Thomas Conrad

Thomas’s Contributions

Jonirabagon_behindthesky_span3

12/23/15    Albums

Behind the Sky
Jon Irabagon

There is no one in jazz like Jon Irabagon. He has mastered at least six reed instruments, and he plays them in so many styles you might think he suffers from dissociative identity disorder. In fact, all of his choices are deliberate. He is at home in left...

Benpaterson_span3

12/17/15    Albums

For Once in My Life
Ben Paterson

The jazz audience contains people, present company not necessarily excepted, who are resistant to the charms of the Hammond B-3. They find it a somewhat vulgar instrument, with unpleasant, artificial sonorities. They all need to meet Ben Paterson. He may...

Ben_monder_amorphae_span3

11/30/15    Albums

Amorphae
Ben Monder

Ben Monder’s ECM debut as a leader was produced by Sun Chung, not Manfred Eicher. But from the opening solo guitar track, “Tendrils,” it is clear that Amorphae is entirely consistent with the ECM aesthetic. Few other labels trust their artists to work within...

Yelenaeckemoff_everblue_span3

11/29/15    Albums

Everblue
Yelena Eckemoff Quartet

Yelena Eckemoff has a story and a discography unique in jazz. She was classically trained during her childhood in Moscow, emigrated to the United States in 1991 and began making jazz records in 2010. She uses the best studios, the best engineers and the...

Jalc_wynton_liveincuba_span3

11/27/15    Albums

Live in Cuba
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Live in Cuba arrives as a “big” record. Wynton Marsalis is a celebrity even outside the jazz community. The band is the repertory orchestra of a unique and powerful jazz institution. The album is the debut release of the Blue Engine label, intended as a...

Romerolubambo_setembro_span3

11/27/15    Albums

Setembro
Romero Lubambo

“Virtuoso” is a term used too loosely in jazz criticism, but it absolutely applies to Romero Lubambo. In his hands a guitar becomes an orchestra. He is one of a group of Brazilian musicians who emigrated to the United States long enough ago—30 years in Lubambo’s...

Td_bad_plus_17_span3

11/18/15    Concerts

Review: Two Serbian Jazz Festivals: Belgrade and Pančevo

No bebop in the Balkans

Gregorytardy_span3

11/12/15    Albums

With Songs of Joy
Gregory Tardy

Gregory Tardy is an A-list sideman, accomplished on many reed instruments. On his own With Songs of Joy , he plays tenor saxophone exclusively. It is, loosely, a concept album. In the liner notes Tardy says it grew out of a “discouraging season” in his life...

Johnfedchocknybigband_likeitis_span3

11/02/15    Albums

Like It Is
John Fedchock New York Big Band

Two of the leading figures in orchestral jazz have released new albums in 2015, Maria Schneider ( The Thompson Fields ) and now John Fedchock. For both, it is their first large-format jazz recording in eight years. The economics of big-band jazz are forbidding...

Enricoravaquartet_wilddance_span3

10/28/15    Albums

Wild Dance
Enrico Rava Quartet with Gianluca Petrella

At 75, trumpeter Enrico Rava, Italy’s most famous jazz musician, has a new band. Over the years, Rava ensembles have introduced young Italian musicians who have gone on to important careers, like trombonist Gianluca Petrella and pianists Stefano Bollani...

Joealbany_aneveningwith2_span3

10/22/15    Albums

An Evening With Joe Albany 2
Joe Albany

It has been a good year for jazz films: Whiplash. Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story. Low Down , a gritty biopic about Joe Albany. The best way to experience Low Down and An Evening With Joe Albany 2 is back-to-back. The film contains Albany’s original...

Garymcfarland_ciruclation_span3

10/20/15    Albums

Circulation: The Music of Gary McFarland
The Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble

There is a coterie of devoted people working to make sure Gary McFarland is not forgotten. It includes family, friends, musicians, colleagues and film director Kristian St. Clair, whose documentary This Is Gary McFarland became available for purchase late...

Fredherschsolocover_span3

10/03/15    Albums

Solo
Fred Hersch

Fred Hersch made his first solo piano recording in 1993. It was Volume 31 in Concord’s Maybeck Recital Hall Series , which eventually reached 42 titles. Today, when solo jazz piano lacks this level of support, Hersch perseveres, a keeper of the flame. He...

Markguiliana_familyfirst_span3

09/22/15    Albums

Family First
Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet

Recent generations of drummers have reshaped the role of percussion in the small jazz ensemble. They include people like Mark Guiliana, Antonio Sanchez, Dave King, Eric Harland and Justin Brown. These drummers share scary chops, outright aggression and musicianship...

Samueltoreesgroup_firceddisplacement_span3

08/29/15    Albums

Forced Displacement
Samuel Torres Group

Modern history is littered with the casualties of man’s inhumanity to man. Percussionist Samuel Torres was born in Colombia. Forced Displacement is a 10-part suite dedicated to “the victims of violence in Colombia caused by the ongoing conflict between guerrillas...

Davidberkman_oldfriendsandnewfriends_span3

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...

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About Thomas Conrad

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