Reviews

Review: The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 2016

02/07/16    Concerts    By Jeff Tamarkin

Review: The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 2016

A little Cali vibe for a New York winter

I Walk a Little Faster Chiara Pancaldi

02/07/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Chiara Pancaldi
I Walk a Little Faster
Challenge Records

She hails from Bologna and is a bit older, 33, than her photos suggest. She studied with her countrywoman Roberta Gambarini and Sheila Jordan, cut her vocal-jazz teeth as half of the duo Dobra Voz and released her first solo album, The Song Is You , on Italy’s...

Zephyr Michael Musillami

02/05/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Michael Musillami
Zephyr
Playscape Recordings

Zephyr successfully achieves its modest ambition. Pride , released in 2014, was a two-hour extravaganza that abetted guitarist Michael Musillami’s trio with rugged, notable guests (Kris Davis, Mark Feldman, Jimmy Greene), containing a live disc revitalizing...

Oscalypso Erik Friedlander

02/03/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Erik Friedlander
Oscalypso
Skipstone

Erik Friedlander first honored Oscar Pettiford in 2008 with Broken Arm Trio , a collection of originals inspired by Pettiford’s rediscovery of the cello after his busted wing became an obstacle to performing on the larger bass. Oscalypso goes a step further...

You. Me and Forever Najee

02/01/16    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Najee
You. Me and Forever
Shanachie

Even during smooth-jazz’s ’80s and ’90s commerical peak, Najee’s skills as an improviser allowed him to rise above the pack. Those chops are on strong display on You, Me and Forever , his 16th original release as leader, and the saxophonist/flutist’s sheer...

What's New? Reimagining Benny Goodman Oran Etkin

01/31/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Oran Etkin
What's New? Reimagining Benny Goodman
Motema

More than 75 years removed from his breakthrough, the late Benny Goodman remains the most important clarinetist in the history of jazz, and one of its most successful bandleaders. Yet today, despite that vaunted status, he is often overlooked, something...

Vertigo The Necks

01/29/16    Albums    By Mike Shanley

The Necks
Vertigo
Northern Spy

Australians the Necks have released 15 albums of expansive improvisation, many of them devoted to one extended piece that flows along for upwards of 60 minutes. In that regard, record number 16, Vertigo , presents a streamlined performance by the trio, since...

Dr. Um Peter Erskine

01/27/16    Albums    By Philip Booth

Peter Erskine
Dr. Um
Fuzzy Music

Dr. Um offers journeyman drummer Peter Erskine an excuse to play funk and fusion and “all that [stuff] you’re so good at and people love while still being Mr. well-respected legit jazzman,” as related in the liner notes. That aptly summarizes the scope of...

Great Spirit William Parker/Raining on the Moon

01/25/16    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

William Parker/Raining on the Moon
Great Spirit
AUM Fidelity

When bassist William Parker’s group Raining on the Moon released its 2007 album Corn Meal Dance , the sextet left another album’s worth of material on the table. Parker had considered issuing a two-disc album at the time but ultimately went with one. Eight...

That Would Be Me Harry Connick Jr.

01/23/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Harry Connick Jr.
That Would Be Me
Columbia Records

Musically speaking, Harry Connick Jr. has shaped a remarkably chameleonic career over the course of three decades: jazz singer and pianist, pop crooner, Hollywood balladeer and Broadway belter, all liberally spiced with distinct Cajun and country influences...