Reviews

Slam Dunk Gerald Albright

09/02/14    Albums    By Lucy Tauss

Gerald Albright
Slam Dunk
Heads Up

On his latest disc, Gerald Albright offers a high-energy contemporary jazz set that puts the veteran saxophonist’s dizzying array of talents amply on display. Not only does the album showcase Albright’s formidable skills on alto, soprano, tenor and baritone...

Juice Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

09/01/14    Albums    By Shaun Brady

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood
Juice
Indirecto

For more than 20 years, Medeski Martin and Wood have thrived on remaining indefinable. Are they a jam band with jazz chops? A jazz trio following a groove-rock muse? An avant-garde soul-jazz band? That very malleability has meant that their sound is compatible...

Floating Fred Hersch Trio

08/30/14    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Fred Hersch Trio
Floating
Palmetto Records

The first studio recording in four years from the Fred Hersch Trio, Floating is sequenced like the band’s live gigs. The album commences with an American standard (Dietz and Schwartz’s “You and the Night and the Music”) reimagined with the trio’s idiosyncratic...

Lope and Antilope Get the Blessing

08/29/14    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Get the Blessing
Lope and Antilope
Naim Label

So what is the appropriate course of action? To praise Get the Blessing’s Lope and Antilope for its ambitious synthesis of jazz with rock and electronica inflections? Or simply celebrate the sheer exuberance of this album-length extended improvisation, recorded...

Alive Hiromi

08/28/14    Albums    By Bill Meredith

Hiromi
Alive
Telarc

If there’s a drawback to all-star groups, it’s that they have little to prove. Which may explain why it took a few years for Japanese pianist Hiromi to find the formula for her vaunted Trio Project, with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips...

18th & Racine The Fat Babies

08/27/14    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

The Fat Babies
18th & Racine
Delmark Records

If Wynton Marsalis stands accused of playing museum jazz, what to make then of the Fat Babies? The young Chicago septet is steeped in the music’s earliest moments, performing 1920s jazz not only faithfully but perfectly in every way—from the blowing and...

Low Life: The Alto Flute Project Holly Hofmann

08/26/14    Albums    By Carlo Wolff

Holly Hofmann
Low Life: The Alto Flute Project
Capri Records

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...

Mother's Touch Orrin Evans' Captain Black Band

08/25/14    Albums    By Ron Wynn

Orrin Evans' Captain Black Band
Mother's Touch
Posi-Tone

Mother’s Touch is the studio follow-up to this Orrin Evans-led ensemble’s topflight live recording from 2011. It’s as well arranged as its predecessor, versatile in its stylistic presentation and nicely balanced between cohesive ensemble statements and rich...

So Many Roads Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life

08/24/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life
So Many Roads
BJU

The title So Many Roads evokes a journey that abounds with possibilities. The tracks—a prologue, four chapters and an epilogue—suggest a short story, a more well-defined path. Both conventions are at work here. Bassist Iversen and her group—John Ellis on...

Move Your Body Rebirth Brass Band

08/23/14    Albums    By Philip Booth

Rebirth Brass Band
Move Your Body
Basin Street Records

After reclaiming its mojo as a raucous, horns-heavy traditional street band on 2011’s inspired and inspiring Rebirth of New Orleans , which won the group its first Grammy, one of the Crescent City’s most acclaimed marching brass outfit continues in a similar...