Bill ’s Contributions
This has been a productive year for the Bad Plus. After releasing nothing as a unit in 2013, the “avant-garde populists” have brought out two albums in 2014, their Inevitable Western arriving just five months after their ambitious trio arrangement of Stravinsky’s...
At 60, not only still going, but still growing
JD Allen writes in his album notes that “Technically Bloom draws from three sources, 20th-century classical music, the American songbook and jazz improvisation.” But two of Allen’s tenor sax predecessors—John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins—are much in evidence...
Guitarist and composer John McLaughlin made his name in fusion and carries its torch decades later. Last year he and his current band the 4th Dimension—Gary Husband on keyboards and drums, Étienne M’Bappé on electric bass, Ranjit Barot on drums and vocals—wrapped...
Respecting the past, and moving forward
Berklee Performance Center, Boston, April 4
Some forward-looking albums can serve as great casual listening. But Rocket Science , four sonic explorations performed live by a collaborative quartet in London, isn’t one of them. On tenor and soprano saxophones is Evan Parker, long a leading light of...
Cambridge collaboration is experimental but embraceable
Bobby Watson may seem an unlikely firebrand, but that doesn’t mean he lacks political consciousness. The veteran alto saxophonist’s new album celebrating the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech simultaneously chides society...
Dave King Trucking Company—King (of the Bad Plus fame) on “drums and cymbals,” Erik Fratzke on electric guitar, Adam Linz on acoustic bass, Chris Speed and Brandon Wozniak on tenor saxes—is back at it with a second album, Adopted Highway —“it” meaning playfully...
Pianist Vijay Iyer’s third collaboration with hip-hop artist Mike Ladd started in 2009, when they began interviewing post-9/11 military veterans about their dreams. “Everyone dreams,” the duo explains in album notes, “but PTSD nightmares and stress dreams...
Pianist Fred Hersch and guitarist Julian Lage are similarly masterful players and likeminded souls. Though primarily jazz improvisers, they share affinities for new collaborations, classical forms and soft yet intense dynamics. If they’re more than a generation...
Matthew Shipp kicked up an Internet fuss recently with a dismissive Talkhouse review of Keith Jarrett’s trio album Somewhere . Reflecting on Jarrett’s solo piano recordings of the 1970s, Shipp wrote, “He never seemed to me to have sculpted a specific language...
Still adventurous, if not always transcendent
Keyboardist and guitarist are a well-matched pair
Phenomenal young singer is equally savvy with standards and originals
About Bill Beuttler
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Bill Beuttler joined the JazzTimes community on Feb 13, 2008