Colin Fleming

Colin’s Contributions

Bradmehldau_10yearssolo_span3

12/05/15    Albums

10 Years Solo Live
Brad Mehldau

The solo piano box set of this or most other years is conceivably the finest product Brad Mehldau has released yet, a veritable library for jazz study unto itself. It’s also, as the kids say, ginormous: eight vinyl LPs—or four CDs—broken down into four thematic...

Christianmcbridetrio_liveatthevv_span3

11/24/15    Albums

Christian McBride Trio
Live at the Village Vanguard

Cutting an album at the Village Vanguard is both a rite of passage and an attempt to take one’s own place in a particularly hallowed hall of live recordings. But it’s evident here, with the opening take of Wes Montgomery’s “Fried Pies,” that Christian McBride’s...

Chaden_gonzalorubi_tokyo_span3

11/09/15    Albums

Tokyo Adagio
Charlie Haden and Gonzalo Rubalcaba

If you’re ever inclined to wonder what Bill Evans’ 1961 Village Vanguard recordings might have sounded like sans Paul Motian’s drums, this live set by bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, recorded at the Blue Note in Tokyo in 2005, provides...

Dukeellington_theconneyplanksession_span3

09/05/15    Albums

The Conny Plank Session
Duke Ellington & His Orchestra

Unreleased Ellington studio sessions have a paucity to match the plentitude of his vault live releases, so this crafty little quickie—just 29 minutes—is something of a revelation. The unlikely setup: Duke in Cologne in 1970 to record for synth-maven engineer...

Eddiecondonbudfreeman_complete_span3

09/04/15    Albums

Complete Commodore and Decca Sessions
Eddie Condon & Bud Freeman

This latest Mosaic juggernaut—eight discs and a mere 199 cuts—doubles as a bulwark against easy labels, which is how one imagines banjoist/guitarist/ringleader Eddie Condon would have wished it. Teamed with tenorman Bud Freeman, and working with ensembles...

Jefftainwatts_bluevoli_span3

08/28/15    Albums

Blue, Vol. 1
Jeff "Tain" Watts

Modern jazz rarely gets as flat-out eclectic as it does on this latest Jeff “Tain” Watts offering. The opening “Brilliant Corners” is one of the most confident, strutting takes on Monk you’ll hear, Watts’ kit powering the track with impressive snap and pop...

Milesdavis_miles_at_newport_span3

08/16/15    Albums

Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4
Miles Davis

Even the most special, consistent performers can have venues where they grab a kind of inspired toehold and secure that next level. For an athlete like Michael Jordan, that venue was Madison Square Garden; for an equally dynamic jazz artist like Miles Davis...

Keithjarrett_creation_span3

06/20/15    Albums

Creation
Keith Jarrett

A live Keith Jarrett recording almost assuredly means instant transport to a given evening in a given city, where an orderly but still surprising program emerges from a player following the logic of his own inspiration. Gigs by Jarrett, now 70, tend to unpack...

Softmachine_switzerland1974_span3

06/15/15    Albums

Switzerland 1974
Soft Machine

You have to be an extremely confident unit—and one mother of a band—to turn up at a prestigious mega-gig like the Montreux Jazz Festival and drop a set of new material on the audience like the newly rejiggered Soft Machine did in July 1974. Turns out that...

Gilevans_linesofcolor_span3

04/12/15    Albums

Lines of Color: Live at the Jazz Standard
Gil Evans Project

The second outing from Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project presents a transition to the live medium, and if it’s possible for Evans’ arrangements to have more bonhomie than they typically do, it’s in this setting. Rarely does a big band sound so intimate...

John_coltrane_europeantour_span3

04/10/15    Albums

So Many Things: The European Tour 1961
The John Coltrane Quintet Featuring Eric Dolphy

Eric Dolphy’s bolstering of the Classic Quartet into a titan-heavy quintet has long split the Coltrane camp. The naysayers cite an ensemble sound that had become too busy, with Dolphy, as master colorist, providing too many bright and distracting rays. The...

Batiste_theprocess_span3

01/15/15    Albums

The Process
Jon Batiste/Chad Smith/Bill Laswell

Certain albums just radiate a lot more groove than others, and with its hoodoo rhythms, souped-up dub textures and “When the Levee Breaks”-style drum surges, The Process is, at times, that rare brand of jazz that can double as club music. Red Hot Chili Peppers...

Branford_marsalis_-_in_my_solitude_span3

01/13/15    Albums

In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral
Branford Marsalis

It took a while to get there, but Branford Marsalis’ first unaccompanied live album, cut in the same hallowed San Franciscan church-space as Duke Elilngton’s 1960s Sacred Concerts, feels like an inevitable visitation. This is one man alone with his three...

Chickcorea_portraits_span3

12/03/14    Albums

Portraits
Chick Corea

Jelly Roll Morton had his “Finger Breaker,” and so in the same pianistic spirit this two-disc Chick Corea set might as well be subtitled “Genre Buster.” Solo piano recitals are as close as jazz gets to classical music, but Corea has an entirely new slant...

Charliehadenjimhall_span3

11/24/14    Albums

Charlie Haden/Jim Hall
Charlie Haden/Jim Hall

Cut at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July 1990, this Haden-Hall bass/guitar duet album smacks of affinity, several ways over. The opening “Bemsha Swing” commences with a super-fluid Haden bass riff, nailing the song’s outside-of-time feel while...

Cd_miles-davis-miles-at-the-fillmo_span3

05/13/14    Albums

Miles at the Fillmore--Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3
Miles Davis

Miles Davis’ late 1960s and early 1970s live electric music always had a physicality to it, a heft that could make it feel as though something was leaning on you as you listened. Darker, bluesy shadings suggested an undercurrent of early soul and R&B, but...

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About Colin Fleming

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