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December 23, 2014
Floating Fred Hersch – Floating
December 26, 2014
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December 29, 2014
The Signal Elizabeth Shepherd – The Signal
January 1, 2015
essential Jean-Michel Pilc – Essential
January 4, 2015
Conscious Journey Kenny Lavender – Conscious Journey
January 7, 2015
trumpet story Bill Warfield Big Band – Trumpet Story
January 10, 2015
Lets Adam Schroeder – Let’s
January 13, 2015
OverTime Music of Bob Brookmeyer The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – OverTime: Music of Bob Brookmeyer
January 16, 2015
motif Greg Abate Quartet – Motif
January 19, 2015
trilogy Chick Corea – Trilogy
January 22, 2015
Pacific Jazz Clare Fischer Big Band – Pacific Jazz
January 25, 2015
Overnight Sensation Joey Sommerville – Overnight Sensation
January 28, 2015
Bada Boom Ranjit Barot – Bada Boom
January 31, 2015
Samsara Expansions: The Dave Liebman Group – Samsara
February 3, 2015
indigo Dan Siegel – Indigo
February 6, 2015
Trinomial Mark Minchello – Trinomial
February 9, 2015
A Bird in the Hand Ben Bailey & the Nashville Big Band – A Bird in the Hand
February 12, 2015
Identities Are Changeable Miguel Zenon – Identities Are Changeable
February 13, 2015
Djangos Castle Hank Marvin – Django’s Castle
February 15, 2015
Outta My Soul Robert Moore – Outta my Soul
February 18, 2015
Strength and Kindness Somebody Else’s Nightmare – Strength and Kindness
February 21, 2015
Midnight Rhumba Johannes Linstead – Midnight Rhumba
February 24, 2015
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gentle warrior
Lloyd Gregory – Gentle Warrior

Lloyd Gregory takes his listeners on a musical travelogue on Gentle Warrior, not engaging in a campaign of conquest so much as visiting different locales to sample the musical flavors. The San Francisco-based guitarist starts out in a “Brazilian Sea,” accompanied by the soothing vocals of Jeanie Tracy. “Haiti” has an appropriate Caribbean rhythm track to support the melodic soloing. At times, Gregory mixes locations, such as on “Philly,” which begins and ends with Indian percussion and in the middle includes some sitar-like sounds, even though the overall track is an evocation of the Philadelphia International soul sound of the 1970s.

“Desert Wind” is a somewhat more abstract physical location, and Gregory achieves its mood with a spare background track featuring a guitar and nature sounds, using his acoustic guitar on top to play some intricate, rapid-fire runs. “Slither” earns its name through the slippery bassline that snakes through and actually dominates the music. Sometimes, the title notwithstanding, Gregory is just trying to create an appealing pop-jazz tune, such as in “Germ” and “Zulu, Son of Cobra.”

He may be remembering more a time of his life than a place in “El Espiritu de Diana,” which finds him producing a more laid-back version of the style of Carlos Santana that’s more sigh than cry. (A sentence in his press biography reads, “At one point he paid the rent by playing in San Francisco strip clubs with former members of Santana.” Clearly, something wore off.) The album boasts more variety than the usual smooth jazz guitar collection, reflecting the musician’s lengthy experience and mastery of different styles. ~ William Ruhlmann

gentle warrior

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