Reviews

Offering; Live at Temple University John Coltrane

10/13/14    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

John Coltrane
Offering; Live at Temple University
Resonance/Impulse!

John Coltrane’s Nov. 11, 1966, concert at Temple University is the stuff of legend, and not all of it good: The event was sparsely attended; the student group that organized it lost money; people walked out; the music was grating, atonal and irritating;...

What's Going On Ranee Lee

10/12/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Ranee Lee
What's Going On
Justin Time Records

Though born in New York, vocalist Ranee Lee has lived more than half her 72 years in Quebec, spent her entire recording career with the Montreal-based Justin Time label and ranks among the artistic elite inducted into the Order of Canada. So to recognize...

First Meeting: Live in London, Volume 1 Lee Konitz/Dan Tepfer/Michael Jansch/Jeff Williams

10/11/14    Albums    By David Whiteis

Lee Konitz/Dan Tepfer/Michael Jansch/Jeff Williams
First Meeting: Live in London, Volume 1
Whirlwind

Saxophone icon Lee Konitz, pianist Dan Tepfer, bassist Michael Janisch and drummer Jeff Williams had never performed together before May 2010, when this disc was recorded live at the Pizza Express Jazz Club in London. It was an entirely “free” outing, as...

Manhattan Moonrise The Microscopic Septet

10/09/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

The Microscopic Septet
Manhattan Moonrise
Cuneiform Records

Joel Forrester, pianist and composer of the Microscopic Septet, says the band might come off like a revival group, but what they attempt to revive never really existed. “A revival of the future, then?” he asks. While such quips usually serve as nothing more...

Great Voices of Harlem Gregory Porter/Donald Smith/Mansur Scott/Paul Zanner's Blue Brass

10/07/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Gregory Porter/Donald Smith/Mansur Scott/Paul Zanner's Blue Brass
Great Voices of Harlem
Pao Records

Most buyers will be attracted to this tri-voice project because of jazzman-of-the-hour Gregory Porter. And Porter certainly doesn’t disappoint, offering a dynamic, scat-lined “Moanin’” (reminding us just how much he can sound like Sammy Davis Jr.), a dreamy...

Intergalactic Beings Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble

10/05/14    Albums    By Shaun Brady

Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble
Intergalactic Beings
FPE

Ambitious, dense and daunting, Chicago flutist-composer Nicole Mitchell’s Intergalactic Beings is a suite of darkly cinematic music inspired by the work of African-American science fiction writer Octavia Butler. The forbidding sounds conjured by Mitchell’s...

I Remember When Kellylee Evans

10/03/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Kellylee Evans
I Remember When
Motema

For Kellylee Evans fans in her native Canada (and those south of the 49th parallel willing to pay big bucks for import CDs), I Remember When is nothing new. Fifteen months after its Canadian release, the album has finally made its domestic arrival. And patience...

Venture Bound Alon Nechushtan

10/01/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Alon Nechushtan
Venture Bound
Enja Records

The single most salient fact about current jazz is its ongoing globalization. Jazz is an open-ended, self-renewing art form that draws strength from sources far outside itself. Example: Venture Bound . It is hardcore, up-to-the-minute small-ensemble jazz...

West Coast 1945-1947 Howard McGhee

09/29/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Howard McGhee
West Coast 1945-1947
Uptown

The Uptown label specializes in reclaiming valuable jazz artifacts from the dustbins of time. Their albums are peepholes into the shadows of history—like Los Angeles in 1945, when Howard McGhee, just in from New York, was playing bebop on Central Avenue...