Reviews

I Remember When Kellylee Evans

10/03/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Kellylee Evans
I Remember When
Motema

For Kellylee Evans fans in her native Canada (and those south of the 49th parallel willing to pay big bucks for import CDs), I Remember When is nothing new. Fifteen months after its Canadian release, the album has finally made its domestic arrival. And patience...

Venture Bound Alon Nechushtan

10/01/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Alon Nechushtan
Venture Bound
Enja Records

The single most salient fact about current jazz is its ongoing globalization. Jazz is an open-ended, self-renewing art form that draws strength from sources far outside itself. Example: Venture Bound . It is hardcore, up-to-the-minute small-ensemble jazz...

West Coast 1945-1947 Howard McGhee

09/29/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Howard McGhee
West Coast 1945-1947
Uptown

The Uptown label specializes in reclaiming valuable jazz artifacts from the dustbins of time. Their albums are peepholes into the shadows of history—like Los Angeles in 1945, when Howard McGhee, just in from New York, was playing bebop on Central Avenue...

Soulful Days Vanessa Perea

09/27/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Vanessa Perea
Soulful Days
Zoho

At age 26, vocalist Vanessa Perea is just getting started. Prior to this debut, her recording experience spanned a total of two tracks on Australian drummer Andrew Swift’s Swift Kick from 2012, a tentative but tender “Alfie” and an accomplished take on Jimmy...

We Won't Forget You...An Homage to Shirley Horn Dena DeRose

09/26/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Dena DeRose
We Won't Forget You...An Homage to Shirley Horn
HighNote Records

It’s hard to imagine a better choice than Dena DeRose to honor Shirley Horn. The hushed grandeur and understated elegance that were Horn’s trademarks are just as present in DeRose’s playing and singing. Johnny Mandel once remarked that Horn had two heads...

I Love Music Mike LeDonne

09/24/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Mike LeDonne
I Love Music
Savant

Mike LeDonne’s Groover Quartet has a talent for finding the jazz groove in pop tunes as well as for striking up a righteous groove on jazz tunes. Together 14 years, the band resembles the classic, soulful Blue Note organ combos of yore with a more recent...

Lenny Pickett With UMO Jazz Orchestra The Prescription

09/22/14    Albums    By Michael J. West

The Prescription
Lenny Pickett With UMO Jazz Orchestra
Random Act Records

Lenny Pickett puts a number of pleasing moments into The Prescription , his first solo record in almost 30 years. It’s the way he assembles them that’s not so pleasing. Pickett, best known as the featured saxophonist and musical director for the Saturday...

Ooh, What an Outfit! Chubby Jackson

09/20/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Chubby Jackson
Ooh, What an Outfit!
Uptown

If a film made during the mid-1950s featured a scene in jazz club, it always included one particular stock character: the guy who was juiced out of his mind, throwing his head back and yelling things like “Go, man, go!” toward the stage. Chubby Jackson didn’t...

It's a Good Day Cyrille Aimee

09/18/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Cyrille Aimee
It's a Good Day
Mack Avenue Records

It’s impossible to not be charmed by French moppet Cyrille Aimée and her infectious joie de vivre. Her footloose curiosity has resulted in a slew of indie and self-produced recordings, many hard to find. It’s a Good Day , brimming with Aimée’s ebullience...