Saxophonist John Ellis’ Mobro , a concept album in collaboration with librettist Andy Bragen, is a radical departure from his previous release, the contemporary postbop date It’s You I Like , but it never veers too far into avant-garde territory; it’s too...
Bridging reggae and jazz without losing the sound of either is a delicate balance. It generally means maintaining the heavy off-beat accents and syncopated basslines that hew toward ska without reining in the challenging harmonic substitutions of bebop...
“Birth,” the opening track off Brian Haas and Matt Chamberlain’s minimalist duo album Frames , seems to spring less from a womb than an existential void, charting an impressionistic course through an imagined life that ends in “From Nothing, Infinite.” It’s...
Marc RIbot, Jason Moran and others speak out in NYC
This tight throwback to the golden era of hard bop showcases the virtuosity and brash tenor sound of erstwhile Young Lion Tim Warfield. But saxophonist Herb Harris deserves just as much recognition for writing, arranging, producing and releasing, on his...
On Jelly Roll Morton, "Treme," his recent record & more
The drummer-composer Ches Smith builds a reputation as bandleader and sideman
Where classical, improvisation and composition meet
Most standards began as what we now refer to as covers, songs that everyone instantly recognized and could sing along to, even in their instrumental format. The shifting tides of pop culture have washed away many of Tin Pan Alley’s masterpieces—at least...
Jazz, world music and steel pan in a rum-soaked, boozy and laid-back atmosphere
Self-described as a “grammatically incoherent jazz bastardization,” the trio Thiefs captures all of the tone of jazz but none of its grammar. Aligned rhythmically with drum-and-bass and modally with trance, the group adheres to so many different genre parameters...
As the title indicates, this is not strictly an Afro-Cuban jazz record, but flits between styles, incorporating straight-ahead and Latin influences. Named for the artistic technique that uses parallel lines to create shading and depth, Arturo Stable’s varied...
A world of invention within straight-ahead jazz
Another successful fundraising collaboration for Wynton and orchestra
Weasel Walter must take comfort in chaos. On this followup to Electric Fruit , this trio’s debut, he revels in it, creating a carnival-esque hall of mirrors: theater of the absurd with Walter as ringmaster, or the ferryman over the river Styx, depending...
About Aidan Levy
Aidan Levy joined the JazzTimes community on Dec 16, 2009