Reviews

Feet in the Mud Mimi Jones

08/03/16    Albums    By David Whiteis

Mimi Jones
Feet in the Mud
Hot Tone

Bassist-vocalist Mimi Jones is joined here by soprano saxophonist Samir Zarif, pianist Jon Cowherd and drummer Jonathan Barber, settling into a comfortable groove pitched midway between ’70s-styled urban funk-jazz and straight-ahead swing. The opener, “Mr...

Lotus Mike Moreno

08/02/16    Albums    By Michael J. West

Mike Moreno
Lotus
World Culture

Between Billy Strayhorn and Woody Shaw, the Indian lotus flower adorning guitarist Mike Moreno’s fifth album has quite the history in jazz. But Moreno’s music therein has more in common with the mythological Greek lotus—when consumed, it evoked a pleasantly...

The Unity Sessions Pat Metheny

08/01/16    Albums    By Evan Haga

Pat Metheny
The Unity Sessions
Nonesuch Records

Pat Metheny has long been jazz’s most heroic guitarist, but he’s a guitar god with a definite and unabashed affinity for experimentation and the avant-garde. Two recent offerings from Nonesuch, The Unity Sessions and Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny , veer...

Dogs Nolatet

08/01/16    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Nolatet
Dogs
The Royal Potato Family

Nolatet’s moniker implies their central location in the Big Easy. While that isn’t unusual, the distinction comes from members who span four generations (the oldest a septuagenarian), all bringing different facets of music to the fold. Drummer Johnny Vidacovich...

The Third Decade One for All

07/31/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

One for All
The Third Decade
Smoke Sessions

Twenty years on (the album title, a bit of a misnomer, indicates that they’re entering their third decade), the sextet One for All defines—as much as any outfit today—the contemporary supergroup: saxophonist Eric Alexander, trumpeter Jim Rotondi, trombonist...

Hidden Voices Aruán Ortiz Trio

07/30/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Aruán Ortiz Trio
Hidden Voices
Intakt

It would be easy for Aruán Ortiz to take the well-trodden Latin-jazz piano-trio path, and there are times on Hidden Voices when he goes there. It seems nearly defiant when he does though, as if the Cuban-born leader, working here with bassist Eric Revis...

New Path 2 Alex Sipiagin

07/29/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Alex Sipiagin
New Path 2
ArtBeat

In the 25 years since Alex Sipiagin emigrated to the United States from Russia, he has become an A-list New York trumpet player. As sideman or leader, his work is consistent. He always brings it. On his new album he plays with typical fierce intelligence...

Groove: Blue Steve Smith, Tony Monaco & Vinny Valentino

07/28/16    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Steve Smith, Tony Monaco & Vinny Valentino
Groove: Blue
Q-rious

First, briefly, how Groove: Blue came to be: Drummer Steve Smith and guitarist Vinny Valentino of Smith’s fusion band Vital Information wandered into a lounge after playing the Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta in 2011. There, they caught the superb Ohio organist...

Südtirol Jazzfestival Alto Adige Reviewed

07/27/16    Concerts    By Thomas Conrad

Südtirol Jazzfestival Alto Adige Reviewed

Europe’s steepest jazz festival, and one of the boldest

Americana: Musings on Jazz and Blues JD Allen

07/27/16    Albums    By Mike Joyce

JD Allen
Americana: Musings on Jazz and Blues
Savant

As its subtitle suggests, saxophonist-composer JD Allen’s Americana has a distinctly personal slant. Nevertheless, this collection of trio performances, mostly inspired by Allen’s writing, is multifaceted and richly hued. The pieces reflect a wide variety...