Warp Jon Balke

05/11/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Jon Balke
ECM Records

Jon Balke is probably best known for his Magnetic North Orchestra, a project dedicated to exploring (or erasing) the boundaries between form and freedom in large-ensemble jazz. Warp is a solo piano record that continues Balke’s interest in extending formats...

The Theory of Joy Ian Shaw

05/10/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Ian Shaw
The Theory of Joy
Jazz Village

Great jazz singers, like great comedians, are masters of timing. That Ian Shaw is a virtuoso of both disciplines, balancing standup and concert gigs, speaks to the breadth of his genius and to the singularity of his style as a singer. It’s hardly surprising...

In Paris: The ORTF Recordings Larry Young

05/09/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Larry Young
In Paris: The ORTF Recordings

These 1960s European sessions capture organist Larry Young in a fruitful mid-period of his tragically short career: beyond the overt Jimmy Smith influences of his early material for Prestige, but not yet in the cosmic avant-jazz-rock orbit he would later...

Quiver Ralph Alessi

05/08/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Ralph Alessi
ECM Records

Like its 2013 predecessor, Baida , trumpeter-composer Ralph Alessi’s second ECM release as a leader is a quartet album. The pianist has changed (Gary Versace replacing Jason Moran), but the other players—bassist Drew Gress and drummer Nasheet Waits—remain...

Moments in Time Stan Getz

05/08/16    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Stan Getz
Moments in Time
Resonance Records

What a magical week it must have been at Keystone Korner in May of 1976. Stan Getz had a six-night stand at the San Francisco club, and each night was split in two. The first set featured the saxophonist’s quartet with pianist Joanne Brackeen, bassist Clint...

The Abyssinian Mass Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis

05/07/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis
The Abyssinian Mass
Blue Engine

You can’t accuse Wynton Marsalis of thinking small. Commissioned to compose a piece for the 200th anniversary of Harlem’s Abyssinian Baptist Church in 2008, the artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center responded with a two-hour suite for 15-piece big...

Live at Rosy's Sarah Vaughan

05/06/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Sarah Vaughan
Live at Rosy's
Resonance Records

Following a lengthy Following a lengthy fallow period, the late 1970s proved a particularly fertile time for Sarah Vaughan. In 1977 she signed with Norman Granz’s Pablo label and began a stellar series of studio albums. In May 1978, not long after the first...

Ballads and Standards Marc Mommaas/Nikolaj Hess

05/05/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Marc Mommaas/Nikolaj Hess
Ballads and Standards

Marc Mommaas belongs to a special society of tenor saxophone players who are revered by other tenor players but not famous. (Rich Perry and Adam Kolker are also members.) Mommaas is probably best known for his work with pianist Amina Figarova, where his...

Azul Infinito Ryan Keberle & Catharsis

05/04/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
Azul Infinito
Greenleaf Music

ou need a magnifying glass to get through the copious liner notes of Azul Infinito , but it’s an illuminating slog. First, the composer-trombonist Ryan Keberle explains how a native of the suburbs of the Pacific Northwest fell in with South American musicians...

Montreal Celebrates International Jazz Day

05/04/16    Concerts    By Sharonne Cohen

Montreal Celebrates International Jazz Day

Sonia Johnson, Marianne Trudel, Jazzamboka and others showcased