Willard Jenkins

Willard’s Contributions


April 2001    Albums

Birdland Sessions
Jill Seifers

With a timbre reminiscent of Rickie Lee Jones, sans the quirks and humor, Jill Seifers is a pleasant enough chanteuse. Backed solely by pianist Michael Kanan, however, a sort of vocal malaise sets in after a few doses from her nine-track set of tried and...


April 2001    Albums

Birdland Sessions
Magali Souriau Orchestra

Recorded over two nights in '97 and '98, Magali Souriau has crafted a 10-track program of nine impressionistic originals and a fresh reshaping of Monk's "Ask Me Now." The recipient of a Gil Evans fellowship, this young French woman is apparently a piano...


April 2001    Overdue Ovation

Ernie Krivda

Some cats just get physical with their axe: bend those knees, swing that horn sideways, lift that leg, wrench every blessed blue emotion out of that intricate set of brass piping and send it on a beeline from his gut to yours. Such was the case with a young...


January/February 2001    Albums

Over the Years
Abbey Lincoln

One of the top tale-spinners of our time, the ever-poetic singer-songwriter Abbey Lincoln delivers a 10-song latticework of considerable refinement with Over the Years. Never one to deal in up-tempos or flowery wordless trifles, Lincoln instead concentrates...

January/February 2001    Solo

Audience Development

Jazz is not reaching its broadest potential audience. Unfortunately few jazz magazines, writers, editors, record companies or even the musicians appear to properly grasp or address this issue. Listening to one of my colleagues rant about the lack of stylistic...


January/February 2001    Albums

Live At Bradley's
Chris Anderson

Herbie Hancock told me that pianist Chris Anderson, his former short-time teacher, has remarkable harmonic sensibilities. That skill is heard from the jump with Lee Morgan's beautiful "Ceora" (mislabled on the CD as "Seora") as evidence. The biggest drawback...


December 2000    Albums

You Don't Have to See It to Believe It
Roland Guerin

This time Half Note, the house label for New York's pricey Blue Note club, has released a studio date and the bright, young New Orleanian bassist Roland Guerin is the beneficiary. Guerin, sans lengthy apprenticeships in learned bands, is another of his generation...


November 2000    Albums

The Water is Wide
Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd, whose curious career has found him initially embraced equal parts by the flower power crew and by those yearning for spiritual jazz expression, is an affable entrant on the scene each time he deigns to record a new date. Never a prolific recording...


November 2000    Albums

Franklin Kiermyer

Drummer Franklin Kiermyer is a bit of a throwback. On Sanctification he reverts to the spiritual yearnings and sheer sound pursuits of John Coltrane. His quest is grounded in spiritual music. Sanctification is a date with saxophonist Michael Stuart, bassist...


November 2000    Albums

Auspicious Blazing Sun
Franklin Kiermyer

Drummer Franklin Kiermyer is a bit of a throwback. His quest is grounded in spiritual music. Auspicious Blazing Sun includes Buddhist monks and musicians of the Karma Kagyu, featuring chant master Umdze Lodro Samphel. The album is reminiscent of such past...


November 2000    Albums

Music in Motion
Jason Marsalis

Drumming bandleaders must toe a thin line of heading a band in the traditional sense while allotting themselves adequate solo liberties. But audiences have brief attention spans and low tolerance for drum solos, which adds to the drummer's burden of not...


November 2000    Albums

Second Nature
Jesse Davis

Altoist Jesse Davis, he of the bopalicious tone and fluid drive, has apparently joined the legion of jazz musicians who have, for one reason or another, taken refuge in the perceived greener pastures of Europe. In Davis' case it's Italy-as soulful a place...


October 2000    Albums

Contemporary Jazz
Branford Marsalis Quartet

On Contemporary Jazz, Branford Marsalis shows clear evidence that he's far from satisfied in his quest for excellence on his horns and with his composer's pen. Writing with an exceptional sense of rhythm in particular, Marsalis churns out an eight-chapter...


October 2000    Albums

Ritmo + Soul
Jane Bunnett and the Spirits of Havana

One of the more fecund tributaries of the swelling Latin-jazz river is the one fished by Canadian saxophonist-flutist Jane Bunnett and her partner, trumpeter-flugelhornist Larry Cramer, for over a decade. They've collaborated with some of Cuba's most vibrant...


September 2000    Albums

First Steps Into Reality
New Jazz Composers Octet

David Weiss, nominal leader of this date, is reminiscent of Don Sickler. A skilled arranger, transcriber and all-round coordinator, Weiss also brings righteous trumpet chops to this potent mix. Were it not for the liner notes, Weiss' leadership would not...


July/August 2000    Albums

David "Fathead" Newman

For the past several seasons, David Newman has voiced the joys of country living from the comfortable confines of his Woodstock-area home, which has contributed new luster and mellow qualities to his work on saxophones (dig the tenor tone on "These Foolish...

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About Willard Jenkins