Aaron Steinberg

Aaron’s Contributions


December 2006    Books

One Long Tune: The Life And Music Of Lenny Breau
Ron Forbes-Roberts

Ron Forbes-Roberts gave himself a tough assignment in Lenny Breau. The guitarist won a small, devoted following for his astounding technique but may have been less suited to jazz stardom than practically any other player. He spent the bulk of his adult life...


November 2006    Albums

One and the Same
Jeff Gauthier’s Goatette

Violinist Jeff Gauthier doesn’t have the most distinctive touch in the world. His is a clean, classically derived style, which can sound rather anonymous on his latest recording, One and the Same. What Gauthier can do, however, is put a band together. As...


November 2006    Albums

Ben Monder

Guitarist Ben Monder flashes a technique that’s close to ridiculous here, though you might miss it if you aren’t looking for it. On “Mistral,” the first number and a tune that sets the tone for everything that follows, only pedal tones from bassist Skuli...


November 2006    Albums

On Broadway, Volume 4: Or the Paradox of Continuity
Paul Motian Trio 2000+One

This really is the Paul Motian Trio 2000 plus one, strictly speaking. For this set of old Broadway ballads and flinty, hard-luck songs, Motian invites two guests to play with his trio—pianist Masabumi Kikuchi and singer Rebecca Martin—but he keeps them totally...


October 2006    Albums

Sunny Jain Collective

“My focus with the Collective for the past five years is to fuse music from my South Asian heritage…with music from my Western upbringing.” So writes drummer Sunny Jain about his band and his music. It is a quick and easy way to describe exactly what he...


September 2006    Albums

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin

Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch and his band have an undeniable knack for minimalism. Stoa belies some other influences, like prog rock and electronica, and Bärtsch loves him some Eastern philosophy, but composers like Steve Reich loom large over this shiny acoustic...


September 2006    Albums

Frank Kimbrough

Pianist Frank Kimbrough usually records with his working bands. But any self-respecting post-Bill Evans pianist will make exceptions for anyone who played on Waltz for Debbie. One night at the Village Vanguard, Kimbrough talked drummer Paul Motian into joining...


July/August 2006    Albums

News From a Darked Out Room
Jean-Paul Bourelly

Had Jean Paul Bourelly recorded another post-Hendrix, Afro-fusion blowout—the sort of thing on which he built his career—he probably would have posed for the cover photo with an electric guitar. Would he also be wearing a shirt? One can only assume. As it...


July/August 2006    Albums

Ophiuchus Butterfly
Liberty Ellman

When last we had heard from him, Liberty Ellman was charming the pants off of discerning listeners. He could write clever, oblong compositions full of overlapping rhythms; he favored Steve Coleman’s sophisticated funk and classic bebop equally; and his hollow...


July/August 2006    Albums

Blur Joan
Headless Household

One’s tolerance for carefully crafted eclecticism will probably determine how much interest one might have in Blur Joan, the seventh full-length recording by the Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Headless Household. A few longstanding members (keyboardist Dick...


June 2006    Albums

Note Bleu
Medeski, Martin & Wood

For their forthcoming project Medeski, Martin & Wood plan to reunite with guitarist John Scofield. The recording, a sequel to Scofield’s excellent A Go Go, won’t be on Blue Note, MMW’s label since the mid-’90s; it should be on the trio’s new, independent...


June 2006    Albums

The Coalition of the Willing
Bobby Previte

One benefit of playing rock as a skilled jazzer is that you can borrow capably from whatever genre of rock you want. Given an extra disc to work with, drummer Bobby Previte might have tapped them all. As it stands, any fan of some form of rock through the...


June 2006    Albums

Masada Rock

It seems like most jazz musicians come to hate capitalism as a matter of course. That doesn’t seem to be the case with contrarian John Zorn. The Ray Kroc of the New York City experimental set continues to brand like a Madison Avenue executive on speed. The...


May 2006    Albums

Le Voyage de Sahar
Anouar Brahem

The sound of Anouar Brahem’s oud will immediately suggest classical Arabic music even to those who’ve never heard of Brahem or the oud. For many years, however, Brahem hasn’t been content to play in traditional settings. The cosmopolitan musician found a...


May 2006    Albums

Marshall Gilkes Quartet

For his debut recording as a leader, trombonist Marshall Gilkes gives himself the widest possible exposure. Every tune is his save for Rogers and Hammerstein’s “This Nearly Was Mine.” Pianist Jon Cowherd, bassist Matt Clohesy and drummer Johnathan Blake...


May 2006    Albums

Creole Love Call
Nils Landgren and Joe Sample

Scandinavian trombonist Nils Landgren has made a name for himself with his band, Funk Unit, but puts out the occasional pop/R&B vocal record too. This encounter with keyboardist Joe Sample (Landgren is a long-time Crusaders fan) falls into the latter category...

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About Aaron Steinberg