Living My Dream Jonathan Butler

10/21/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Jonathan Butler
Living My Dream
Artistry Music

If the album title isn’t enough of a giveaway, be assured that Jonathan Butler is one optimistic, blissful fellow right now. “Living My Dream,” the title track of the South African-born guitarist/vocalist’s 22nd studio album, is a naked declaration of contentment...

Joy in Spite of Everything Stefano Bollani

10/21/14    Albums    By Brad Farberman

Stefano Bollani
Joy in Spite of Everything
ECM Records

Joy in Spite of Everything , the new album from pianist Stefano Bollani, is beautiful. Gorgeous. Peaceful. Serene. But that’s all it is. There’s no darkness for all that light to bounce off of. Featuring drummer Morten Lund, acoustic bassist Jesper Bodilsen...

The Signal Elizabeth Shepherd

10/20/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Elizabeth Shepherd
The Signal

Following in the footsteps of José James and countrywoman Kellylee Evans, Canadian vocalist and keyboardist Elizabeth Shepherd moves steadily toward a more funkified sound, mixing jazz with a whole lotta soul (and occasional hip-hop shadings) on her latest...

The Darkseid Recital Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp

10/19/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp
The Darkseid Recital
AUM Fidelity

In a solo setting, it can be a challenge to figure out whether Matthew Shipp is playing a composition or if the music is emerging from his fingers spontaneously. If the latter applies, he has an uncanny ability to chart a well-developed course with ease...

Inevitable Western The Bad Plus

10/18/14    Albums    By Bill Beuttler

The Bad Plus
Inevitable Western

This has been a productive year for the Bad Plus. After releasing nothing as a unit in 2013, the “avant-garde populists” have brought out two albums in 2014, their Inevitable Western arriving just five months after their ambitious trio arrangement of Stravinsky’s...

The Late Show: An Evening With Jaki Byard Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 3 Jaki Byard

10/17/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Jaki Byard
The Late Show: An Evening With Jaki Byard Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 3
HighNote Records

It’s born out of tradition and raised by the heart,” says Keystone Korner proprietor Todd Barkan in his introduction to Jaki Byard’s 1979 solo piano set at the San Francisco club. What would probably just be dismissible hyperbole in most cases is apt here...

Songs My Mother Loves Dee Alexander

10/16/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Dee Alexander
Songs My Mother Loves

From Mark Murphy’s Rah! to Cécile McLorin Salvant’s WomanChild , there have been plenty of vocal albums over the decades that take your breath away on first spin. Rarely, though, do artists hit two such home runs in a row. Five years ago, Chicago’s Dee Alexander...

Lathe of Heaven Mark Turner

10/15/14    Albums    By Michael J. West

Mark Turner
Lathe of Heaven
ECM Records

Even cerebral musicians need to connect emotionally with their audiences. Tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, who is as cerebral as they come, struggles with this task on Lathe of Heaven . His first album as a leader since 2001’s Dharma Days , Lathe realizes...

From the Region Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms

10/14/14    Albums    By David Whiteis

Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms
From the Region
Delmark Records

Vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz has become known for boundary-shattering exploration through his work with improvisers such as Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, Jeb Bishop, Rob Mazurek and Mike Reed (who appears on this CD). His own music, though, is as welcoming...

Offering; Live at Temple University John Coltrane

10/13/14    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

John Coltrane
Offering; Live at Temple University

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;...