07 30 2016
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The Wake of Vanport
McMenamins


"BLUE FABLE"   
LARRY WILLIS   
HIGHNOTE  
*****
I first heard the veteran pianist Larry Willis at a Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival when he was working with the Roy Hargrove Quintet.
Not only was he working with the Hargrove band, Willis was a clinician during the day, in the house band at night backing other acts, and also had to show up at afternoon sound checks — which were really mini rehearsals. At festival close, he had artfully fulfilled all the many roles assigned to him but he was drained. His dedication to his art and reputation made an indelible imprint on me.
This release, "Blue Fable," should enhance his already considerable reputation, and his art speaks through it eloquently. Check out his spin on "Never Let Me Go," where he combines a steady rhythmic approach with a refined touch plumbing the true loveliness of the Evans-Livingston ballad. The bass of high school pal Eddie Gomez adds depth and necessary support. Drummer Billy Drummond is tasty with his work behind both.
Willis enlarges his ensemble on three tunes to include alto saxophonist Joe Ford and trombonist Steve Davis. Both are accomplished players who broaden the scope of the recording.


"HENDRIK MEURKENS' NEW YORK SAMBA JAZZ QUINTET"  
ZOHO  
****
The harmonica virtuoso Hendrik Meurkens shares his solo time with his vibes artistry on this release of sprightly Brazilian tunes.
The result is a most pleasant listen as he adroitly performs compositions by Jobim, Gershwin, Donato and himself. He is aided and abetted by a fine group of players, including pianist Helio Alves and tenor saxophonist Jed Levy whose work is hand in glove with Meurkens' vibes.
The closest thing to a ballad is the classic "I Can't Get Started." One more would have been nice.


"SHIFTING SANDS"  
BOB DE VOS    
SAVANT 
****
Guitarist Bob De Vos, long associated as a sideman with such organ greats as Jimmy McGriff, Richard Groove Holmes, Charles Earland and Jack Mc Duff revives the organ trio sound with this nine track release.
The basic group is De Vos, organist Dan Kostelnik and drummer Steve Johns. He adds percussionist Gary Fritz on "Lost and Found" and "Willow Weep for Me." The great young star of the tenor saxophone, Eric Alexander, enhances "Three/Four Miss C," "Track and Field" and "Willow Weep for Me."
"T and F" is everything its title suggests, a romp with Alexander's tenor out front. Kostelnik, a new name to me, has a great sense of swing and easily fits in his organ groove with some of the best.


THE HARLEM NUTCRACKER"   
DAVID BERGER AND THE SULTANS OF SWING"  
SUCH SWEET THUNDER 
*****
Trumpeter, conductor and composer David Berger accomplishes a formidable task of blending the compositions of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky with those of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn and his own.
The basic Tchaikovsky theme remains combined with Duke's sound and Berger's modern update. It makes for 14 grand tracks of swing jazz.
The Nutcracker was originally written as a Christmas song but in this form, it becomes a year around delight.
Outstanding musicians abound in this band including Jerome Richardson, Jerry Dodgion, Marcus Belgrave, Britt Woodman, Dennis Irwin and others. 

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  • Russian hackers likely responsible for hacking attack on Clinton HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Giddy if exhausted, Hillary Clinton embarked on a post-convention Rust Belt bus tour just hours after becoming the first female presidential nominee of a major political party. The celebratory mood quickly evaporated amid fresh revelations that hackers had breached a program used by her campaign and Republican nominee Donald Trump promised to sharpen his barbs. "Remember this," Trump said during a rally Friday in Colorado Springs, Colorado. "Trump is going to be no more Mr. Nice Guy." And for the first time he encouraged his supporters' anti-Clinton chants of "lock her up." "I've been saying let's just beat her on Nov. 8," Trump said, "but you know what? I'm starting to agree with you." About an hour later, Clinton aides acknowledged that a hacking attack that exposed Democratic Party emails also reached into a computer system used by her own campaign. The FBI said it was working to determine the "accuracy, nature and scope" of the cyberattacks. Campaign spokesman Nick Merrill said the newly disclosed breach affected a Democratic National Committee data analytics program used by the campaign and other organizations. Outside experts found no evidence that the campaign's "internal systems have been compromised," Merrill said, but he gave no details on the program or nature of the attacks. Partnerships with modern e-commerce companies can allow sophisticated tracking, categorization and identification of website visitors and voters. President Barack Obama and cybersecurity experts have said Russia was almost certainly responsible for the DNC hack. The House Democratic campaign committee reported Friday that its information had been accessed. The developments followed the leaking of DNC emails earlier in the week that pointed to a pro-Clinton bias by party officials during her primary contest against Bernie Sanders. In the furor that followed, party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz resigned just as Democrats launched their convention. Clinton and her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, will attempt to return attention to their positive economic message on Saturday, with campaign stops through economically struggling areas of Pennsylvania and Ohio. "When we take that oath of office next January, we know we can make life better. We know we can create more good jobs," she told voters gathered at an outside market in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Clinton cited an economic analysis by economist Mark Zandi, a former economic adviser to 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, that found more than 10 million jobs could be created in her first term if her economic proposals were put in place. Zandi's analysis of Trump's plans found they would cost the country 3.5 million jobs and lead to a "lengthy recession." Joined on the bus tour by her husband, Bill Clinton, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, Clinton stopped at a toy and plastics manufacturer in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, where she and Kaine cast Trump as a con artist out for his own gain. "We don't resent success in America but we do resent people who take advantage of others in order to line their own pockets," Clinton said. Trump is also focusing on Ohio and Pennsylvania, two states where he might make headway with blue-collar white men. That group of voters has eluded Clinton and may be a hard sell after a Democratic convention that heavily celebrated racial and gender diversity. Clinton is playing up economic opportunity, diversity and national security. Democrats hammered home those themes this week with an array of politicians, celebrities, gun-violence victims, law enforcement officers and activists of all races and sexual orientation. Their goal is to turn out the coalition of minority, female and young voters that twice elected Obama while offsetting expected losses among the white men drawn to Trump's message. Democrats continued contrasting their optimistic message with the more troubled vision of the state of the nation presented by Trump and others at the GOP convention a week earlier. Kaine called the "very dark and negative" event a "journey through Donald Trump's mind." "That's a very frightening place," he told thousands of supporters in Philadelphia. Clinton told voters that they faced a "stark choice," calling the coming election the most important one in her lifetime. "This is a moment of reckoning for our country. I don't recognize the country that Donald Trump describes," she said.___Lemire reported from Colorado Springs, Colorado. Associated Press writer Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.
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