Thomas Conrad

Thomas’s Contributions


08/21/15    Albums

Old Friends and New Friends
David Berkman

David Berkman should be more famous. In a jazz world where everyone wants to be a composer, Berkman was born one. He is a natural. The nine tunes here are new, but like all good songs, they sound like they have always been there. “Tribute,” for Tom Harrell...


08/21/15    Albums

Over and Out
Dmitry Baevsky

There are now more important jazz musicians who hail from outside the continental U.S. than ever before. Take alto saxophone players. Two of the best, Francesco Cafiso and Miguel Zenón, are from Italy and Puerto Rico. Tineke Postma and Mattia Cigalini, from...


08/08/15    Albums

Love is a Pendulum
Joe Locke

Joe Locke is on the short list of important vibraphone players post-Milt Jackson. Love Is a Pendulum is his most ambitious undertaking to date. Its nine new original compositions include a suite in five movements, based on a poem by Barbara Sfraga. The emphasis...


08/04/15    Albums

Blues for Tahrir
Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra

In 2011, people around the world became transfixed by the events in Tahrir Square in Cairo. The cover of this album by bass clarinetist Todd Marcus depicts a young protester triumphantly waving an Egyptian flag. He, along with thousands of others in the...


08/01/15    Albums

Now This
Gary Peacock Trio

For 32 years, Gary Peacock has been the bassist in one of the great piano trios in the history of jazz. You might think that on the infrequent occasions when he leads his own projects, he would choose another format. Think again. With Keith Jarrett, Peacock...


07/27/15    Concerts

Review: Umbria Jazz Festival 2015

The biggest-ever annual bash in Perugia


07/22/15    Features

Resonance Records: Restoring Invaluable Lost Jazz Recordings

Rescuing history


07/22/15    Movies

This is Gary McFarland
Gary McFarland

F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” On Nov. 2, 1971, Gary McFarland died under mysterious circumstances at the 55 Bar in Greenwich Village. He was 38. Apparently he ingested a lethal dose of liquid methadone. It will...


07/10/15    Albums

Mathias Eick Midwest

Mathias Eick’s Midwest is eight compact, alluring new tunes dealing with the concept of home. Eick composed them after a long tour that began on the Pacific coast. He was homesick until he reached the rural Midwest, which reminded him of where he grew up...


07/08/15    Albums

The Subliminal and the Sublime
Chris Dingman

In his second album as a leader, Chris Dingman has brought forth a work of large ambition and impressive realization. The Subliminal and the Sublime is a through-composed five-part suite commissioned by Chamber Music America. Dingman was inspired to write...


06/12/15    Albums

Spin Marvel

The RareNoise label, based in London, started in 2008 and has become an important source for unique projects combining art (jazz) with hard science (electronic technology). ANIMATION’s Transparent Heart and Indigo Mist’s That the Days Go By and Never Come...


06/11/15    Albums

Triple Play
Doug Webb

Tenor saxophone junkies unite. Why aren’t more records made this way? Position three powerhouse tenors across a stereo system’s soundstage, left (Walt Weiskopf), center (Doug Webb), right (Joel Frahm). Hire a fearless organist (Brian Charette) and a tempestuous...


05/20/15    Albums

Drum Lore Vol. 2: More Lore
Owen Howard

Despite the title, this album is not drum-centric. While Owen Howard comes down on the hot, proactive side of the drum-intensity spectrum, his transitory polyrhythms and thrusting forces are integral to his band, which is his priority. His own tunes are...


04/17/15    Albums

Marshall Gilkes/WDR Big Band

The word has reached the street: Marshall Gilkes is a trombone badass, an original thinker with chops of doom. He has made three impressive albums as a leader and lit up ensembles as different as the trio of Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda and the orchestra...


04/13/15    Features

Jean-Michel Pilc: Self-Taught, Still Learning

How one tune led to constant discovery


03/31/15    Concerts

Tomasz Stanko’s New York Quartet in Culver City, California

The Jazz Bakery’s “Movable Feast” rolls on

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About Thomas Conrad