Ted Daniel | Zulu's Ball(Altura Records)
What do you get when you let a gaggle of free players loose on the deepest roots of jazz? To put a finer point on it, if you'd let Ted Daniel and his gang loose in mid-December 2015 at the Samurai Hotel Studio in Queens, you would've come away with Zulu's Ball, the Newburgh trumpeter/cornetist's tribute to the music of King Oliver. Truthfully, this is more celebration than tribute, with the quintet taking modern liberties at will. Charlie Burnham's fiddle veers from archaic to up-to-the-minute hip; Joe Daley's fine tuba proves the glue for the whole project; and Marvin Sewell's guitar is an excellent counterpoint throughout. Sewell trades his genteel electric skronk on the opening "Riverside Blues" for a sliding steel resonator on a bonus duet closer of the song with Daniel. The latter, in its simplicity, its love of the tune, proves the most satisfying take on the whole disc.