Scott Albin

Scott’s Contributions


12/18/13    Albums

Alchemy-- Amir ElSaffar

Doris Duke Performing Artist Award winner Amir ElSaffar is one of the few trumpeters capable of playing microtones on that instrument, as well as being an accomplished Iraqi maqam singer. The Iraqi-American was born and raised in Chicago, and studied classical...


12/11/13    Community Articles

50 of the Top Jazz CDs for 2013

This writer's 3rd annual list of 50 of the best jazz releases, circa 2013, doesn't come close to containing all the excellent new CDs that he was privileged enough to hear during the year. As usual, the list is in alphabetical order, thus in that sense playing...


12/10/13    Albums

Shiny Metal Objects-- The Elec Tet

Drummer Ben Scholz originally formed the Chicago-based Elec Tet as a '70's jazz fusion tribute band, but it quickly evolved into so much more as original compositions were brought into the mix. For the Elec Tet's debut CD, the core group of Scholz, pianist...


12/03/13    Albums

Plays Well With Others
Mike Jones Trio

Mike Jones has been playing the one hour opening set before the Penn & Teller magic and comedy shows in Las Vegas since 2002, the first 40 minutes with Penn Jillette himself on bass and the remaining 20 minutes unaccompanied. Those familiar with this...


11/26/13    Albums

Dyad Plays Puccini-- Lou Caimano / Eric Olsen

One may listen to this enthralling CD and wonder why more jazz musicians are not attracted to the strength and beauty of these Puccini themes and arias, many of which should be familiar to even those listeners least interested in or fond of opera. For this...


11/19/13    Albums

Four of a Kind-- Miami Saxophone Quartet

The Miami Saxophone Quartet may be a bit more mainstream than the World Saxophone Quartet, but it is certainly no less engaging. Founded in 1996 by soprano saxophonist Gary Keller, the MSQ consists of Keller, Gary Lindsay on alto, Ed Calle on tenor, and...


11/12/13    Albums

Game Changer-- The Ali Ryerson Jazz Flute Big Band

There have been a number of essentially or exclusively one-instrument bands in jazz, from Bill Lee's New York Bass Violin Choir to Max Roach's M'Boom, but perhaps none have come as close to capturing the textures and sonorities of a conventional big band...


11/05/13    Albums

Books On Tape Vol. 1
Craig Hartley

The 31-year-old Hartley's relatively belated debut CD was well worth the wait, as it presents in a mostly trio setting his impressive talents as a pianist and composer. Originally out on the Italian Skidoo label in 2012, Hartley has seen fit to release it...


10/31/13    Albums

Let It Snow
New York Voices

What a year 2013 has been for the New York Voices. First came the release of their superb live in concert recording with the WDR Big Band Cologne, and now their long-in-formulation, much anticipated Christmas album to conclude the group's 25th anniversary...


10/29/13    Albums

Final Night at Birdland-- Arturo O'Farrill and The Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra

The Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Chico's pianist son Arturo, began a regular Monday night residency at Birdland in New York in 1997. Despite Chico's death in 2001, and Arturo founding his own Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra...


10/22/13    Albums

Free Flying
Fred Hersch and Julian Lage

Fred Hersch's piano has been heard in a number of duet settings over the years, but this is only the second with a guitarist since his collaboration with Bill Frisell in 1998 (Songs We Know). Julian Lage was a child prodigy, invited to play with Carlos Santana...


10/15/13    Albums

The Road Ahead

The Morocco-born Albert Dadon came to Australia from France at the age of 27, where the guitarist immersed himself in the acid jazz scene, adopted the stage name of Albare, and later became the director of the Melbourne Jazz Festival and the founder of the...


10/08/13    Albums

Maybe September
Ken Peplowski

Peplowski has long been one of the elite jazz clarinetists of his time, although his ability on tenor saxophone could alone have easily sustained a career. One thing that sets Peplowski apart from many of his peers is his refreshingly eclectic repertoire...


10/01/13    Albums

Suit-Up!-- Matt Kane Trio

Matt Kane's state-of-the-art drumming elevates this guitar-organ hookup to the level of the sublime. Kane paid his dues on the Kansas City jazz scene, where he spent two years with saxophonist Ahmad Alaadeen's Deans of Swing and also worked with such artists...


09/24/13    Albums

Just Play!
Tom Kennedy

Bassist Tom Kennedy assembled an impressive group for his fourth CD as a leader, including tenor saxophonist George Garzone, trumpeter Tim Hagans, guitarists Mike Stern and Lee Ritenour, pianist Renee Rosnes, and drummer Dave Weckl. Kennedy has achieved...


09/17/13    Albums

Adventures in Flight-- P.J. Rasmussen

This is one of the best debut releases so far in 2013, revealing as it does the promising talents of P.J. Rasmussen as a guitarist, composer, and arranger. Now in his early 20's, Rasmussen took up the guitar at age 10 while listening to artists like Stevie...

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About Scott Albin

Scott Albin has been a contributing writer to Jazz Times and, and has also written for Down Beat as well as such long-forgotten publications as Changes, Zygote, and The Herald. He was an active member of the old New York City promotional organization Jazz Interactions, and worked for many years in publishing in New York, where he haunted the many jazz clubs and lofts. Now he resides in South Florida, where opportunities to hear live jazz are to be cherished, not yawned at.