Northcoast Jazz Collective | Changing Times

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Jazz: Post-Bop Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Changing Times

by Northcoast Jazz Collective

Straight-up, hard-swinging modern jazz that is creative, emotional and accessible, with original compositions by band members (except one).
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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1. Two Dozen Blues
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5:10 $0.99
2. Changing Times
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7:02 $0.99
3. Gray Sky, White Light
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7:23 $0.99
4. Sweet Mary Sunshine
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4:52 $0.99
5. Jenna
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8:29 $0.99
6. Demanu
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6:48 $0.99
7. It's Not You, It's Me
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6:36 $0.99
8. Spring Day
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5:46 $0.99
9. Waitin' For You
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9:16 $0.99
10. Tape 24
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4:35 $0.99
11. La Pasionaria
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8:00 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Northcoast Jazz Collective (NJC) is one of the best jazz groups in Cleveland and is fast becoming one of the better known. The band plays straight-up modern jazz that is creative, accessible and emotional.

Personnel include leader Mark Grey on drums, John Gallo on acoustic bass, Dan Maier on piano and Dave Frank on tenor sax, soprano sax and flute. All grew up and live in the Cleveland area.

Gallo started on violin at age 7 and switched to bass 10 years later. He played the New York jazz scene for some years, starting in 1961, working with Larry Elgart, Sal Salvador and other big bands. He then played in post-bop and "free" jazz groups that included saxophonists Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders, pianists Carla Bley and Chic Corea, drummer Charles Moffett, and trombonists Kai Winding and Bill Watruss. He left the music business, and after a 30-year "vacation", returned to playing and writing better than before.

Dan Maier attended Berklee School of Music and the New England Conservatory, studying with Lennie Tristano, Madame Chaloff and Ran Blake. Over the years he has worked with Gary Burton,Clark Terry, Junior Cook, Melvyn Sparks, Urbie Green, Howard Roberts and Dakota Staton, among others. He's also been a member of Philip Glass and Blood, Sweat and Tears, The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Cleveland Pops Orchestra, and numerous jazz vocalists. Many say he is one of the best, if not the best, jazz pianists in the Cleveland area.

Dave Frank, the youngest band member, studied music performance, composition and recording at Ohio University and was prominent in the jazz scene there. In addition to playing regularly with the Northcoast Jazz Collective, where he is also musical director, Dave plays and records with three other bands in the Northeast Ohio area: Stone Pony Band (Bruce Springsteen Tribute Band), Harrison Fjord (rock/fusion/comedy) and Impromptu (completely improvised music).

Mark Grey, born into a family of drummers, learned to play drums on his father's Gene Krupa model Slingerland Drums from the 1950s. He began at age ten and played from elementary school through college, playing with jazz trios while in graduate school at the University of Hawaii. He has also played with the Smart Set (big band) and the Equinox Jazz Quartet. In addition to driving the NCJ with a strong presence, he has also been most responsible for getting gigs for the group.

The Northcoast Jazz Collective has been together as a unit for 5 years. They’ve recorded two albums of original compositions and have played at most of the jazz clubs in the Cleveland area, including Nighttown, Bop Stop, Fat Fish Blue and Boulevard Blue. They have gotten great reviews from noted jazz critic Harvey Pekar, the Plain Dealer and Cool Cleveland.com., and appeared on public radio and TV.


Reviews


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Peter Chakerian


If you’re a Fat Fish Blue fan, or a regular patron of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s “Summer in the Courtyard” series, you are undoubtedly aware of Northcoast Jazz Collective. They're one of the gems of the Northeast Ohio jazz scene.

Their self-titled CD featured 9 original compositions, drawing on a wide range of
tasty phrasing, smoky chops and lilting rhythms. While moving in some new
directions with the new 11 tracks on Changing Times -- and writing all the material save for Charlie Haden's "La
Pasionaria" -- the next verse is just as intriguing as the first. This disc's 11 tracks are everything you might expect of
the lauded quartet.

From the opening strains of Gallo's "Two Dozen Blues" and the disc's title track, the NJC radiates charm, warmth, and the sort of instrumental intuition that only comes from regular gigging. They also offer a sense of honoring history with their compositional phrasing. What's more, their approach is accessible enough to engage a first-time
jazz fan without intimidation. From the romantic flair of "Sweet Mary Sunshine" and sprightly flute-and-piano runs in "Spring Day," to the delicate Sunday rain that should accompany "Gray Sky, White Light," each cut on Changing Times has a definite sense of mood and purpose.

And once those original compositions work their way into your subconscious, the NJC's arrangement and reworking of Haden's "La Pasionaria" cinches everything up. Haden, a double bassist tour de force in his own right and one-time sideman for jazz legends Ornette Coleman and Keith Jarrett, really needs to hear this. If anyone is putting
together a 70th birthday compilation CD for Haden, this should be the leadoff track. It does Haden, and the venerable NJC, exquisitely proud.

Review by Peter Chakerian, Managing Editor of Cool Cleveland