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Jeff Weinmann Alma Matters

Alma Matters
Jeff Weinmann
Tone Traveler Productions

Artist Website

Great All About Jazz review

A unique and ambitious recording project conceived and organized by Oakland-based vocalist/flutist/drummer/producer Jeff Weinmann, Alma Matters reflects the vibrant cultural diversity of the San Francisco Bay Area, and features some of the region's artists who have become leading voices in contemporary music. It's a collection of songs "with a message" interspersed with grooving, African- and Latin-infused instrumentals whose horn-laden melodies call out and unfold over a thick layer of drums and percussion. Co-produced by SF-based trombonist/recording engineer Jeff Cressman and Berkeley-born, now NY-based multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum, the recording draws heavily from the Bay Area's jazz scene - indeed, many of the participants came through the Berkeley High School Jazz Ensemble and/or Apfelbaum's world music big band, the Hieroglyphics Ensemble - but also draws from the local Gospel and Latin scenes as well. The multifaceted album includes re-imagined, Afro-Latin percussion-heavy covers of the spirituals "Wade In The Water" (done with a brass band and featuring Gospel singers Terrence Kelly and Destani Wolf) and "Nobody's Fault But Mine" (featuring Sandy Cressman's vocals and Apfelbaum's tenor sax over intermittent horn chorales and Josh Jones' congas) as well as Paul Simon's classic "Bridge Over Troubled Water" done as a vocal quartet with Apfelbaum on piano, and a reggae version of the 70's soul hit "Get Involved" featuring vocalist Tony Lindsay (Jeff Cressman's bandmate in the Santana band for years). The album also includes cinematically orchestrated originals by Apfelbaum, Sandy and Natalie Cressman (whose "You'll Never Follow" features fellow rising star Elena Pinderhughes on vocals) and trumpeter Erik Jekabson, and includes an churning, suite-like meditation on recycling, "Use It All", by Apfelbaum's latest band, Sparkler.

Collective personnel:

Jeff Weinmann - flute, vocals
Sandy Cressman - vocals
Natalie Cressman - vocals, trombone
Julianna Cressman - vocals
Terrence Kelly - vocals
Destani Wolf - vocals
Tony Lindsay - vocals
Elena Pinderhughes - vocals, flute
Peter Apfelbaum - tenor sax, keyboards, drums, percussion
Jeff Cressman - trombone, cornet, bass
Jill Ryan - vocals, alto sax
Erik Jekabson - trumpet
Steven Bernstein - trumpet
Ivan Jackson - trumpet
Marcus Rojas - tuba
Samora Pinderhughes - electric piano
Ben Hevaroh - piano
David Belove - bass
Will Bernard - guitar
John Schott - guitar
Rachel Durling - violin
Paul Hanson - bassoon, clarinet
Robin Bonnell - cello
Josh Jones - drums, percussion
Charlie Ferguson - drums
Mathias Kunzli - drums

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