Carlo Wolff

Carlo’s Contributions


08/26/14    Albums

Low Life: The Alto Flute Project
Holly Hofmann

Despite the sobriety of its title, Holly Hofmann’s 12th album is anything but clinical or cynical. Rather, it’s Hofmann’s celebration of the alto flute, a supple instrument of especially sultry timbre. Largely midtempo and expertly played, this album is...


08/10/14    Albums

Square One
Brian Charette

Hammond organ master Brian Charette leads a spirited, driving trio on Square One , his relatively straight-ahead and winning debut on the American label Posi-Tone. The Question That Drives Us , on the Danish label SteepleChase, features a Charette sextet...


07/16/14    Albums

We Are One
The Omar Hakim Experience

We Are One is state-of-the-art fusion, suggesting the ’80s never ended. A recording of style, sonics, intermittent tenderness and virtuosity, it’s a smooth, if at times hollow showcase for drummer Omar Hakim, a veteran session man who has played with everyone...


06/23/14    Albums

Bless Up
Ernest Ranglin & Avila

The 16 tracks on this leisurely CD span the rowdy, the regal and the ruminative. They star Ernest Ranglin, who might be called the father of ska. He’s a Jamaican guitarist who can play both pensively and pyrotechnically, and even now, in his early 80s, he’s...


06/13/14    Albums

Jazz Souls on Fire
The Afro-Semitic Experience

This is a band bent on creating a communal experience, and does it ever. Sparked by the impossibly fast, genre-scrambling piano of Warren Byrd and spiced by the resonator and lap-steel guitar of Stacy Phillips, the Afro-Semitic Experience pays homage to...


12/20/13    Albums

Ted Rosenthal Trio

Pianist Ted Rosenthal doesn’t pair “winter” with “wonderland,” preferring the latter, single word to resonate on its own. You don’t have to wait for Christmas or New Year’s (there’s little material here to suggest Chanukah) to enjoy this festive CD. And...


11/20/13    Albums

Social Music
Jon Batiste and Stay Human

This perfectly titled album is a mash-up of time and tempo, jazz and pop, rhythm and blues, modern tunes and warhorses. Sparked by Jon Batiste’s New Orleans-steeped piano, jaunty vocals and melodica (he calls it a “harmonaboard”), Social Music is all about...


09/09/13    Albums

Shamie Royston

Shamie Royston is a vigorous, versatile pianist whose approach spans the roil of “The Beast Within,” the placidity of “Healing Hymn” and the childlike, winning “Ruby Goes to School,” a tune by her husband Rudy, the muscular drummer who helps make this trio...


07/17/13    Albums

Amsterdam Meets New Tango
Pablo Ziegler & Metropole Orkest

Pianist Pablo Ziegler plunges into a kinetic musical cityscape evoking the downtown of his native Buenos Aires at the start of this ebullient disc, recorded in 2009 in Amsterdam with some of his longtime associates and the Metropole Orkest. This is music...


05/08/13    Albums

Verneri Pohjola & Black Motor

Picture a band on a street corner in the very Nordic north. It’s winter. To keep warm, they spool out blowsy melodies of grave gait and linearity, their authority not immediately apparent. Then, as trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and Black Motorists Sami Sippola...


04/15/13    Albums

The 3Dom Factor
Barry Altschul

Barry Altschul’s first album as a leader in more than 25 years is a mischievous affair showcasing his irreverent drums, the magisterially sassy tenor saxophone of Jon Irabagon and the twangy (and occasionally bowed) bass of Joe Fonda, Altschul’s colleague...


04/01/13    Albums

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of
Various Artists

This double-CD, packing 23 tracks per disc, is loaded with music as far from corporate as can be. A sequel to the acclaimed roots rarities compilation from 2006, The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of , Return is heavy on country styles—Appalachia seems to dominate...


03/23/13    Albums

Rudy Linka

Dynamics are critical to Czech-American guitarist Rudy Linka’s latest album, which is dominated by sneaky originals, a sharply tailored cover of Monk’s “Bye-Ya” (titled “Bay-Ya” here) and a quietly pulsating take on “So Weary,” a knowing tune by one of Linka’s...


02/20/13    Albums

Todd Marcus

On Todd Marcus’ second album, the bass clarinetist switches between a quartet showcasing his drive and one stressing his more thoughtful side. The tracks featuring pianist George Colligan and Warren Wolf (here on drums rather than vibes) are denser, if no...


02/08/13    Albums

Bronze Nemesis
Scott Robinson Doctette

If Charlie Haden’s Quartet West is jazz-noir, Bronze Nemesis is pulp-jazz. Scott Robinson’s protean and flexible group delivers 12 tracks celebrating proto-superhero Doc Savage, a figure who dominated hundreds of pulp novels in the Depression and war years...


02/05/13    Albums

Hot Club of Detroit

Drumless as ever and ever more eclectic, the Hot Club of Detroit chooses freshness over predictability on its fourth album. Sparked by the slight yet compelling vocals of French thrush Cyrille Aimée, the tough pop sensibility of new saxophonist Jon Irabagon...

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About Carlo Wolff

Carlo Wolff joined the JazzTimes community on Apr 09, 2010