Josef Woodard

Josef’s Contributions


April 2009    Albums

Mosaic: A Celebration of Blue Note Records
The Blue Note 7

Venerable old Blue Note Records, one of the last “major” jazz labels standing, has assembled in-house/road-show projects in the past, but this year’s “Blue Note 7” counts for something special. Here we have a versatile and hot aggregation of players, ably...


April 2009    Albums

Live at Newport
Christian Scott

From one perspective, it might seem a bit premature for young trumpeter Christian Scott to be releasing a live album, with only two major label studio albums out since his emergence on the scene in 2006. On the plus side, Live at Newport, with material drawn...

March 2009    Farewells

Paul Bley Remembers Jimmy Giuffre

In his long and wandering career, Jimmy Giuffre, who died on April 24, 2008 at age 86, defied easy, tidy summaries of his artistic vision. Moving from right to left and back, from swing to avant-garde, he wrote the Woody Herman tune “Four Brothers” but was...


March 2009    Albums

Bona Makes You Sweat
Richard Bona

The Cameroon-born Bona has become one of the most expressive bassists in jazz.


March 2009    Albums

Notes From the Village
Anat Cohen

Josef Woodard reviews the latest recording from Anat Cohen, the clarinetist and saxophonist orginally from Israel.


02/21/09    Concerts

Portland Jazz Festival

If a visitor to this year’s Portland Jazz Festival hadn’t been privy to the behind-the-scenes drama already, it didn’t take long to hear the tale. As intrepid director Bill Royston repeatedly explained in concert introductions and everywhere he could, this...

01/21/09    Concerts

Berlin Jazz Festival

A change in the directorship guard at the Berlin Jazz Festival, one of Europe’s oldest and most intriguing “off-season” fests, always brings speculation about how the specific aesthetics might. After five strong and artful years helmed by Peter Schulze...


January/February 2009    Albums

Randy in Brasil
Randy Brecker

Brazilian music has been in the public ear more than usual during this past year, given the 50th birthday of bossa nova and its multiple celebrations. Bossa, in fact, doesn’t figure much into Randy Brecker’s new Brazilian adventure, Randy in Brasil, but...


January/February 2009    Albums

Pass It On
Dave Holland Sextet

Given the power and familiarity of Dave Holland’s longstanding sextet and the quintet before that, going back to the early ’80s, one point of surprise with his new band and recording is a fundamental change: the presence of piano. Mulgrew Miller does the...


January/February 2009    Albums

Sound Proof
Greg Howe

Jazz-rock fusion, contrary to some reports, did not die. It just splintered off into various sub-cultural cul-de-sacs, appreciated by small, rabid fanbases. One of those is the rock-jazz (vs. jazz-rock), more-is-more school of guitar, lorded over by the...


December 2008    Features

Wadada Leo Smith: Onward & Upward

It’s fair to say that veteran trumpeter-composer-educator Wadada Leo Smith has been in the midst of a renaissance during the last several years. Yes, it has been a good millennium for him so far, in terms of public visibility. But appearances are deceiving...


December 2008    Albums

Garaj Mahal

As its band name suggests, Garaj Mahal is a half-serious band, with a healthy portion of its focus on the party aesthetic that has rendered it something of a self-made sensation in the network-machined world of jam bands. But the group is one of the rare...


December 2008    Albums

The Suitcase, Live in Köln ’94
Steve Khan

Contrary to the implications of detractors, all electric jazz is not created equal, or with a common pool of aesthetic values. Take the case of guitarist Steve Khan’s trio, which never quite got the respect it deserved, partly because of its subtlety. Khan’s...

11/12/08    Concerts

Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra in New York

To the now happily relevant question Where were you when America voted for its first black president?, a roomful of music lovers can say they were at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village, as the politically fueled Liberation Music Orchestra was smack dab in...


10/02/08    Concerts

Monterey Jazz Festival

Coming off the radiant glow and hoopla of a major milestone year could be a natural comedown for a jazz festival, especially when the milestone was the Monterey Jazz Festival’s 50th anniversary celebration. Confronted with the impressive fact that Monterey...


09/24/08    Concerts

Chris Walden Big Band with Tierney Sutton in Los Angeles

Presently one of the more compelling young figures on the Los Angeles big-band scene, the German-born-and-bred Chris Walden’s trajectory so far is an interesting, cross-cultural line, lined with some kind of implicit geo-logic. Trained in the hotbed of the...

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About Josef Woodard