Reviews

Jersey Cat Freddie Hendrix

08/16/16    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Freddie Hendrix
Jersey Cat
Sunnyside

The initial blast that launches Freddie Hendrix’s solo on “St. Peter’s Walk” serves as a shout that means business. The trumpeter first heard the song on a Louis Hayes album that featured Woody Shaw, and Hendrix’s rapid and concise solo puts him in league...

Songs A La King Peggy King and the All-Star Jazz Trio

08/16/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Peggy King and the All-Star Jazz Trio
Songs A La King
Fresh Sound Records

For a while in the 1950s, stardom seemed likely for “pretty, perky Peggy King” (the sobriquet, which stuck, supplied by her onetime boss, comedian George Gobel). She sang with the Charlie Spivak and Ralph Flanagan orchestras, steadily worked TV’s variety...

Blue Monday Letizia Gambi

08/15/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Letizia Gambi
Blue Monday
ArtistShare

Four years ago, Italian singer-songwriter Letizia Gambi’s impressive debut album was bolstered by a spectrum of A-list collaborators led by Lenny White and including Ron Carter, Gil Goldstein and Chick Corea. White returns here, as producer, principal arranger...

Restless Idealism Roxy Coss

08/14/16    Albums    By Michael J. West

Roxy Coss
Restless Idealism

Tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss is a protégé of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, and on the 10 original compositions that make up Restless Idealism , it shows. Among other things she shares with Pelt (who appears on two tracks) are fondnesses for elaborate linear melodies...

Walkin' by the River Marty Elkins

08/14/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Marty Elkins
Walkin' by the River
Nagel Hayer

Though she has released two previous albums on Germany’s Nagel Heyer label, including an excellent duo outing with mentor Dave McKenna, vocalist Marty Elkins remains too little known beyond New York City, where she’s been steadily working the club circuit...

Stranger Days Adam O'Farrill

08/13/16    Albums    By Philip Booth

Adam O'Farrill
Stranger Days
Sunnyside

Stranger Days is the young trumpeter Adam O’Farrill’s official recording debut as a leader, but he’s been attracting notice from the jazz cognoscenti for a while. That’s thanks to his being featured on saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s acclaimed 2015 album...

Saturday Songs Chris Cheek

08/12/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Chris Cheek
Saturday Songs
Sunnyside

A history of the pedal steel guitar in jazz wouldn’t make much of a book. Basically, no one besides Buddy Emmons, Speedy West and a handful of others has ever played anything remotely jazzy on the instrument. Maybe that’s because its twangy timbre is so...

Wheel of Time Ernie Watts Quartet

08/12/16    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Ernie Watts Quartet
Wheel of Time
Flying Dolphin

Saxophonist Ernie Watts possesses one of jazz’s most distinctive tenor tones, a sound of both mammoth size and full-hearted romanticism. This sound largely sustains Wheel of Time , a no-frills, pleasantly listenable outing from Watts’ European quartet (pianist...

Never Group Zhenya Strigalev

08/11/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Zhenya Strigalev
Never Group
Whirlwind

If nothing else, Zhenya Strigalev deserves credit for bringing together electric bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Eric Harland, a distinctively resourceful and forceful rhythm section that is allowed to define Never Group . Harland tautly battens down the...

San Jose Suite Etienne Charles

08/10/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Etienne Charles
San Jose Suite
Culture Shock

In theory, San Jose Suite is pointedly geographical. Armed with a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation (via Chamber Music America), trumpeter-composer Etienne Charles sought out indigenous people in the cities of San Jose in both California and Costa Rica...