David Whiteis

David’s Contributions

Joshbermantrio_span3

12/22/15    Albums

A Dance and a Hop
Josh Berman Trio

Chicago-based cornetist Josh Berman exemplifies the best of the current generation of young improvisers. Schooled in the entirety of the jazz tradition, he mixes influences and ideas drawn from diverse eras and genres, tweaking convention while honoring...

Roootsmagic_span3

11/18/15    Albums

Hoodoo Blues
Roots Magic

The notes tell us that “this music means to draw a line somewhere between the Blues tradition and Creative Jazz. The original tongue and the modern dialect of Black Music.” This is hardly a new conceit, of course—the AACM has been doing this for 50 years...

Bennygreen_live_insantacruz_span3

11/08/15    Albums

Live in Santa Cruz!
Benny Green

Benny Green conveys exalted inspiration without showboating or pretentiousness. Even his most subtle and complex offerings go down with such ease that it may take several listens for the depth of that subtlety and complexity to become truly evident. This...

Jamesbrandonlewis_daysoffreeman_span3

10/24/15    Albums

Days of Freeman
James Brandon Lewis

Tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, along with bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer Rudy Royston, delivers a taut, street-smart set, rooted firmly in hip-hop ancestry yet crafted to honor the tenets of inspired jazz improvisation. References to venerated...

Paquitodriveria_airestropcales_span3

10/18/15    Albums

Aires Tropicales
Paquito D’rivera & Quinteto Cimarrón

This disc features works by Paquito D’Rivera as well as a variety of other Cuban composers; it testifies to the saxophonist/clarinetist’s ongoing love for the rich (and too often underappreciated) Cuban classical-music tradition. He is complemented by Quinteto...

Odedlevari_threading_span3

10/15/15    Albums

Threading
Oded Lev-Ari

This disc’s title is appropriate in more ways than one. Melodic lines interweave in deft counterpoint, segueing into contrasting tempos and rhythmic patterns; the various instruments engage in a swirling dance, now one voice predominant, now another. Anat...

Ranblakea_ghosttones_span3

10/11/15    Albums

Ghost Tones: Portraits of George Russel
Ran Blake

Veteran pianist-composer Ran Blake includes original music, a few standards and interpretations of some of George Russell’s most important recorded pieces on this tender but ultimately bracing tribute to his longtime friend and colleague. A serene, almost...

Jerrygonzalez_miguelblancobigband_tributetofortapacheband_span3

08/09/15    Albums

A Tribute to Fort Apache Band
Jerry González & Miguel Blanco Big Band

Trumpeter-percussionist Jerry González’s Fort Apache Band is certainly not the first to graft elements of bebop, postbop and straight-ahead swing onto an Afro-Cuban framework. But its relatively sparse voicings and the dexterity and subtlety of its soloists...

Dafnisprietosextet_trianglescircles

07/21/15    Albums

Triangles and Circles
Dafnis Prieto Sextet

This CD’s title and that of its opening selection, “Back and Forth,” exemplify the music: Shapes, shadings and tonalities swirl in and out, sometimes alternating, sometimes blending, sometimes juxtaposed. Emotionally, as well, it’s an exercise in shape-shifting...

Bobbybradford_johncater_nouturn_span3

07/14/15    Albums

No U Turn: Live in Pasadena, 1975
Bobby Bradford & John Carter Quintet

This previously unissued recording of cornetist Bobby Bradford and woodwinds player John Carter at Caltech’s Baxter Lecture Hall, with two bassists—Stanley Carter and Roberto Miranda—and drummer William Jeffrey, is the earliest known documentation of the...

Ernestdawkins_anafroopera_homagetonelsonmandela_span3

06/29/15    Albums

Memory in the Center, An Afro Opera: Homage to Nelson Mandela
Ernest Dawkins' Live in the Spirit Residency Big Band

This orchestral jazz suite, written in tribute to Nelson Mandela and recorded live on the opening night of the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival, grafts elements of South African dance and melody onto a characteristic Ernest Dawkins fusion of postbop melodic and...

Chicagoyestet_justsayyes_span3

06/24/15    Albums

Just Say Yes
Chicago Yestet

A hard-swinging 11-piece big band, fronted by vocalists delivering lyrics that tackle themes like love, loss and the joys of clubbing along with a few optimistic pleas for tolerance, peace and technological sanity—it could have been an exercise in reactionary...

Davidchesky_span3

06/21/15    Albums

Primal Scream
David Chesky Jazz in the New Harmonic

Pianist David Chesky is hardly unique in his embrace of both classical music and jazz, nor is his stated mission—to use “harmonic language … from the Messiaen, Webern, and Ives school” to challenge his bandsmen with “chords that they don’t usually hear in...

Kirkwhalum_gospeliv_span3

06/07/15    Albums

The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV
Kirk Whalum

Kirk Whalum’s commitment is beyond question. He’s an ordained minister who puts in long, righteous hours as a volunteer at Manna House, an agency in Memphis that serves the homeless. And although his smooth-jazz aesthetic tends toward the less-than-challenging...

Buddytate_terxastenor_span3

05/16/15    Albums

Texas Tenor
The Buddy Tate Quartet

“Texas tenor” usually calls to mind propulsive swing, a brawny tone and a blues-drenched toughness leavened by tenderness on ballads. This reissue, including two previously unreleased selections, displays these characteristics in abundance. Befitting a veteran...

Jeremypely_talesmusings_span3

03/21/15    Albums

Tales, Musings and Other Reveries
Jeremy Pelt

The Miles Davis influence is immediately evident in Jeremy Pelt’s timbre, phrasing, linear structures—even his tonguing technique. Like Miles, he builds tension with tightly wound note clusters, then releases it by breaking into piercing ascents or extended...

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About David Whiteis

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