Reviews

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...

Perfection Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio

08/10/16    Albums    By Michael J. West

Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio
Perfection
Motema

As great as saxophonist David Murray, pianist Geri Allen and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington are separately, it’s truly difficult to remember the last time any of them sounded as good as they all do together on Perfection . The members of the jazz “power trio”...

High Art The Power Quintet

08/09/16    Albums    By David Whiteis

The Power Quintet
High Art
HighNote Records

No new ground is broken here, but this set from trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, pianist Danny Grissett, vibraphonist Steve Nelson, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Bill Stewart—cast solidly in a straight-ahead postbop framework—is spiked with the pleasure that...

Direct Call Andy Brown Quartet

08/08/16    Albums    By Mike Joyce

Andy Brown Quartet
Direct Call
Delmark Records

Thoroughly worthy of its Johnny Hodges/Duke Ellington pedigree, in buoyantly swinging ways, “The Jeep Is Jumpin’” kicks off guitarist Andy Brown’s third recording for Delmark. There are several uptempo delights to come, enlivened by Brown’s fluid yet unfussy...

Blues and Ballads Brad Mehldau Trio

08/08/16    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Brad Mehldau Trio
Blues and Ballads
Nonesuch Records

Brad Mehldau is one of jazz’s most sensitive interpreters of song, with a rare gift for putting his own stamp on a composition without betraying its soul. That gift is on ample display throughout Blues and Ballads , the first new release in four years from...

Who Gives a Funk Oz Noy

08/07/16    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Oz Noy
Who Gives a Funk
Abstract Logix

Oz Noy may be one of the most talented guitarists around, but it’s hard to imagine a less vainglorious album than Who Gives a Funk . The Israeli guitarist invited a slew of A-listers to join his group for 10 straightforward funk/R&B tunes rooted in the ’70s...

National Jazz Ensemble Featuring Gerry Mulligan National Jazz Ensemble Featuring Gerry Mulligan

08/06/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

National Jazz Ensemble Featuring Gerry Mulligan
National Jazz Ensemble Featuring Gerry Mulligan
Dot Time Legends

Wherever Gerry Mulligan went, he seemed to have a little spring in his step. Think of the classic moment in the 1957 CBS TV show The Sound of Jazz when he was one of an all-star crew backing up Billie Holiday on her slow blues “Fine and Mellow.” To be more...

Checkpoint Krakauer's Ancestral Groove

08/05/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Krakauer's Ancestral Groove
Checkpoint
Table Pounding

The checkpoint of the title is a reference to the city of Berlin, where East used to meet West. It still does in David Krakauer’s clarinet playing, which has deep klezmer roots and arresting avant-garde blossoms. As heard most dramatically in this album’s...

Rows and Rows Keefe Jackson/Jason Adasiewicz

08/04/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Keefe Jackson/Jason Adasiewicz
Rows and Rows
Delmark Records

The duet is one of the purest expressions in jazz: unfiltered, unsullied and confidential by its very nature. Tenor saxophonist and bass clarinetist Keefe Jackson and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz—regulars within Chicago’s AACM-inspired improvisational music...

Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan's Greg Abate & Phil Woods with the Tim Ray Trio

08/03/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Greg Abate & Phil Woods with the Tim Ray Trio
Kindred Spirits: Live at Chan's
Whaling City Sound

On Aug. 11, 2014, a little more than a year before he exited our world, Phil Woods got together with longtime colleague and fellow alto saxophone virtuoso Greg Abate at Chan’s in Woonsocket, R.I., to cut the tracks that make up this thoroughly entertaining...