Reviews

Viewpoint Steve Smith & Vital Information NYC Edition

09/02/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

Steve Smith & Vital Information NYC Edition
Viewpoint
BFM

Steve Smith and Vital Information are renowned, successful commodities. Smith has been named one of the top 25 drummers of all time by Modern Drummer magazine, and Vital Information, the ensemble Smith began in 1983 when he was still in Journey, has for...

Space Time Continuum Aaron Diehl

09/01/15    Albums    By Allen Morrison

Aaron Diehl
Space Time Continuum
Mack Avenue Records

On pianist-composer Aaron Diehl’s fourth album as a leader, his choices of both material and sidemen illuminate his recording’s title: The 29-year-old from Columbus, Ohio, creates an environment in which historic and contemporary styles of jazz, as well...

Trio Grant Stewart

08/31/15    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Grant Stewart
Trio
Cellar Live

Working with Paul Sikivie on bass and brother Phil Stewart on drums throughout TRIO , tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart exhibits a big, direct tone and, in his solos, a knack for motivic development along with strategic melodic reminders of the tune at hand...

The Jazz Giants Wild Bill Davison

08/30/15    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Wild Bill Davison
The Jazz Giants
Sackville

A new CD reissue of the 1968 inaugural release from Canada-based Sackville Records, The Jazz Giants is a collection of standards socked home with style and consummate professionalism by a hard-driving team of veterans. The band, recorded only this once...

Forced Displacement Samuel Torres Group

08/29/15    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Samuel Torres Group
Forced Displacement
Zoho

Modern history is littered with the casualties of man’s inhumanity to man. Percussionist Samuel Torres was born in Colombia. Forced Displacement is a 10-part suite dedicated to “the victims of violence in Colombia caused by the ongoing conflict between guerrillas...

Blue, Vol. 1 Jeff "Tain" Watts

08/28/15    Albums    By Colin Fleming

Jeff "Tain" Watts
Blue, Vol. 1
Dark Key

Modern jazz rarely gets as flat-out eclectic as it does on this latest Jeff “Tain” Watts offering. The opening “Brilliant Corners” is one of the most confident, strutting takes on Monk you’ll hear, Watts’ kit powering the track with impressive snap and pop...

Say When Steve Davis

08/27/15    Albums    By Michael J. West

Steve Davis
Say When
Smoke Sessions

What worked for J.J. Johnson will work for Steve Davis—that’s the apparent logic behind Say When , Davis’ competent but ultimately middling tribute to his and all bebop trombonists’ forefather. Davis expresses in the liner notes his desire for the world...

Duotones Tony Cimorosi & Saundra Silliman

08/26/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Tony Cimorosi & Saundra Silliman
Duotones

Saundra Silliman may be the best-kept secret in jazz. As both a vocalist and actress, she’s been gigging around New York since the mid-1980s and has performed with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Lonnie Plaxico. But apart from a few MP3s on her outdated...

In Good Company George Cables

08/25/15    Albums    By Michael J. West

George Cables
In Good Company
HighNote Records

George Cables’ title refers first to the pianist-composers he covers—John Hicks, Kenny Barron, Ellington and Strayhorn—and second to his trio with bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer Victor Lewis. The album’s a cheery swinger, an exemplar of mainstream piano...

Intercambio Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet

08/24/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
Intercambio
Patois

Wayne Wallace is a fine trombonist but a better bandleader, and an exceptional conceptualist. His ingenious knack for re-contextualizing bop standards using Latin idioms, or simply splicing cultures guided by his instincts and imagination, turns the song...