clear” establishes Helio Alves as one of most dynamic pianists on the current jazz scene. In the company of the brilliant guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Ernesto Simpson, Alves has created an enduring work of art. He and his accompanists explore the richness and complexities of the Brazilian song book as well as his own compositions.

Alves’ prodigious career has included touring with Joe Henderson for more than two years, performing on Yo -Yo Ma’s CD of Brazilian music, “Obrigado Brazil,” and playing regularly in groups ranging from Airto and Flora Purim to Louis Hayes.
The studio recording of Jim Anderson and mastering of Allan Tucker capture the intricate interplay of Colley and Simpson, the warmth and clarity of Lubambo’s guitar, and the excitement and nuances of Alves’ piano excursions.

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RSR CD 195 Gary Smulyan- High Noon: The Jazz Soul of Frankie Lane
The idea of recording the music of Frankie Laine started when Gary Smulyan recorded the beautiful ballad Satan Wears A Satin Gown for his first Reservoir Music CD, The Real Deal (RSR CD 172). This was the song on the flipside of the 78 of one of Frankie’s big hits. In case you have never heard of Frankie Laine, he was a singer with a number of hit records in the 1940s and 50s like Mule Train, and Jezebel. And if you watched reruns of the movies 3:10 to Yuma or Blazing Saddles, you could hear Frankie sing the theme songs. He was influenced by jazz ever since he heard a Bessie Smith record, and he made a sensational album in the 50s with a big band of jazz all stars under the direction of Buck Clayton. His final performance was at the age of 92 when he sang his first big hit That’s My Desire with his usual passion and conviction on a PBS show in October, 2005. He died at the age of 93 on February 6, 2007.

Laine’s contribution to the American song book goes well beyond his singing. He was a prolific composer with over 80 songs to his credit which serve as the focus for the 70 minutes of music Rather than concentrate on all of his hit recordings, Smulyan and arranger Mark Masters of the American Jazz Institute of Los Angeles selected 10 songs that display the depth and sophistication of his music. The title tune High Noon was not one of Laine’s compositions, but one of his biggest hits. Masters’ arrangement starts out as if this was an Ornette Coleman tune, and ends up as a slow blues with a magnificent bass clarinet solo by Scott Robinson. The only other big Frankie hit is That Lucky Old Sun which Smulyan and Masters have rearranged to suggest Bird’s Confirmation. Other songs include Baby, Baby All The Time, I’d Give My Life, Put Yourself In My Place, Baby, A Man Ain’t Supposed To Cry, and Laine’s best known composition We’ll Be Together Again which he co-wrote with his long time accompanist, Carl Fischer, and played here as an exquisite duo with Smulyan and pianist Pete Malinverni.

There’s plenty of soloing by Smulyan, and some of the true heavyweights of today’s jazz scene: trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, trombonist John Fedchock, tenor saxophonist Scott Robinson, alto saxophonist Dick Oatts, French hornist John Clark (whose ensemble playing is an essential contribution to the arrangements), and the exceptional rhythm section of pianist Pete Malinverni, bassist Andy McKee, and drummer Steve Johns. And Mark Masters has indeed arrangements that bring out the Jazz Soul of Frankie Laine.

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RSR CD 194 Joe Magnarelli- Persistence
Trumpeter Joe Magnarelli chose an all star supporting cast for his debut as a leader on Reservoir Music.

His front line cohort is baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan who featured Joe on his debut Reservoir CD, The Real Deal (RSR CD 172), and the rhythm section is comprised of pianist David Hazeltine (who is making his first appearance on the label), along with bassist Peter Washington, and drummer Kenny Washington.

Magnarelli is featured with the rhythm section in a quartet rendition of I Had The Craziest Dream. The two Dietz and Schwartz classics: Haunted Heart, and a hard charging You And The Night And The Music showcase both Magnarelli’s and Smulyan’s extraordinary soloing abilities. The trumpeter’s five originals include Ballad For Barretto which is his poignant tribute to his former boss, a bit of funk and soul with D Train Boogaloo, Soul Sister (Body and Soul disguised as a waltz), and most of all, Persist which is what these great players do so very well.

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RSR CD 193 Rob Schneiderman- Glass Enclosure
The impressionistic Bud Powell composition Glass Enclosure is the point of departure for pianist Rob Schneiderman’s exciting new release. Schneiderman is joined by the legendary alto saxophonist Charles McPherson, bassist Todd Coolman and drummer Leroy Williams.

McPherson is featured on six of the selections which include two Schneiderman originals, Reunion and Ready Or Not, Bud Powell’s Buster Rides Again, Fine & Dandy, Cocktails For Two (a reminder of McPherson’s past association with Charles Mingus), and an exquisite duo rendition of Embraceable You. Schneiderman and the rhythm section explore the complexities of the title tune along with the pianist’s original blues Bluegenes, Gigi Gryce’s Social Call, and Charlie Parker’s Yardbird Suite.

Rob Schneiderman’s association with Reservoir Music dates back to 1988 with the release of his first CD, New Outlook (RSR CD 106). Glass Enclosure is his tenth release for the label. It documents his maturity as an established artist who has deep roots in the tradition of the music, and who strives to bring a fresh viewpoint with each new project.

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RSR CD 192 Pete Malinverni- Invisible Cities
The major cities of the world are frequently the inspiration for jazz
compositions. For Pete Malinverni’s Invisible Cities, he used melodies that already existed, and composed his own for other places that inspired him in his travels. Featured with pianist Malinverni, are the superb soloists, trumpeter Tim Hagans, and tenor saxophonist Rich Perry, and the excellent rhythm support of bassist Ugonna Okegwo, and drummer Tom Melito.

Malinverni’s arrangements of I Love Paris, Chicago, Bernstein’s Lonely Town, There’s A Boat Dat’s Leavin’ Soon For New York, and his own six original compositions provide a palette for soloing and group interplay that gives the impression that the players have been performing together for a long time rather than having been in the recording studio for just one afternoon.

This is unquestionably one of the finest recordings in the Reservoir catalog.

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RSR CD 191 Jon Mayer - So Many Stars
For his fourth Reservoir CD, pianist Jon Mayer is accompanied by the
incomparable bassist Rufus Reid, and the legendary Roy McCurdy who has been Mayer’s regular drummer for many years in Los Angeles.

Cedar Walton’s Holy Land sets the tone for this well-balanced sixty three minute program with the trio digging in on the innate grooves of Duke Pearson’s Jeannine, Horace Silver’s Nica’s Dream, Miles Davis’ Blues By Five, You’re My Everything, All Of You, and two Mayer originals. Mayer continues to display his trademark soulful ballad artistry on Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most, the title track So Many Stars, and a poignant solo version of Never Never Land.

As with his other CDs on Reservoir, Mayer changes keys and tempos, explores nuances and contrasts, and continues his ongoing brilliant legacy of great piano jazz.

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