Steve Greenlee

Steve’s Contributions


10/31/13    Albums

Red Hot
Mostly Other People Do the Killing

If you thought the comic avant-garde free-jazz quartet Mostly Other People Do the Killing went off the deep end years ago, it just found a deeper spot. Last year’s bizarre album Slippery Rock found bassist Moppa Elliott’s group using smooth jazz to inform...


10/27/13    Albums

The Vigil
Chick Corea

Hey, Chick, 1973 called, and it wants its rejected prog-rock album cover art back. OK, maybe that was a bit harsh, but the cover for Chick Corea’s The Vigil is the easy winner for most ridiculous of 2013: Corea depicted as a knight astride a horse, eyes...


10/10/13    Albums

Heart of the Piano
Geoffrey Keezer

Pianist Geoffrey Keezer’s first solo album in 13 years is tasteful, classy and polite. It puts on full display his technical facility and his ingenuity in reimagining pop and rock songs. It also risks being too precious and at times borders on dullness...


09/10/13    Albums

Steve Swallow Quintet
Into the Woodwork

A quintet with electric guitar, electric bass and organ—this thing is going to cook with grease, right? Wrong. Bassist Steve Swallow had a more sophisticated sort of jazz in mind when he assembled tenor saxophonist Chris Cheek, guitarist Steve Cardenas...


09/08/13    Albums

La Notte
Ketil Bjornstad

La notte feels like a movie soundtrack, and that’s by design: The inspiration for Norwegian pianist Ketil Bjørnstad’s new album is Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1961 film of the same name, a depressing Italian drama about a marriage on the rocks. Bjørnstad’s...


09/01/13    Albums

Tap: John Zorn's Book of Angels, Vol. 20
Pat Metheny

John Zorn’s Book of Angels , 300 songs that constitute his second set of Masada pieces inspired by traditional Jewish music, has been interpreted by a diverse roster of artists including Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, Jamie Saft and Medeski Martin & Wood. Now, in...


08/15/13    Albums

Trio New York II
Ellery Eskelin

Laidback, low-key, unassuming—this is how tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin rolls: no small task for a sax-organ-drums trio either, for such combos have a tendency to be hard-grooving, show-offy affairs. But Eskelin’s is a different sort of organ group. The...


07/26/13    Albums

Life in the Sugar Candle Mines
Black Host

Anyone who still thinks free jazz is unpleasant random noises needs to hear Life in the Sugar Candle Mines , 78 minutes of loosely structured but highly conceived music by some of the best in the avant-garde game. The quintet Black Host is alto saxophonist...


07/09/13    Albums

Inland Emperor
The Greyboy Allstars

The Greyboy Allstars traverse the entire expanse of ’70s funk, soul and acid-jazz on Inland Emperor , their first album since 2007’s outstanding What Happened to Television? Saxophonist Karl Denson, keyboardist Robert Walter, guitarist Michael Andrews, bassist...


07/02/13    Albums

Other Violets
The Engines w/ John Tchicai

Saxophonist Dave Rempis, trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist Nate McBride and drummer Tim Daisy all run in Ken Vandermark’s circle of friends. They’ve all played in Vandermark’s various bands, and they’ve all led their own groups too. They also play together...


06/16/13    Albums

JD Allen

Tenor saxophonist JD Allen sounds different on Grace —less muscular, more introspective. But while he’s not as aggressive as he has been over his last several albums, he’s playing with just as much confidence. After four records in a sax-bass-drums trio...


05/25/13    Albums

Chicago Red
Brad Goode

Brad Goode, an accomplished trumpeter and jazz studies professor at the University of Colorado, has spent most of his career steeped in bop. But on Chicago Red he continues his more modern explorations, begun in 2008 with Polytonal Dance Party and the introduction...


05/13/13    Albums

Venture Inward
David Weiss & Point of Departure

Let’s call bunk on the claim that jazz should always find new things to say. Venture Inward , the new platter from trumpeter David Weiss and his quintet Point of Departure, is steeped in 1960s postbop—specifically that of Miles Davis—and it would be futile...


05/11/13    Albums

Long Story Short: Curated By Peter Brötzmann
Various Artists

The five-CD set Long Story Short is a distillation of the 2011 Music Unlimited festival in Wels, Austria, curated by angry-jazz saxophonist Peter Brötzmann. The box set presents more than six hours of free jazz performed by 18 different configurations, some...


05/05/13    Albums

The Nows
Paul Lytton & Nate Wooley

Paul Lytton and Nate Wooley make a good match. The English drummer and the American trumpeter (respectively) are a pair of iconoclasts, and on The Nows they create strangely alluring modern improvised music that contains not one iota of anything musical...


04/28/13    Albums

Nilson Matta's Black Orpheus
Nilson Matta

Growing up in Brazil, bassist Nilson Matta was obsessed with the music from the 1956 play Orfeu da Conceição and, later, from the film based on it, 1959’s Black Orpheus . Both featured songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luiz Bonfá, and that music would be...

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About Steve Greenlee