David Whiteis

David’s Contributions


10/11/15    Albums

Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russel
Ran Blake

Veteran pianist-composer Ran Blake includes original music, a few standards and interpretations of some of George Russell’s most important recorded pieces on this tender but ultimately bracing tribute to his longtime friend and colleague. A serene, almost...


08/09/15    Albums

A Tribute to Fort Apache Band
Jerry González & Miguel Blanco Big Band

Trumpeter-percussionist Jerry González’s Fort Apache Band is certainly not the first to graft elements of bebop, postbop and straight-ahead swing onto an Afro-Cuban framework. But its relatively sparse voicings and the dexterity and subtlety of its soloists...


07/21/15    Albums

Triangles and Circles
Dafnis Prieto Sextet

This CD’s title and that of its opening selection, “Back and Forth,” exemplify the music: Shapes, shadings and tonalities swirl in and out, sometimes alternating, sometimes blending, sometimes juxtaposed. Emotionally, as well, it’s an exercise in shape-shifting...


07/14/15    Albums

No U Turn: Live in Pasadena, 1975
Bobby Bradford & John Carter Quintet

This previously unissued recording of cornetist Bobby Bradford and woodwinds player John Carter at Caltech’s Baxter Lecture Hall, with two bassists—Stanley Carter and Roberto Miranda—and drummer William Jeffrey, is the earliest known documentation of the...


06/29/15    Albums

Memory in the Center, An Afro Opera: Homage to Nelson Mandela
Ernest Dawkins' Live in the Spirit Residency Big Band

This orchestral jazz suite, written in tribute to Nelson Mandela and recorded live on the opening night of the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival, grafts elements of South African dance and melody onto a characteristic Ernest Dawkins fusion of postbop melodic and...


06/24/15    Albums

Just Say Yes
Chicago Yestet

A hard-swinging 11-piece big band, fronted by vocalists delivering lyrics that tackle themes like love, loss and the joys of clubbing along with a few optimistic pleas for tolerance, peace and technological sanity—it could have been an exercise in reactionary...


06/21/15    Albums

Primal Scream
David Chesky Jazz in the New Harmonic

Pianist David Chesky is hardly unique in his embrace of both classical music and jazz, nor is his stated mission—to use “harmonic language … from the Messiaen, Webern, and Ives school” to challenge his bandsmen with “chords that they don’t usually hear in...


06/07/15    Albums

The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV
Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum’s commitment is beyond question. He’s an ordained minister who puts in long, righteous hours as a volunteer at Manna House, an agency in Memphis that serves the homeless. And although his smooth-jazz aesthetic tends toward the less-than-challenging...


05/16/15    Albums

Texas Tenor
The Buddy Tate Quartet

“Texas tenor” usually calls to mind propulsive swing, a brawny tone and a blues-drenched toughness leavened by tenderness on ballads. This reissue, including two previously unreleased selections, displays these characteristics in abundance. Befitting a veteran...


03/21/15    Albums

Tales, Musings and Other Reveries
Jeremy Pelt

The Miles Davis influence is immediately evident in Jeremy Pelt’s timbre, phrasing, linear structures—even his tonguing technique. Like Miles, he builds tension with tightly wound note clusters, then releases it by breaking into piercing ascents or extended...


03/15/15    Albums

Richard's Tune
Don Pullen

Don Pullen, for all his “out” reputation, was a deeply melodic pianist who never forsook the diverse influences he absorbed during his early years (church, R&B, straight-ahead club/lounge gigs), along with his immersion in the ’60s-era free movement and...


02/20/15    Albums

Rob Mazurek and Black Cube SP
Return the Tides: Ascension Suite and Holy Ghost

Cornetist Rob Mazurek and his Black Cube SP recorded this disc in May 2013, two weeks after the death of Mazurek’s mother. The suite was conceived in her memory; the titles of the selections are taken from a poem Mazurek wrote for her shortly after her passing...


02/08/15    Albums

In the Wee Small Hours
Sax Gordon

Tenorman Sax Gordon joins forces here with organist Alberto Marsico and drummer Alessandro Minetto to recreate the classic soul-jazz organ trio. The set list, as might be expected, is rich with standards and chestnuts, but neither Gordon nor his compatriots...


01/20/15    Albums

Things of That Particular Nature
Duane Eubanks Quintet

This is a relaxed set that nonetheless bristles with optimism and exploratory drive, toughened by challenging melody lines and taut horn blends that sometimes recall the Jazz Messengers—showing the influence, perhaps, of the late pianist and former Messenger...


12/23/14    Albums

Pharoah & the Underground: Spiral Mercury
Chicago/Sao Paulo Underground Featuring Pharoah Sanders

Unlike many of his contemporaries, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders has never hesitated to embrace new technological trends, nor has he seemed to worry much about high art/low art distinctions. So it shouldn’t be surprising that this set, recorded live at the...


12/21/14    Albums

Modern Art
Don Cherry

This limited-edition CD and LP, recorded at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art in 1977, includes selections from trumpeter Don Cherry’s 1977 Hear & Now , a fusion-tinged outing that generated some controversy when it was released. Although it doesn’t quite...

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About David Whiteis