Reviews

Spark Hiromi

06/28/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Hiromi
Spark
Telarc

Rock musicians get that they are entertainers. Too often, jazz musicians don’t. Hiromi gets it. “All the people I respect in music have been aware of producing themselves: Miles Davis. Herbie Hancock. Pat Metheny,” she has said. “They are very focused on...

New Direction Herlin Riley

06/28/16    Albums    By David Whiteis

Herlin Riley
New Direction
Mack Avenue Records

There’s a subtle but pointed message implied in the title, as it relates to most of the music on this disc: Contrary to what some revivalists and progressives might insist, music can explore new directions without self-consciously proclaiming either its...

30 Trio Da Paz

06/27/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Trio Da Paz
30
Zoho

Sometimes the landmark anniversaries sneak up on you. Perhaps because this is only their seventh release (plus one accompanying Kenny Barron), it doesn’t seem like three decades have passed since guitarist Romero Lubambo, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer...

Take Me to the Alley Gregory Porter

06/26/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Gregory Porter
Take Me to the Alley
Blue Note Records

Whatever the discipline, whenever a star rises too far too fast there’s invariably backlash, a too-big-for-his-britches reset. Gregory Porter, his breakout velocity rivaled only by Cécile McLorin Salvant, is surely due. But judging by Take Me to the Alley...

Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set Ella Fitzgerald

06/25/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Ella Fitzgerald
Jazz at the Philharmonic: The Ella Fitzgerald Set
Verve

Ella was a little late to the party. When impresario Norman Granz launched what would become his landmark series of Jazz at the Philharmonic concerts and tours in 1944, his all-star lineups included other vocalists, Billie Holiday among them. When he finally...

Better Than Anything...Live Sheila Jordan

06/24/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Sheila Jordan
Better Than Anything...Live
There Records

Still going strong at 87, Sheila Jordan was a mere lass of 62 when San Francisco radio host Bud Spangler broadcasted this 60-minute set from Kimball’s East in Oakland in 1991. Just prior to his death in 2014, Spangler unearthed his radio check of the session...

Spoleto Festival USA

06/24/16    Concerts    By Perry Tannenbaum

Spoleto Festival USA

Performances included Cécile McLorin Salvant, Randy Weston and more

August Love Song Heather Masse & Roswell Rudd

06/23/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Heather Masse & Roswell Rudd
August Love Song
Red House

Though she was born and raised in Maine and studied vocal jazz at NEC, Heather Masse remains best known for her now decade-long membership in the Canadian folk/bluegrass trio the Wailin’ Jennys and her frequent appearances, with and without the group, on...

Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin Willie Nelson

06/22/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Willie Nelson
Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin
Sony/Legacy

Suggesting that Willie Nelson’s voice has aged is like saying a sequoia seems somehow gnarlier. Sure Nelson’s trademark sound has grown more grizzled, a bit more parched. But place this latest collection of standards aside his landmark Stardust , from 1978...

DC Jazz Fest at the Yards

06/22/16    Concerts    By Michael J. West

DC Jazz Fest at the Yards

Kamasi, Ravi, Revive Big Band and more