David Whiteis

David’s Contributions


01/20/15    Albums

Things of That Particular Nature
Duane Eubanks Quintet

This is a relaxed set that nonetheless bristles with optimism and exploratory drive, toughened by challenging melody lines and taut horn blends that sometimes recall the Jazz Messengers—showing the influence, perhaps, of the late pianist and former Messenger...


12/23/14    Albums

Pharoah & the Underground: Spiral Mercury
Chicago/Sao Paulo Underground Featuring Pharoah Sanders

Unlike many of his contemporaries, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders has never hesitated to embrace new technological trends, nor has he seemed to worry much about high art/low art distinctions. So it shouldn’t be surprising that this set, recorded live at the...


12/21/14    Albums

Modern Art
Don Cherry

This limited-edition CD and LP, recorded at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art in 1977, includes selections from trumpeter Don Cherry’s 1977 Hear & Now , a fusion-tinged outing that generated some controversy when it was released. Although it doesn’t quite...


12/11/14    Albums

Numbers & Letters
Andrew Rathbun Quartet

Saxophonist Andrew Rathbun and his compatriots tap into powerful emotions without succumbing to them. Rathbun remains resolutely in control (and coherent) at even the fastest tempos, and his balladry resonates with hard-won peace as well as pathos. His interplay...


12/04/14    Albums

Live at the Village Vanguard
Guillermo Klein Quintet Featuring Liliana Herrero

Vocalist Liliana Herrero, born in Argentina in 1948, sang in folk groups in her youth and was later arrested by the Argentinian government for her involvement with the Peronist resistance movement. Some commentators have described her iconoclastic style...


10/23/14    Albums

Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer

Trio 3—alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille—is one of jazz’s tightest, most self-contained units, but the players have long shown themselves open and flexible enough to accommodate the contributions of gifted guest...


10/14/14    Albums

From the Region
Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms

Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz has become known for boundary-shattering exploration through his work with improvisers such as Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Jeb Bishop, Rob Mazurek and Mike Reed (who appears on this CD). His own music, though, is as welcoming...


10/11/14    Albums

First Meeting: Live in London, Volume 1
Lee Konitz/Dan Tepfer/Michael Jansch/Jeff Williams

Saxophone icon Lee Konitz, pianist Dan Tepfer, bassist Michael Janisch and drummer Jeff Williams had never performed together before May 2010, when this disc was recorded live at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London. It was an entirely “free” outing, as...


09/09/14    Albums

Live at the Keystone Korner: Reliving the Moment
Cedar Walton Featuring Freddie Hubbard

The “moment” in question occurred in late 1977; the event was the Rahsaan Roland Kirk Memorial Jazz Festival at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner. The Cedar Walton Quartet, co-headlining with Leon Thomas and Bobby Hutcherson, were joined by Walton’s old Jazz...


08/17/14    Albums

Theo Croker

Afro Physicist , trumpeter Theo Croker’s third album as a leader and his debut on Dee Dee Bridgewater’s DDB imprint and the Sony-owned OKeh brand, showcases him in a context that might be called “retro-progressive.” Many of its stylistic elements have a...


06/18/14    Albums

Sayat-Nova: Songs of My Ancestors
Armen Donelian

Through the years, pianist Armen Donelian has worked with figures as diverse as Lionel Hampton, Chet Baker, Mongo Santamaria, Sonny Rollins and Paquito D’Rivera, as well as the fusion group Cosmology. On this two-CD set, he pays tribute to the 18th-century...


02/03/14    Albums

Follow the Sun
Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio

“Ritual is how we make sense of the world,” wrote percussionist Kahil El’Zabar in his liner notes for the Ritual Trio’s 2008 Delmark release, OOH Live! (which featured Pharoah Sanders). Ritual is also, of course, how we reimagine the world, and on this disc...


01/03/14    Albums

Trombone for Lovers
Roswell Rudd

Trombonist Roswell Rudd’s timbral and emotional range is as diverse as ever, and his gnarled imprecations keep pop ballads such as “Unchained Melody” from getting grandiose and novelty-tinged offerings like “Tennessee Waltz” and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”...


11/27/13    Albums

Allen Toussaint

When Hurricane Katrina forced Allen Toussaint out of New Orleans in 2005, he moved to New York, where he began an extended residency at Joe’s Pub in Manhattan. In September of 2009, he was recorded there solo over the course of two evenings. This deluxe...


10/29/13    Albums

Pushing the World Away
Kenny Garrett

The paradox invoked by the title of saxophonist Kenny Garrett’s latest is that of a man seeking to escape the chaos of daily life in order to live in the moment, “pushing the world away” so he may see it, immerse himself in it and celebrate it as fully as...


10/24/13    Albums

Occupy the World
Wadada Leo Smith & Tumo

As he did in last year’s Pulitzer-nominated Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform), trumpeter-composer Wadada Leo Smith again melds social concerns with deeply personal statements. TUMO, the ensemble Smith leads and conducts here, is a 21-piece Finnish improvisational...

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About David Whiteis


David Whiteis, an internationally published critic and journalist with over 25 years of experience writing about blues, jazz, and other essential issues, currently writes on a regular basis for JazzTimes, the Chicago Reader, Living Blues Magazine, Juke Blues Magazine (Great Britain), and other publications. He is the recipient of the Blues Foundation’s 2001 Keeping the Blues Alive Award for Achievement in Journalism. His recent book Chicago Blues: Portraits and Stories, was published by University of Illinois Press in 2006. He is currently working on a book about contemporary Southern Soul-Blues.