Break Stuff Vijay Iyer Trio

03/31/15    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Vijay Iyer Trio
Break Stuff
ECM Records

Vijay Iyer has been up to a lot since his trio recorded its last album, 2012’s fantastic Accelerando . Iyer is the most celebrated pianist in jazz—he may be the most celebrated musician in jazz right now—and that gives him great creative license. He’s used...

The Complete Dial Modern Jazz Sessions Various Artists

03/29/15    Albums    By Geoffrey Himes

Various Artists
The Complete Dial Modern Jazz Sessions
Mosaic Records

To understand the significance of Dial Records, a good place to start is the tune “Relaxin’ at Camarillo.” Camarillo is 50 miles northwest of Los Angeles, where Dial was founded in 1945 by Ross Russell, the young owner of the Tempo Music Shop, the record...

The Last Southern Gentlemen Delfeayo Marsalis

03/27/15    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Delfeayo Marsalis
The Last Southern Gentlemen
Troubadour Jass

A fine line separates old school from old hat, and Delfeayo Marsalis’ The Last Southern Gentlemen dances that line from beginning to end. The album is styled as a throwback, its languid mood and program of time-worn chestnuts meant to conjure, as the trombonist...

Many Faces of Love Polly Gibbons

03/26/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Polly Gibbons
Many Faces of Love
Resonance Records

Polly Gibbons is hardly the first female vocalist to bend an album to the arc of a love affair, but her navigation of an infatuation-to-rebound storyline is among the smartest. Though new to American audiences, the 30-year-old Gibbons, whose dusky style...

The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update Michael Mantler

03/25/15    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Michael Mantler
The Jazz Composer's Orchestra Update
ECM Records

Michael Mantler organized the original The Jazz Composer’s Orchestra album in 1968, as a manifestation of his and then-wife Carla Bley’s activities in the new jazz scene in New York. The music, all penned by Mantler, featured dense, long-toned backdrops...

Circuit Rider Ron Miles

03/24/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

Ron Miles
Circuit Rider
Enja Yellowbird

Guitarist Bill Frisell is the foremost, if not founding, practitioner of Americana jazz. But the ambiance conjured by that subgenre is never more beguiling than when Frisell sidles into projects led by his longtime friend and cohort, cornetist-trumpeter...

All the Cats Join In Connie Evingson and the John Jorgenson Quintet

03/23/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Connie Evingson and the John Jorgenson Quintet
All the Cats Join In
Minnehaha Music

Throughout Connie Evingson’s recording career, spanning two decades and nine previous albums, she has tonally and stylistically maintained an uncanny similarity to Chris Connor. Now, suddenly, Evingson’s sound has grown plumper, richer and warmer. Such enticing...

Brazilian Nights Kenny G

03/22/15    Albums    By Lucy Tauss

Kenny G
Brazilian Nights
Concord Records

In the liner notes to Brazilian Nights , Kenny G declares, “I’ve been in love with bossa nova my whole life.” Whether that’s actually true or just a marketing line, the smooth-jazz saxophonist demonstrates a genuine affinity for Brazilian music on this album...

Tales, Musings and Other Reveries Jeremy Pelt

03/21/15    Albums    By David Whiteis

Jeremy Pelt
Tales, Musings and Other Reveries
HighNote Records

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...

Dedication Justin Kauflin

03/20/15    Albums    By Allen Morrison

Justin Kauflin
Qwest/Jazz Village

Expectations for Justin Kauflin’s second album, produced by Quincy Jones, have been high following the success of Keep on Keepin’ On , the award-winning documentary about the young pianist’s close friendship with nonagenarian trumpet legend and jazz educator...