The Complete Concert by the Sea Erroll Garner

10/04/15    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Erroll Garner
The Complete Concert by the Sea

Concert by the Sea , the recording of Erroll Garner’s Sept. 19, 1955, performance in Carmel, Calif., immediately became and remains one of the best-selling albums in jazz. But one always suspected that Garner’s trio played more music that day than the 41...

Solo Fred Hersch

10/03/15    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Fred Hersch
Palmetto Records

Fred Hersch made his first solo piano recording in 1993. It was Volume 31 in Concord’s Maybeck Recital Hall Series , which eventually reached 42 titles. Today, when solo jazz piano lacks this level of support, Hersch perseveres, a keeper of the flame. He...

Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson Charenee Wade

10/02/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Charenee Wade
Offering: The Music of Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson

As producer Mark Ruffin explains in the liner notes, Offering is an apologia of sorts. Across his multi-decade career as broadcaster and journalist, Ruffin often crossed paths with Gil Scott-Heron. His knowledge of, and appreciation for, Scott-Heron’s work...

Starfire Jaga Jazzist

09/30/15    Albums    By Michael J. West

Jaga Jazzist
Ninja Tune

If Return to Forever in their chopsiest, synth-heaviest incarnation had continued evolving into the age of electronic dance music, they’d sound much like Norway’s Jaga Jazzist. Even their newest album’s title, Starfire , suggests RTF and their ilk. But on...

Songs We Like a Lot John Hollenbeck

09/29/15    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

John Hollenbeck
Songs We Like a Lot

Songs I Like a Lot was one of 2013’s best records and one of the most majestic albums of the 21st century. Arranger and bandleader John Hollenbeck nearly created an entirely new genre by blending big-band music and pop songs with modern classical sensibilities...

Mingus Sings Ku-Umba Frank Lacy & the Mingus Big Band

09/28/15    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Ku-Umba Frank Lacy & the Mingus Big Band
Mingus Sings

Perhaps more than any other modern jazz composer, Charles Mingus presents a challenge to anyone attempting a tribute album. His wit, musical depth and larger-than-life personality all factored into his writing, making his music difficult to do justice to...

Search for Peace Heads of State

09/27/15    Albums    By Allen Morrison

Heads of State
Search for Peace
Smoke Sessions

These four elder statesmen of postbop—Gary Bartz, alto and soprano saxophones; Larry Willis, piano; Buster Williams, bass; and Al Foster, drums—had crossed paths many times but never played together as a quartet before an engagement last fall at New York...

The Deep Below Brian Landrus Trio

09/25/15    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Brian Landrus Trio
The Deep Below

Multi-instrumentalist Brian Landrus continues to assert the low woodwinds’ vitality on his trio outing The Deep Below . Joined by bassist Lonnie Plaxico and drummer Billy Hart, who previously backed Landrus on the 2011 quartet recording Traverse , Landrus...

Awwlright! Mike LeDonne

09/24/15    Albums    By Mike Joyce

Mike LeDonne

Fans of vintage soul-jazz organ combos are not only likely to concur with the title of keyboardist Mike LeDonne’s latest release, they may even find the album worthy of an additional exclamation point or two. It’s soulful, Hammond B-3 stuff, all right, from...

Family First Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet

09/22/15    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet
Family First
Beat Music

Recent generations of drummers have reshaped the role of percussion in the small jazz ensemble. They include people like Mark Guiliana, Antonio Sanchez, Dave King, Eric Harland and Justin Brown. These drummers share scary chops, outright aggression and musicianship...