Bill Bennett

Bill’s Contributions


January/February 2005    Features

Dr. Lonnie Smith: The Doctor Is In!

One of the best B3 organists ever hasn’t had many opportunities to document his work on record. With a smoking new CD on Palmetto, Dr. Lonnie Smith is poised to break through to a larger audience. Bill Milkowski explains why the good doctor is too damn hot...


May 2003    Features

Chick Corea: Acouschick

Chick Corea is from the Miles Davis school: He doesn't like to look back. Throughout his illustrious career, which got its start in 1962 in the Latin jazz bands of Mongo Santamaria and Willie Bobo, he has moved forward with single-minded determination from...


April 2003    Albums

Larry Schneider Quartet

The momentum that saxophonist Larry Schneider generates here is just awesome. From the laid-back, elliptical initial statement of "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" to the last twists wrought on John Carisi's "Israel," the intensity just won't let up. Blame...


March 2003    Albums


The British free-jazz quartet Mujician pursues a somewhat different path with its fifth Cuneiform release, Spacetime. Rather than the extended pieces that have marked the group's intuitive explorations to date, this CD contains two suites of shorter pieces...


December 2002    Albums

World Saxophone Quartet

The word virtuoso comes to mind and quickly falls short of the mark in characterizing the ineffable totality of the World Saxophone Quartet. Its latest offering captures the magic of a March 1, 1999, performance at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. John...


November 2002    Albums

Michael Blake

Saxophonist and Jazz Composers Collective member Michael Blake, whose prior associations include the Lounge Lizards, has assembled a relatively mainstream project for Elevated that nevertheless intrigues the listener and stretches the musical frame. Blake...


November 2002    Albums

Live and Learn
Bobby Watson

Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson broke onto the scene on the Blakey bandstand, all elbows and energy wrapped in monster chops. The ensuing decades have nurtured him, it seems, giving his wildest flights a luster and polish you have to admire. Watson's first...


April 2002    Albums

The Bassist: Homage to Diversity
Richard Davis with John Hicks

Richard Davis is a bass paragon: it's a given that his sound and sense always contribute materially to any musical environment, from outside jazz to inside a symphony orchestra. The subtitle to this duets collection refers to the repertoire, the range of...


03/26/02    Concerts

SFJAZZ Spring Season 2002

SFJAZZ, the organization behind the San Francisco Jazz Festival and the SFJAZZ Spring Season, has clearly established itself as one of the world's premier presenters of this music. The Spring Season, which kicked off this past week and runs into June, provides...


March 2002    Albums

Blythe Byte
Arthur Blythe

Alto saxophonist Arthur Blythe remains a reassuring exemplar of the rooted revolutionary. To be sure, he is less intent on pushing the musical envelope these days, but his aggressive tone and harmonic approach won't let the listener take him for granted...


March 2002    Albums

April Shower
Satoko Fujii

Playing "outside" jazz clearly involves a commitment on the part of the performer, and asks a similar commitment of the listener. The performer must run to expressing the moment, even when the moment runs counter to style and technique. Such openness makes...


March 2002    Albums

Paul Plimley/John Oswald/Marilyn Crispell/Cecil Taylor

May of 2000 marked the 17th International Festival of New Music (FIMAV) in Victoriaville, Quebec. This recording memorializes it, presenting three performances of great intensity and diversity-despite the fact that all three are about free jazz, with the...


January/February 2002    Albums

D.D. Jackson

Pianist D.D. Jackson's maturing approach to his craft is evident on Sigame. Jackson's mission seems to be to burnish and extend (if possible!) the style established by the late, remarkable Don Pullen. His new recording-four trios with bassist Ugonna Okegwo...


January/February 2002    Albums

Michael Wolff and Impure Thoughts

Pianist Michael Wolff, perhaps best known for his stint on the Arsenio Hall show, has created a most interesting hybrid here. It seems like a calculated blend: nothing to challenge or put off, and a deep commitment to groove. This is a more layered groove...


January/February 2002    Hearsay

Vijay Iyer

Pianist Vijay Iyer is very much aware of his heritage—or rather, heritages. In his music you can hear several heritages in creative tension. Iyer’s new release, Panoptic Modes (Red Giant), bears, in his words, “multiple imprints of the past.” The streams...


January/February 2002    Trioism

McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane
McCoy Tyner

On Sept. 23, 1997, which would have been John Coltrane's 71st birthday, McCoy Tyner took the stage at the Village Vanguard with bassist George Mraz and drummer Al Foster. Four years later, we have the results: McCoy Tyner Plays John Coltrane (Impulse 3134...

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About Bill Bennett