In many cases, the best time to see a favorite artist live is at a CD release performance.
A palpable sense of celebration pervades such events, as the performer marks the public release of what more likely than not has been a long-gestating project. The months/years leading up to the performance have been marked by creative innovation and scrounging for cash and the time finally has come to showcase the results for your most ardent fans.
Three Northern California jazz acts have new CDs out and will mark the occasion live in the coming weeks.
Steve Wilson is a mainstay of the Santa Cruz music scene, both as a performer and educator. The trombonist- vocalist’s new album, “Opportunity Knocking,” offers a blend of straight-ahead jazz, funk, Latin jazz and Brazilian rhythms. You can catch him Thursday at Kuumbwa Jazz Center with a band featuring Marshall Otwell (piano), Gino Raugi (guitar), Brad Hecht (saxophone and clarinet), Jessica Lowe-Wilson (vocals), Dan Robbins (bass) and Olaf Schiappicasse (drums).
FivePlay Jazz Quintet has a new disc too, “Five and More,” which, it promises, contains “fresh, new, original compositions to nourish your mind and heart … including forays into tango and samba, a wild Balkan ride, a gorgeous gospel waltz, a romantic Ellingtonian ballad and lots more.” The CD release concert is set for November 2 at Musically Minded on Oakland.
Vocalist-songwriter Lisa Engelken has a new album, as well, “Little Warrior,” and will mark its release in performance November 9-10 at the Sound Room in Oakland.
“I'm so happy to have that monster band of Frank Martin, Sam Bevan and Matt Swindells back with me again,” Engelken told me via e-mail. “I'd really forgotten how fun live performance can be until I teamed up again with that particular trio last February for a raucous sold-out show.
“And we are blessed to again have the amazing KCSM radio host Jim Bennett as our sound engineer for both evenings. We'll also have Erik Jekabson joining us on trumpet. Plus, we'll have some other very special guests sit in on tunes."
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