Thomas Conrad

Thomas’s Contributions


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


03/19/15    Albums

Imaginary Cities
Chris Potter Underground Orchestra

Some of Chris Potter’s best recordings are by the group he calls Underground, with Craig Taborn on Fender Rhodes, Adam Rogers on guitar and Nate Smith on drums. His new album introduces an expanded version of the Underground quartet. It adds Steve Nelson...


03/06/15    Albums

Matt Brewer

Matt Brewer’s recording debut as a leader is an underground all-star project. Underground because the players here are critics’ favorites but not exactly festival draws; all-star because they are heavy hitters on the frontier of the jazz art form. They are...


03/04/15    Albums

The Whisperer
Ben Wolfe

Perhaps bass players so often make good leaders because they are accustomed to serving the music. Even monsters like Mingus, Dave Holland and Christian McBride have been more interested in calling attention to the ensemble than to themselves. Ben Wolfe rarely...


03/01/15    Albums

Hamburg '72
Keith Jarrett/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian

Reissues and previously unreleased “vault” recordings are crucial to the jazz record industry. Since the start of the compact disc era in 1983, both have abounded. The steady stream of important previously unreleased old recordings has necessitated a new...


02/28/15    Albums

Sonic Halo
Tineke Postma/Greg Osby

Everyone who reads this magazine has friends who hate jazz. To them it sounds discordant, cacophonous, nervous and willfully abstract. Don’t play them this record. Not that it will sound that way to experienced, committed jazz listeners. They will hear the...

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About Thomas Conrad