Reviews

Fast Future Donny McCaslin

05/14/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

Donny McCaslin
Fast Future
Greenleaf Music

For quite a few years now, Donny McCaslin has slowly but surely been cajoling straight-ahead jazz fans into his idiosyncratic redefinition of fusion. A tenor saxophonist whose brawny tone and acrobatic phrasing recall mainstream masters like Michael Brecker...

Lost and Found Buena Vista Social Club

05/14/15    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Buena Vista Social Club
Lost and Found
Nonesuch Records

When the American guitarist and producer Ry Cooder traveled to Cuba in the mid-’90s, he wasn’t even intending to assemble several local son musicians for a group recording. Circumstances led to the creation of the ad hoc collective henceforth known as Buena...

To Duke Matthew Shipp Trio

05/13/15    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Matthew Shipp Trio
To Duke
RogueArt

Matthew Shipp has tackled standards before. The thunderous, iconoclastic pianist has for years pounded out the likes of “Autumn Leaves,” “Summertime” and “Tenderly,” as well as some of Duke Ellington’s songs, beating them so that they conform to his own...

Trio and Duet Anthony Braxton

05/12/15    Albums    By Michael J. West

Anthony Braxton
Trio and Duet
Delmark/Sackville

Forty years later, 1974’s Trio and Duet remains one of Anthony Braxton’s best albums. If anything, it’s even more compelling today because of its weight in Braxtonian history. The trio (side one of the original album, and what would eventually become Braxton’s...

SFJAZZ Gala 2015: Honoring Joni Mitchell

05/11/15    Concerts    By Andrew Gilbert

SFJAZZ Gala 2015: Honoring Joni Mitchell

Songs strong enough to thrive in any context

Lonely City Allegra Levy

05/11/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Allegra Levy
Lonely City
SteepleChase

Discovering a fresh, dynamic jazz voice is always a delight. When the singer proves an equally gifted songwriter, the pleasure is squared. Allegra Levy is one such double-barreled talent. The recent New England Conservatory grad, a crystalline alto with...

Encore Eberhard Weber

05/10/15    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Eberhard Weber
Encore
ECM Records

Encore carries forward the concept that Eberhard Weber brought to his 2012 Résumé release. At that time, unable to play bass anymore due to a stroke suffered in 2007, the German musician extracted a dozen solos he’d created while working in Jan Garbarek’s...

Review: Durham, North Carolina's Art of Cool Fest

05/09/15    Concerts    By John Murph

Review: Durham, North Carolina's Art of Cool Fest

Robert Glasper, Kenny Garrett, Roy Ayers and more highlight sophomore year

The Origin of Adjustable Things Joanna Wallfisch with Dan Tepfer

05/09/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Joanna Wallfisch with Dan Tepfer
The Origin of Adjustable Things
Sunnyside

She’s a British vocalist with a rich musical pedigree: a cellist mother, a violinist father, a brother who’s an opera singer, another a film composer and her still-vibrant 88-year-old grandmother, who survived the Nazi death camps as a member of the Women’s...

NYC Sessions Dave Bass

05/08/15    Albums    By Philip Booth

Dave Bass
NYC Sessions
Whaling City Sound

Gone , pianist Dave Bass’ first recording as a leader following a two-decade absence from the music profession, was one of jazz’s success stories of 2010, earning critical acclaim and extensive airplay. For the follow-up, NYC Sessions , Bass goes East Coast...