Chris Kelsey

Chris’s Contributions

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July/August 2007    Albums

Summer Snow, Volume 2
William Parker & Hamid Drake

A duo album by a bassist and drummer might not seem like a good idea, unless you consider that William Parker and Hamid Drake aren’t just a bassist and a drummer—they’re master improvisers with a jazz bias, prone to styles that encompass an assortment of...

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June 2007    Albums

Renunciation
David S. Ware Quartet

Renunciation documents this now-defunct quartet’s “farewell performance,” at the 2006 Vision Festival in New York City. As is usual with this group, the most satisfying moments occur when Ware plays to his sidemen’s strengths. “Renunciation Suite II,” for...

June 2007    Overdue Ovation

Frank Foster: Jumpin’ at 78

Jazz musicians who worked with Thelonious Monk, comic Jerry Lewis and society bandleader Peter Duchin would surely form a select club. So select, in fact, that Frank Foster might be its only member. “I’ve played with just about everyone,” the 78-year-old...

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June 2007    Gearhead

Vandoren V16 Sax Mouthpieces

You don’t have to be much of a detective to discern the meaning in Vandoren’s statement that its V16 Series sax mouthpiece “captures the famous jazz saxophone sounds of the ’50s and ’60s.” The V16 is obviously modeled after the classic Meyer of that era—what...

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June 2007    Saxophonics

Poetica
Anat Cohen

On Poetica, multi-reedist Anat Cohen convenes a group of fine young New York jazz players that includes, among others, pianist Jason Lindner and bassist Omer Avital. Cohen herself concentrates solely on clarinet. The album’s jazz content is, however, overshadowed...

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June 2007    Saxophonics

Veneration: Live at Smoke
Wayne Escoffery

Wayne Escoffery is a thirtysomething Coltrane- and Brecker-derived tenor player possessed of heavy-duty chops and musicality, with a fondness for modern jazz as it existed around the time of his birth. Joined here by vibist Joe Locke, bassist Hans Glawischnig...

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June 2007    Saxophonics

Keep on Rollin': A Tribute to Sonny Rollins
Denis Gabel

A Sonny Rollins tribute if there ever was one, Keep On Rollin’ has a pairing of young (Jasper Blom) and younger (Denis Gäbel) tenor saxophonists playing tunes from two of the master’s most famous late-’50s albums: Freedom Suite and Way Out West. You’d be...

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June 2007    Saxophonics

Above the Clouds
Dave Glasser

With names like Clark Terry, Sarah Vaughan, Illinois Jacquet and Dizzy Gillespie gilding his résumé, you’d expect alto saxophonist Dave Glasser to be a solid mainstreamer before hearing him play a note. No surprise. He is—a limpid-toned, lyrical player in...

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June 2007    Saxophonics

As If It Were the Seasons
Joseph Jarman

This album is a remastered reissue of an historic 1968 recording by multi-instrumentalist Jarman’s then-current band with bassist Charles Clark, drummer Thurman Barker and guest vocalist Sherri Scott. The quartet is joined on the album’s second half by colleagues...

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June 2007    Saxophonics

Steps of Faith
Greg Tardy

Tenor saxophonist Greg Tardy’s styles of composing and improvising are often harmonically cryptic in the manner of Wayne Shorter, yet not distractingly derivative—Shorter’s templates allow for a great deal of latitude, and Tardy takes advantage. His tenor...

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June 2007    Saxophonics

4 Brothers 7
Frank Tiberi

Longtime Woody Herman Orchestra tenor and soprano saxophonist Frank Tiberi is joined by a rhythm section and three other saxophonists who, at one time or another, were also associated with the Herman band: tenorists Larry McKenna and John Nugent and baritone...

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May 2007    Gearhead

Buffet Crampon 400 Series Alto Sax

Not long ago, I was in a New York City music store, listening to a sales clerk haggle with a confused-looking customer over the purchase of a vintage Selmer Mark VI alto. The clerk reminded me of Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons; the customer was older than...

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May 2007    Albums

When Manatees Attack
Brad Dutz

It’s rare that I listen to a record that, from the first note, grabs and holds me. This one does. Dutz is an L.A. session cat who plays free-jazz on the side—only he doesn’t play it like it’s a sideline, but like it’s the reason he gets up in the morning...

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May 2007    Albums

When We Were There
Satoko Fujii Four

The stylistically peripatetic pianist Satoko Fujii addresses short-form free jazz here, with a group composed of bassist Mark Dresser, drummer Jim Black and trumpeter Natsuki Tamura. All are well acquainted. This is Fujii’s eighth recording with this rhythm...

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May 2007    Albums

Live at the Blue Monk
Joel Futterman/Alvin Fielder/Ike Levin

Joel Futterman’s fists-of-fury pianism is the most interesting thing about this hard-core free-jazz trio, recorded live in performance at a Portland, Ore. jazz club. Joining the Virginia Beach-based pianist is Mississippi-born drummer Alvin Fielder and Bay...

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May 2007    Albums

Hugmars
Hugh Marsh

Violinist Hugh Marsh’s latest is a fusion of idioms, both disparate and interrelated. Jazz, psychedelic rock, funk, hip-hop, world beat and experimental dance music are a few of the ingredients used creatively and without a hint of dabbling. Marsh is joined...

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About Chris Kelsey

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Soprano saxophonist and jazz critic Chris Kelsey has been winning musician friends and influencing discerning JazzTimes readers for several years now.