Neil Tesser

Neil’s Contributions


April 2000    Hearsay


The piano trio known as Union—comprising pianist Laurence Hobgood, bassist Brian Torff and drummer Paul Wertico—revels in the depth of its triologue: even among the multitude of bands that have honed Bill Evans’ concept of trio democracy, Union stands out...


December 1999    Features

Patricia Barber & Kurt Elling: The Art of the Song

In Chicago, the two internationally known artists who call the Green Mill their second home—Patricia Barber, who plays there each Sunday and Monday, and Kurt Elling, who holds down Wednesday nights—have gotten used to large and enthusiastic crowds. Both...


June 1998    Features

George Coleman: The Right Ingredients

I catch George Coleman cooking, and for once, it doesn’t involve a saxophone. “Oh yeah, I’m cooking dinner for my daughter,” he says into the phone. Nothing elaborate; at least not as elaborate as the Coleman family’s penne arrabiata featured in the recipe...

May 1997    Albums

Loving You
Shirley Horn

Even after all this time, Shirley Horn's paradoxical strengths continue to amaze. Her power lies in a vocal style so effortless, so natural, that it often hovers somewhere between singing and talking. The voice itself-soft, small, and indomitable-resembles...

May 1997    Albums

Rebel Roots
Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls

You don't have to get past the second track on this debut from Chicago drummer Ted Sirota to take a guess at the age of the players: I doubt anyone but a well-schooled Generation-Xer would think to use a hip-hop beat to reprise the Sonny Rollins free-jazz...

May 1997    Albums

Tales From Viet-nam
Nguyen Le

The hybridization of western and eastern cultures has most often borne offspring of surpassing strength and beauty; no surprise, then, that the fusion of jazz and Asian music cultures has provided some of the most adventurous and exhilarating recordings...

May 1997    Albums

The Sound of Sonny
Sonny Rollins

Rollins made only two albums for the Riverside label in the late 1950s: the famous Freedom Suite and this one, a typical example of why his work from this period is a high-water mark in the history of the jazz saxophone. With drummer Roy Haynes in the driver...


April 1997    Albums

Blues in Time
Gerry Mulligan and the Paul Desmond Quartet

The premium reissue of Verve recordings by the Mobile Fidelity company-which boasts expanded range and heightened detailing on their trademarked Ultradiscs-continues with these newly mastered reissues: two undeniable classics and two near-misses. Ella and...

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About Neil Tesser