Reviews

Trip Mode Joey DeFrancesco

01/22/16    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Joey DeFrancesco
Trip Mode
HighNote Records

Joey the Aggressor has emerged with this album. With new guitarist Dan Wilson and new drummer Jason Brown, the organist’s trio harkens back to—as liner-note writer Mark Ruffin points out—the Larry Young-Grant Green-Elvin Jones triumvirate of the late ’60s...

Turning Towards the Light Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra

01/20/16    Albums    By Mike Joyce

Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra
Turning Towards the Light
Cuneiform Records

Guitar orchestras are not all that uncommon around the world, but Adam Rudolph’s ensemble is decidedly unlike any other. For one thing, the 11 musicians who perform on Turning Towards the Light are notable recording artists and bandleaders in their own right...

Evolution Dr. Lonnie Smith

01/19/16    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Dr. Lonnie Smith
Evolution
Blue Note Records

Dr. Lonnie Smith, one of the godfathers of the jazz organ, returns to the record label that cemented his status as a B-3 king in the 1960s. Now, 45 years after his previous session for Blue Note, Smith has issued not only what might be his own greatest album...

Lush Life: A Musical Journey Joe Castro

01/17/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Joe Castro
Lush Life: A Musical Journey
Sunnyside

Up until now, historians considered pianist Joe Castro (1927-2009) noteworthy for two reasons: He was the first Mexican-American jazz bandleader to achieve any great fame, and he was the consort of tobacco heiress Doris Duke, the wealthiest woman in the...

Detroit Jazz City Various Artists

01/16/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Various Artists
Detroit Jazz City
Blue Note Records

Not only is the title of this album great ( pace Kiss), but so is the concept behind it, as cooked up by Blue Note Records president and Detroit native Don Was. First, compile a mix of new and old recordings to remind listeners how many great jazz players...

Alone Together Carol Welsman

01/15/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Carol Welsman
Alone Together
Welcar

Though Carol Welsman’s lengthy career has been liberally dotted with fine albums, she reaches a lofty new plateau with Alone Together . It’s a well-traveled route. Many of the past century’s foremost jazz and jazz-influenced pop singers didn’t find their...

Out of the Blue Raoul Björkenheim ECsTaSy

01/14/16    Albums    By Mike Joyce

Raoul Björkenheim ECsTaSy
Out of the Blue
Cuneiform Records

Critics have heaped lavish praise on guitarist Raoul Björkenheim’s curious brand of improvised jazz, and understandably so, even if commonly drawn parallels (Ayler, Coleman, Coltrane, Mahavishnu, Hendrix, Fela, et al.) only serve to underscore the audacious...

A New Dance Rotem Sivan Trio

01/13/16    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Rotem Sivan Trio
A New Dance
Fresh Sound Records

On A New Dance , guitarist-composer Rotem Sivan and his musicians, bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo and drummer Colin Stranahan, weave 10 tracks of such hushed, bittersweet warmth that their intricacies may sneak up on you. Sivan’s singular combination of impressive...

Come Fly With Me Herb Alpert

01/12/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Herb Alpert
Come Fly With Me

More than 50 years have passed since Herb Alpert burst onto the international music scene with his Tijuana Brass and proved, quite literally, instrumental in presaging the smooth-jazz movement that he’s still a vital part of. As one of the most admired music...

Review: David Bowie's "Blackstar"

01/11/16    Albums    By Michael J. West

Review: David Bowie's "Blackstar"

Days before his death, Bowie released his final statement--backed by a jazz quintet