Reviews

Traces Camila Meza

05/21/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Camila Meza
Traces
Sunnyside

Music-savvy New Yorkers have been aware of Camila Meza for a while now. Seven years have passed since the Chilean vocalist and guitarist, then just 22, migrated to the Big Apple. Three previous albums focused on American and Latin standards, plus wider forays...

Home Suite Home Patrick Williams

05/20/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Patrick Williams
Home Suite Home
BFM

It’s hardly surprising that composer-arranger-conductor Patrick Williams’ big-band work is so grandly cinematic; over his half-century in show business he has scored more than five-dozen films, most famously 1979’s Breaking Away , which earned him an Oscar...

Collectables Todd Coolman & Trifecta

05/19/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Todd Coolman & Trifecta
Collectables
Sunnyside

Since piano trios are almost always led by pianists, it is reasonable to ask, “What is different about a piano trio led by the bassist?” Collectables is a textbook answer. Not that Todd Coolman is an overbearing presence here. He does not give himself an...

En Vie Camille Bertault

05/18/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Camille Bertault
En Vie
Sunnyside

Even if you don’t understand a word of French, the enormity of Camille Bertault’s gift is immediately, intoxicatingly evident. The Parisian singer-songwriter, still in her early 20s, began studying classical piano with her father at age 4, but quickly developed...

Work Songs Jaimeo Brown Transcendence

05/17/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Jaimeo Brown Transcendence
Work Songs

The challenge here for drummer-composer Jaimeo Brown and his collaborator and co-producer in Transcendence, guitarist Chris Sholar, was to avoid reducing Work Songs to a history lesson. The follow-up to 2013’s well-received Transcendence , Work Songs grafts...

Soul Tree Ed Cherry

05/16/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Ed Cherry
Soul Tree
Posi-Tone

Although he’s barely into his 60s, guitarist Ed Cherry has long been an old soul, keenly calibrated to the virtues of restraint. He played with Dizzy Gillespie (in ensembles from quartet to big band) for 14 years, and with leaders as disparate as Henry Threadgill...

Spring Susie Arioli

05/15/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Susie Arioli
Spring
Spectra Jazz

As its title suggests, Susie Arioli’s eighth studio release is all about fresh starts. Appropriately, it is the Montreal-based singer-songwriter’s first album-length outing without guitarist and musical alter ego Jordan Officer. Subbing on guitar is one...

Book of Intuition Kenny Barron Trio

05/14/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Kenny Barron Trio
Book of Intuition
Impulse!

For some strange reason, the trio that Kenny Barron has been leading for the past decade, featuring bassist Kiyoshi Kitagawa and drummer Johnathan Blake, had never cut an album until now. We should all thank the deity of our choice that they finally entered...

Ubatuba Ingrid Laubrock

05/14/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Ingrid Laubrock
Ubatuba
Firehouse 12 Records

With four weighty, gnarly horn stylists (and her husband Tom Rainey on drums), Ingrid Laubrock gives new meaning to the phrase “heavy breathing” on Ubatuba . Indeed, the lead track, “Any Breathing Organism,” opens with a series of long gusts through saxophones...

Classic James P. Johnson Sessions (1921-1943) James P. Johnson

05/13/16    Albums    By Colin Fleming

James P. Johnson
Classic James P. Johnson Sessions (1921-1943)
Mosaic Records

Jazz piano masters tend to slot easily into categories. There are seemingly beyond-the-bounds-of-possibility virtuosos (Art Tatum), blues melders (Wynton Kelly) and genre purveyors (Meade Lux Lewis), but few ivory-savants leapt about like James P. Johnson...