Jeff Kaliss

Jeff’s Contributions


March 1999    Briefs

Philly-New York Junction
John Swana and the Joe Magnarelli Sextet

Make dual leaders out of a pair of trumpeter/flugelhornists from two East Coast cities and you get some dense, fast, hard bop blowing, with breath-taking give and take on their original compositions, one by spirited featured saxophonist Eric Alexander, some...

March 1999    Briefs

Jazz Timbero
Bobby Carcasses

This Cuban flugelhornist, singer, and composer is garnering attention in the States for his audibly evident showmanship, which may have something to do with his additional experience as actor and impresario. Carcassés can get corny, particularly on his Latinization...

March 1999    Briefs

Spirits in the Night
Dan Faulk Trio

Fresh excitement and youthful vigor run throughout this album, but they needn't seduce you away from validating the sophisticated compositional skill of saxmen Faulk (tenor and soprano) and "special guest" Myron Walden (alto), their admirable teamwork with...

March 1999    Albums

Starlight Café
Dmitri Matheny

At its best, as on Marian McPartland's "Twilight World" and Joe Locke's "Saturn's Child," the airy, vulnerable tone of Matheny's flugelhorn works well on this mixed-bag album, and the sonorous intonations of pianist Darrell Grant and bassist Bill Douglass...

March 1999    Albums

In the Long Run
Dave Ellis

Is tenorman Dave Ellis headed toward easy listening contemporary jazz in the long run? You might think so from the opening and closing originals on this disc, but in between the jury is out and having considerable fun with other material. Turning out textures...


December 1998    Albums

Shut Wide Open
Bruce Gertz/Ken Cervenka

The art of the ensemble, led here by bassist Gertz and trumpeter Cervenka, displays itself in a lively and diverse set of originals by band members Jerry Bergonzi (tenor) and Bruce Barth (piano). What's consistent is the good taste and mutual understanding...


May 1998    Briefs

After You've Gone
Lenny Solomon Trio

This is not just warmed over Hot Club, but fresh, zingy, beautifully intonated jazz violin in the hands of Solomon, alongside triomates Reg Schwager on guitar and Shelly Berger on bass. Special guest Ruby Braff's cornet does enhance the good old-timey feeling...


May 1998    Briefs

In A Crowd
The Modern Jazz Quartet

This is a tiny confection-just the size of a set at the Monterey Jazz Festival, where it was recorded in 1963-but it's as fluffy and delicious as anything the MJQ has ever served up. Particularly treasured are the title tune, a warm stroll composed by leader...

May 1998    Briefs

A Jimmy Van Heusen Songbook
Shannon Gibbons/Martin Taylor/Rufus Reid

The good news is in the lyrical romanticism with which Taylor's guitar introduces "Come Dance With Me" and "Darn That Dream," the warmth of Reid's bass in similar service to "Here's That Rainy Day," and the humor and grace which composer Van Heusen, in collaboration...


May 1998    Briefs

With Members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra
Shelley Carrol

Expect the unexpected: some of the lesser turned pages from Duke's book and a somewhat rough-edged, roadhouse feeling that you might sooner associate with A Roomful of Blues than with the Ellington aggregation. Attribute the fun partly to the participation...


May 1998    Briefs

Wake-Up Call
Greg Marvin

On the one side of the brain, this is a thinking person's jazz, with the brief, arhythmic, meditative opening track and all others issuing from the fertile, well-schooled mind of tenor saxophonist and leader Marvin. On the other side, there's a playful sharing...


December 1997    Albums

Distant Star
Bill Charlap Trio

Like the subject of the title of the Charlap album, there's something impressive but in a somewhat chill tone about much of the playing on both these Criss Cross releases. In his impressively hip liner notes for the Charlap side, Phil Woods lauds the title...


November 1997    Briefs

Carlos Martins

Portuguese saxman Martins, his pianist Bernardo Sassetti and bassist Carlos Barreto created more than half the compositions for this album, with results sometimes showcasing their instrumental mastery and sometimes hiding it under dull, pop melodies and...


November 1997    Albums

Jazz & Blues Compilation
Various Artists

You won't find it easy, from the album title or the minimal notes, to define the approach of this San Francisco-based label, but you will find it easy to love. LifeForce's founder, Dawan Muhammad, offers a fascinating surprise package of takes from the young...


September 1997    Hearsay

Kitty Margolis

For an intoxicating taste of the San Francisco jazz scene, you’d do well to order Straight Up With A Twist by Bay Area native vocalist Kitty Margolis, recently released on the Mad-Kat Records label she co-manages with singer Madeline Eastman. “Think globally...


June 1997    Albums

Jessica Williams

The legendary force and filigree of Jessica Williams' keyboard technique, admired of other pianists, are cast in different contexts on these albums, revealing many of the legend's strengths and a few weaknesses. Joy is conceived as a tribute suite to the...

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About Jeff Kaliss