Seizing the Jim Snidero day

Early-2023 releases continue to flood in. And certainly among the most ear catching incredibly seizing the straightahead day sounds to submerge ourselves completely in are heard on Far Far Away from alto saxophonist Jim Snidero featuring Kurt …

Published: 15 Dec 2022. Updated: 45 days.

Early-2023 releases continue to flood in. And certainly among the most ear catching incredibly seizing the straightahead day sounds to submerge ourselves completely in are heard on Far Far Away from alto saxophonist Jim Snidero featuring Kurt Rosenwinkel superb recently on Berlin Baritone. Snidero pushes from the centre moving outerwards in ever increasing circles and if you are into Greg Abate and the much missed Richie Cole then the 64-year-old Snidero making records for decades and as an educator the author of several books including The Essence of Bebop is of course for you.

Start in his discography with While Your [sic] Here. Bass great Peter Washington who is with Snidero on Far Far Away was also on that 1990s-era quartet release and who was magnificent a year ago within the Bill Charlap trio on I'll Know.

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Carving out new lexicographies somehow within the vast databanks of the post-bop dictionary, with Snidero are guitar icon Rosenwinkel and the altoist's acclaimed Deer Head Inn band - ex-The Bad Plus pianist Orrin Evans who also was significant on classic JD Allen album Bloom, Washington and swinger's swinger drummer Joe Farnsworth.

The album out on the Savant label includes Snidero originals plus Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers' 'It Might As Well Be Spring' from the film State Fair (1945) and a beautiful version of The Real McCoy classic 'Search For Peace' by McCoy Tyner.

Snidero toured in the orchestra of Frank Sinatra from 1991-5. Listen to Sinatra's Don Costa conducted Sinatra & Strings version from 1962.

We'll bring you more reactions to the record when it's out in early-February. For now jump up to speed with last year's standards bedecked Live at The Deer Head Inn - the Deer Head a pilgrimage for Keith Jarrett fans everywhere given that Jarrett with Gary Peacock and Paul Motian recorded classic 1990s album At the Deer Head Inn at the Pennsylvanian spot 40 or so miles from Allentown where the pianist was born. Jarrett and Snidero's Deer Head albums share 'Bye Bye Blackbird' in common.

Jim Snidero, photo: John Rogers

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Aga Zaryan, Sara, Warner Music Poland ****

The Sara in the title is the poet Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), a writer who has also inspired Brad Mehldau. The singer, Aga Zaryan - one of Europe's finest jazz singers. The Pole's style is a little in aesthetic terms like that of US singer …

Published: 14 Dec 2022. Updated: 45 days.

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The Sara in the title is the poet Sara Teasdale (1884-1933), a writer who has also inspired Brad Mehldau. The singer, Aga Zaryan - one of Europe's finest jazz singers.

The Pole's style is a little in aesthetic terms like that of US singer Patricia Barber. A fixture on the Polish scene for the last 20 years, check out the beautiful 'Waiting the Moon' from Zaryan's 2010 album Looking, Walking, Being for instance. And the mood on the new record is part of that long considered sense of continuum.

Zaryan is here with guitarists Szymon Mika and David Dorůžka (also on that earlier album) in a very pared back setting the outcome of which is very ungeneric. Listen without any jazz framing if you like delving into its rootsy Americana base. I saw above a sea of hills/A solitary planet shine/And there was no one near or far/To keep the world from being mine from 'Autumn Dusk' is one of a constellation of shining moments here. Zaryan has amazingly clear diction and there is a weight and grace to her very rewarding approach.