Reviews

Nobody's Gonna Love You Better: Black Bar Jukebox Redux Allan Harris

11/16/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Allan Harris
Nobody's Gonna Love You Better: Black Bar Jukebox Redux
Love Records

While all the fuss surrounding Gregory Porter is fully justified, Allan Harris is long overdue for as much respect and praise. Indeed, to borrow a Dan Fogelberg reference, they often seem twin sons of different mothers. Harris’ beefy baritone is equally...

The Second Derrick Hodge

11/15/16    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Derrick Hodge
The Second
Blue Note Records

The music of bassist Derrick Hodge has been described as cinematic, and for The Second , his obviously titled sophomore release as a leader, he assumes the role of all-encompassing auteur. Hodge plays every instrument on eight of this album’s dozen tracks...

Love Having You Around: Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 2 Abbey Lincoln

11/15/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Abbey Lincoln
Love Having You Around: Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 2
HighNote Records

Last year, the frustratingly thin Abbey Lincoln catalog was significantly enriched by the release of Sophisticated Abbey: Live at the Keystone Korner , a nine-track set captured at the fabled San Francisco club. It was March 1980 and Lincoln, fronting a...

Country for Old Men John Scofield

11/14/16    Albums    By Evan Haga

John Scofield
Country for Old Men
Impulse!

John Scofield’s latest project, a set of C&W standards, is full of surprises even if its concept might seem overdue for the guitarist, whose abiding love of American roots music is no secret. Rather than bend toward the idiom he’s exploring, as he did on...

Out of the Past Lauren White

11/14/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Lauren White
Out of the Past

West Coast singer-songwriter hipster Mark Winkler, who produced Lauren White’s latest, has long maintained a predilection for vintage L.A. themes, primarily the cool California sound of the 1950s and ’60s. Here he turns up the heat and turns back the clock...

Sunkissed Ashleigh Smith

11/08/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Ashleigh Smith
Sunkissed
Concord Records

What won Ashleigh Smith top honors at the third annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition back in November 2014? A finely wrought “The End of a Love Affair” and an equally well-crafted “Just One of Those Things,” both framed to spotlight...

Mixtura Luba Mason

11/07/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Luba Mason
Mixtura
Sunnyside

Mixtura is more than the title of Luba Mason’s third album as a leader. It also describes her personal and professional ethos, so much so that she has trademarked the term. “Surround yourself with people who are great, and will push you, and you can challenge...

What We Bring Ben Wendel

11/06/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Ben Wendel
What We Bring
Motema

Ben Wendel’s mother sang opera professionally for nearly 25 years. The saxophonist has toured with Snoop Dogg, is a huge fan of electronica and is best known for his membership in Kneebody, an eclectic quintet that grooves forth with its own slanted and...

Dream in the Blue Sara Gazarek & Josh Nelson

11/06/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Sara Gazarek & Josh Nelson
Dream in the Blue
Steel Bird

As vocalist Sara Gazarek has explained, she and pianist Josh Nelson have spent the past decade “growing up together, musically and personally.” Nelson is a band member on all four of Gazarek’s previous releases, she’s made guest appearances on two of his...

Nearness Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau

11/05/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Joshua Redman & Brad Mehldau
Nearness
Nonesuch Records

Back in a previous century, Joshua Redman was the hottest new tenor in town. He had foregone Harvard Law School to play jazz. His third album, MoodSwing , in 1994, had an unknown kid on piano. Then people began to notice that this kid could knock you right...