Steve Greenlee

Steve’s Contributions


07/02/15    Albums

Hot Town
Ghost Train Orchestra

The only downside to listening to old jazz recordings from the 1920s is that they sound as though they were made in the 1920s. Brian Carpenter is making a career out of remedying that, and he continues his winning formula on Hot Town , the third album from...


06/04/15    Albums

The Hot Sardines
The Hot Sardines

In the neo-tradition of Squirrel Nut Zippers, 8 ½ Souvenirs and the Puppini Sisters come the Hot Sardines, a band whose record label claims is “reinventing hot jazz for the 21st century.” Reinventing? Not true. Celebrating in high style and with sharp talent...


05/13/15    Albums

To Duke
Matthew Shipp Trio

Matthew Shipp has tackled standards before. The thunderous, iconoclastic pianist has for years pounded out the likes of “Autumn Leaves,” “Summertime” and “Tenderly,” as well as some of Duke Ellington’s songs, beating them so that they conform to his own...


05/01/15    Albums

The Last Transmission
The Heliocentrics & Melvin Van Peebles

The Last Transmission is a trippy, space-age, world-fusion-acid-jazz groove for the 22nd century. The Heliocentrics—a U.K. collective that throws every kind of music into a pot and raises it to a boil—have teamed with octogenarian African-American filmmaker...


03/31/15    Albums

Break Stuff
Vijay Iyer Trio

Vijay Iyer has been up to a lot since his trio recorded its last album, 2012’s fantastic Accelerando . Iyer is the most celebrated pianist in jazz—he may be the most celebrated musician in jazz right now—and that gives him great creative license. He’s used...


02/11/15    Albums

Live in Concert
Manu Katche

Manu Katché has left ECM after four records, and his new album, Live in Concert , showcases a slightly more aggressive side of the drummer, who is a Frenchman with African roots. The disc, recorded at the New Morning jazz club in Paris, contains nine songs...


02/04/15    Albums

That the Days Go By and Never Come Again
Indigo Mist

Indigo Mist is the partnership of Cuong Vu, the trumpeter who came up in the Pat Metheny Group and has forged an identity with an ethereal rock-leaning sound, and Richard Karpen, a classically trained pianist and computer-music academic. The two met at the...


01/08/15    Albums

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a band that has altered its lineup many times over its 20 years and 25 albums, is down to a trio for its 26th—keyboardist Brian Haas, guitarist Chris Combs and drummer Josh Raymer. At this point it is clear that these guys are making...


12/29/14    Albums

Good Piranha/Bad Piranha
Wayne Krantz

This is a bizarre one. Guitarist Wayne Krantz’s new disc, Good Piranha/Bad Piranha , comprises two versions each of four tunes. All are covers, of electronic and rap songs. Krantz has two different trios here, with three of his regular collaborators. That’s...


12/12/14    Albums

Red Hill
Wadada Leo Smith

Trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith’s devotion to the avant-garde has remained steadfast over the decades, but his new effort, Red Hill , is even freer than much of what has preceded it. There are no rhythms, meters, melodies, chord progressions, basslines or structures...


12/10/14    Albums

We're Back
Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio

They’re back? They didn’t go anywhere, thankfully. The Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio released its first album last fall, and as it began climbing the jazz charts, the drummer quickly reconvened bassist Ron Carter and pianist Kenny Barron for round two...


12/10/14    Albums

The People in Your Neighborhood
Led Bib

Led Bib broadens its reach and deepens its complexity on The People in Your Neighbourhood , the rambunctious British quintet’s fifth proper studio album. The group—drummer Mark Holub, bassist Liran Donin, keyboard player Toby McLaren and dueling alto saxophonists...


10/13/14    Albums

Offering; Live at Temple University
John Coltrane

John Coltrane’s Nov. 11, 1966, concert at Temple University is the stuff of legend, and not all of it good: The event was sparsely attended; the student group that organized it lost money; people walked out; the music was grating, atonal and irritating;...


08/27/14    Albums

18th & Racine
The Fat Babies

If Wynton Marsalis stands accused of playing museum jazz, what to make then of the Fat Babies? The young Chicago septet is steeped in the music’s earliest moments, performing 1920s jazz not only faithfully but perfectly in every way—from the blowing and...


07/30/14    Albums

Viper's Drag
Henry Butler/Steven Bernstein and the Hot 9

The latest resurrection of the Impulse! imprint begins on the perfect note, with the retro-modern jazz-blues joint Viper’s Drag , by co-leaders Henry Butler and Steven Bernstein and their band the Hot 9. “Retro” because they draw on the oldest corners of...


05/25/14    Albums

Eight Track
Dave Stryker

“Wichita Lineman,” written in 1968 by Jimmy Webb and made famous that same year by Glen Campbell, has become a bona fide jazz standard in recent years, with gorgeous renditions by Cassandra Wilson, John Hollenbeck and Pete Robbins, to name a few. Now comes...

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About Steve Greenlee