Reviews

Festival Matt Ulery’s Loom/Large

12/21/16    Albums    By Michael J. West

Matt Ulery’s Loom/Large
Festival

Taken separately, any of Matt Ulery’s compositions on Festival would be fine work, worth exploring in depth and on repeat. Taken together, they’re exhausting. Ulery, also a bassist and tubist, is a writer of considerable skill and even more ambition; Festival...

Songs on Film: The Sequel Joe Stilgoe

12/20/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Joe Stilgoe
Songs on Film: The Sequel
Linn Records

Referring to fellow Brit Joe Stilgoe as the “next Jamie Cullum” doesn’t quite wash, since he and Cullum are, at 37, precisely the same age. Still, the similarities are striking: same boundless energy and cheeky precociousness, similarly wide-ranging musical...

Swivel Honey Ear Trio

12/20/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Honey Ear Trio
Swivel
Little (i)

For their sophomore effort, arriving five years after the deliciously irreverent Steampunk Serenade , Honey Ear Trio underwent what could have been a crucial change but turned out not to be. Bassist and electronics maven Rene Hart and drummer Allison Miller...

The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac and His Music Various Artists

12/19/16    Albums    By Mike Joyce

Various Artists
The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: Celebrating Mac and His Music
Concord Records

New Orleans’ historic Saenger Theatre, May 3, 2014, Jazz Fest season: Unquestionably the right place, right time for a Crescent City all-star bash honoring Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack. After all, the lineup included New Orleans composer and legend Allen Toussaint...

Second Impression Eric Alexander

12/17/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Eric Alexander
Second Impression
HighNote Records

Tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander’s longtime collaborators Harold Mabern (piano) and Joe Farnsworth (drums) return for Second Impression , and the bond they’ve established over the course of several recordings is as strong as ever. But don’t be surprised...

ArtScience Robert Glasper Experiment

12/16/16    Albums    By Evan Haga

Robert Glasper Experiment
ArtScience
Blue Note Records

ArtScience , the latest release from Robert Glasper’s Experiment band, begins with the keyboardist’s trademarked take on acoustic jazz, like Bud Powell and prime Herbie passed through a J Dilla filter. Soon enough comes Glasper’s spoken mission statement...

Just a Silly Game Kay Lyra

12/15/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Kay Lyra
Just a Silly Game
Sunnyside

Brazilian vocalist Kay Lyra boasts an impeccable pedigree. Her father is Carlos Lyra, who, alongside Antonio Carlos Jobim, is recognized as bossa nova’s co-father. Her mother is the American model, actress, writer and occasional singer Kate Lyra. Her husband...

Aziza Aziza

12/14/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Aziza
Aziza
Dare2

Chris Potter on saxophone, Lionel Loueke on guitar, Dave Holland on bass, Eric Harland on drums … go ahead, call Aziza a supergroup. That would be a very ’70s thing to do, and this, at least on some levels, is very ’70s music. In its energy, its complexity...

Christmas Home Tony DeSare

12/14/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Tony DeSare
Christmas Home
AJD

When singer and pianist Tony DeSare set out to create what he calls an “old-fashioned” Christmas album, he took as his model not 1957’s A Jolly Christmas With Frank Sinatra but that same year’s Close to You , a Nelson Riddle-arranged ballads session that...

The Beautiful Day Kurt Elling

12/13/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Kurt Elling
The Beautiful Day
OKeh/Sony

Predictably, Kurt Elling’s first Christmas album is anything but predictable. The exquisite quintet session unites Elling with guitarist John McLean, pianist Stu Mindeman, bassist Clark Sommers and drummer Kendrick Scott. Intermingling the secular and sacred...