Scott Verrastro

Scott’s Contributions

02/12/07    News

Michael Brecker Memorial

On Tuesday, Feb. 20, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at New York’s Town Hall, a memorial will be held for the recently departed, and internationally celebrated, tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker. Town Hall is located in the heart of Manhattan near Times Square...

02/12/07    Concerts

ROVA's Electric Ascension in Philly

If there are a few genre-altering albums in the avant-garde jazz canon worthy of a postmodern update, John Coltrane’s Ascension must surely be one of them (alongside the saxophonist’s A Love Supreme and Interstellar Space , Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew , Ornette...

01/31/07    News

ROVA Sax Quartet Interprets Ascension in Philadelphia

John Coltrane’s Ascension —the 50-minute, large-ensemble, free-jazz tour de force that took the concept of Ornette Coleman’s Free Jazz and pushed it further into the atmosphere of instantaneous composition and collective improvisation—will be interpreted...

01/17/07    News

Saxophonist Michael Brecker Dies at 57

Michael Brecker, considered by many to be the most influential tenor saxophonist since John Coltrane, succumbed to leukemia on Saturday, Jan. 13. The 11-time Grammy Award-winner had been battling myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a cancer of the blood marrow...

01/16/07    News

Pianist Alice Coltrane Dies at 69

Pianist-harpist Alice Coltrane, the widow of John Coltrane who revolutionized jazz with her Eastern explorations—merging postbop and free jazz with Carnatic music and even avant-classical composition—died on Friday, Jan. 12 at West Hills Hospital near Los...

01/02/07    News

James Brown Dies at 73

The “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown—the R&B pioneer who ranks among Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and the Beatles as one of the last century’s most significant musical innovators—succumbed to pneumonia on Christmas Day in Atlanta. He was 73. In a career spanning...


January/February 2007    Countercurrents

Peter Brötzmann Group

Originally recorded in 1981 and released in 1983 on FMP—still at the height of the Cold War—Alarm consists of what might be called a Brötzmann little big band interpreting a reaction to a nuclear emergency. The title track is a 37-minute tour de force, with...


January/February 2007    Countercurrents

Mountain Air
Dominic Duval String Quartet

Those looking for a jazz recording here, even an experimental one, would be looking in the wrong place: Mountain Air sits squarely in the avant-classical realm, but the spirit of jazz heavily permeates it. “Led” by Dominic Duval, one of Cecil Taylor’s more...


January/February 2007    Countercurrents

People of the Ninth
Kali Z. Fasteau, Kidd Jordan, Michael T.A. Thompson

With People of the Ninth, Kali Z. Fasteau attains another remarkable achievement of stylistic and timbral breadth, in a first-time collaboration with tenor saxophonist (and New Orleans native) Kidd Jordan and percussionist Michael T.A. Thompson. Fasteau...


January/February 2007    Countercurrents

Ins and Outs
Burton Greene Trio

Though his profile may not be that of Cecil Taylor or even Andrew Hill, 69-year-old pianist Burton Greene has been—very arguably—just as proficient and uncompromising. While Taylor favors completely free improv, Greene, like Hill, opts for angular and even...


January/February 2007    Countercurrents

Drum Dance to the Motherland
The Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble

Like a time capsule dropped smack-dab in the center of left field, this reissue could just as easily be some prehistoric artifact as an object from a futuristic space age. Even in the realm of avant-garde music, where anything and everything is possible...


January/February 2007    Countercurrents

Sound in Action Trio

Gate might be Ken Vandermark’s 27th release this year—we lost count a few months ago—but like most of his recordings it exhibits a singular identity and focused approach. This is the second Sound in Action Trio album and the follow-up to 1999’s Design in...


January/February 2007    Countercurrents

Roulette at Location One
Trio X

Captured live at Jim Staley’s Roulette on March 4, 2005 on the heels of their previous CIMP album, Sugar Hill Suite, Roulette at Location One exhibits Trio X in peak form, opting for spatial exploration by utilizing remarkable restraint and extraordinary...


January/February 2007    Eighty-Eights

View So Tender: Wonder Revisited, Volume One
Joe Gilman Trio

Joe Gilman likes to do albums devoted to songs by a single composer he admires. His two volumes of Time Again: Brubeck Revisited worked because Gilman’s relationship to Brubeck, the man and the composer, is close. His interpretations of Brubeck’s music were...


January/February 2007    Albums

Steve Lacy Quintet

When saxophonist Steve Lacy died in June 2004, he had amassed well over 300 personal cassette recordings of his concerts, spanning from the ’70s until his death and encompassing everything from dates with his standard quintet to experimental one-offs with...


January/February 2007    Albums

Frank Wright

Not a reissue but a blazing, heretofore unreleased set culled from the ESP vaults, Frank Wright’s Unity captures the late tenor saxophonist’s quartet in the prime of their post-Ayler, caterwauling explorations. Recorded on June 1, 1974 at the Moers Festival...

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About Scott Verrastro

Scott Verrastro joined the JazzTimes community on Feb 12, 2008