Jeff Tamarkin

Jeff’s Contributions

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01/13/17    Albums

Moving Still
Jonathan Finlayson & Sicilian Defense

Jonathan Finlayson’s strong affection for chess is built into his music. Sicilian Defense, his band’s name, is an oft-used opening move, and—as was so on the band’s 2013 debut, Moment and the Message —his song titles often allude to the game. So it’s naturally...

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12/20/16    Albums

Swivel
Honey Ear Trio

For their sophomore effort, arriving five years after the deliciously irreverent Steampunk Serenade , Honey Ear Trio underwent what could have been a crucial change but turned out not to be. Bassist and electronics maven Rene Hart and drummer Allison Miller...

Alexander_span3

12/17/16    Albums

Second Impression
Eric Alexander

Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander’s longtime collaborators Harold Mabern (piano) and Joe Farnsworth (drums) return for Second Impression , and the bond they’ve established over the course of several recordings is as strong as ever. But don’t be surprised...

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12/10/16    Albums

Slavic Soul Party Plays Duke Ellington's Far East Suite
Slavic Soul Party!

What we have here is a New York band, whose music is built largely upon Balkan brass motifs, reimagining a 50-year-old work inspired, despite its title, by Duke Ellington’s tour of the Middle East, India and environs. On paper that might seem gimmicky, but...

Billoconnell_span3

12/07/16    Albums

Heart Beat
Bill O'Connell and the Latin Jazz All-Stars

At both its fieriest and gentlest, Bill O’Connell’s music exudes sophistication, savvy and steam—never more so, perhaps, than on Heart Beat . As always, O’Connell leans Latin on his latest, a set of seven original works bolstered by tunes from Jobim and...

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12/05/16    Albums

Paco and John: Live at Montreux (1987)
Paco de Lucía and John McLaughlin

John McLaughlin has often noted that he discovered flamenco music as a teenager, even before he heard jazz; so hungry was he for exposure to the style that he snuck into flamenco pubs to try to pick up guitar tips. When he heard Paco de Lucía in 1978, McLaughlin...

Sherriemaricle_span3

11/28/16    Features

Sherrie Maricle: The DIVA in Profile

A lifetime of transcending stereotypes

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11/03/16    Albums

Koan
Spike Wilner

A koan, the CD booklet informs, is “a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.” Having digested that, it makes a reviewer feel almost guilty for attempting to analyze...

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10/29/16    Albums

North
Kevin Hays New Day Trio

The New Day Trio is Kevin Hays on acoustic piano, Rob Jost on bass and Greg Joseph on drums. North is their follow-up to last year’s New Day , but Hays lays off the vocals this time around and keeps guest artists at bay. It’s thus the first purely instrumental...

Roncarter_brasillike_span3

10/27/16    Albums

Brasil L.I.K.E.
Ron Carter Quartet & Victoria Maldonado

Ron Carter shares top billing here with the Brazilian vocalist Vitoria Maldonado, but for all of Carter’s bass skills and his undeniable legacy, he and his quartet—pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Payton Crossley and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos—are...

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10/25/16    Concerts

“100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella!” Reviewed

Featuring Andra Day, Monica Mancini, Lizz Wright and more

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09/19/16    Albums

Habana Dreams
The Pedrito Martinez Group

Pedrito Martinez, the Cuban-born percussionist whose 2013 Motéma leader debut earned him a Grammy nomination, is celebrating big-time on the follow-up. With U.S.-Cuban relations having thawed, the longtime New York resident convened his group and headed...

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09/18/16    Albums

Birdwatching
Anat Fort Trio/Gianluigi Trovest

Birdwatching unfolds in that oh-so-familiar ECM way, as if its creators have all the time in the world to say what they have to say. Anat Fort, the Israeli pianist, volunteers to make the first statement, solo, for little more than two minutes, on “First...

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08/04/16    Albums

Rows and Rows
Keefe Jackson/Jason Adasiewicz

The duet is one of the purest expressions in jazz: unfiltered, unsullied and confidential by its very nature. Tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist Keefe Jackson and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz—regulars within Chicago’s AACM-inspired improvisational music...

Oneforall_thethirddecade_span3

07/31/16    Albums

The Third Decade
One for All

Twenty years on (the album title, a bit of a misnomer, indicates that they’re entering their third decade), the sextet One for All defines—as much as any outfit today—the contemporary supergroup: saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, trombonist...

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07/30/16    Albums

Hidden Voices
Aruán Ortiz Trio

It would be easy for Aruán Ortiz to take the well-trodden Latin-jazz piano-trio path, and there are times on Hidden Voices when he goes there. It seems nearly defiant when he does though, as if the Cuban-born leader, working here with bassist Eric Revis...

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About Jeff Tamarkin

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Jeff Tamarkin joined the JazzTimes community on Jan 31, 2008