Reviews

Beauty Within Anthony Branker & Imagine

11/24/16    Albums    By Philip Booth

Anthony Branker & Imagine
Beauty Within
Origin Records

Composer-arranger Anthony Branker, former longtime jazz studies guru at Princeton, turns to his new Imagine quintet for his latest set of forward-looking acoustic-electric pieces. From the titles to the haunting, sometimes meditative textures, a spiritual...

Musical Monsters Don Cherry/John Tchicai

11/23/16    Albums    By David Whiteis

Don Cherry/John Tchicai
Musical Monsters
Intakt

Free-jazz trumpet pioneer Don Cherry’s posthumous legacy continues to grow with this document of a 1980 performance at Jazz Festival Willisau in Switzerland, featuring Cherry along with an old cohort, saxophonist John Tchicai, and a Swiss rhythm section...

Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition

11/23/16    Concerts    By Allen Morrison

Sarah Vaughan Jazz Vocal Competition

London chanteuse Deelee Dubé takes top prize

Rhombal Stephan Crump's Rhombal

11/22/16    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Stephan Crump's Rhombal
Rhombal
Papillon

Whether he’s anchoring the Vijay Iyer Trio, keeping things at once action-packed and understated in the two-guitar/bass Rosetta Trio or testing the limits in duets with adventurous friends like Steve Lehman, bassist Stephan Crump can always generate attention...

Havana Blue Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble

11/21/16    Albums    By Michael J. West

Orbert Davis' Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble
Havana Blue
316

Orchestral jazz is always a bit of a dicey proposition, teetering on the edge of pretentiousness. And when it’s performed by a “chamber ensemble” comprising 11 pieces, it’s even less promising. But trumpeter Orbert Davis, director of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic...

What Was Said Tord Gustavsen

11/20/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Tord Gustavsen
What Was Said
ECM Records

What Was Said is imbued with the pristine austerity and profound contemplation of a vintage ECM record. While the iconic German label has broadened its stylistic offerings considerably over the years, it has consistently opted for artists like the Norwegian...

Something Gold, Something Blue Tom Harrell

11/19/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Tom Harrell
Something Gold, Something Blue
HighNote Records

From 2007 to 2011, trumpeter Tom Harrell delivered a magnificently consistent torrent of all-original material for his stable working quintet: four albums and 36 songs without a cover in the bunch. The five records since then have tinkered with the formula...

New Spring: Live at the Village Vanguard Enrico Pieranunzi Quartet

11/18/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Enrico Pieranunzi Quartet
New Spring: Live at the Village Vanguard
CAM Jazz

Of Italy’s great piano players, Enrico Pieranunzi is the most transatlantic. Stefano Bollani, Danilo Rea and Giovanni Guidi collaborate mostly with other Europeans. Pieranunzi hires North Americans. His most enduring trio included Marc Johnson and Joey Baron...

Strength & Power Roswell Rudd/Jamie Saft/Trevor Dunn/Balazs Pandi

11/17/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Roswell Rudd/Jamie Saft/Trevor Dunn/Balazs Pandi
Strength & Power
RareNoise

Strength & Power shows how opting for brute force in a totally improvised context can yield the sort of explosively coherent free jazz that transcends noisemaker stereotypes. The trio of pianist Jamie Saft, acoustic bassist Trevor Dunn and drummer Balazs...

Some Other Time: A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein Nils Landgren With Janis Siegel

11/17/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Nils Landgren With Janis Siegel
Some Other Time: A Tribute to Leonard Bernstein
ACT Music + Vision

It is a rather perfect storm: a sterling quartet led by Swedish trombonist and vocalist Nils Landgren, paired with the 17-piece Bochumer Symphoniker across a dozen Leonard Bernstein gems, arranged and conducted by Vince Mendoza, augmented with guest vocals...