Reviews

Alive Hiromi

08/28/14    Albums    By Bill Meredith

Hiromi
Alive
Telarc

If there’s a drawback to all-star groups, it’s that they have little to prove. Which may explain why it took a few years for Japanese pianist Hiromi to find the formula for her vaunted Trio Project, with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips...

18th & Racine The Fat Babies

08/27/14    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

The Fat Babies
18th & Racine
Delmark Records

If Wynton Marsalis stands accused of playing museum jazz, what to make then of the Fat Babies? The young Chicago septet is steeped in the music’s earliest moments, performing 1920s jazz not only faithfully but perfectly in every way—from the blowing and...

Low Life: The Alto Flute Project Holly Hofmann

08/26/14    Albums    By Carlo Wolff

Holly Hofmann
Low Life: The Alto Flute Project
Capri Records

Despite the sobriety of its title, Holly Hofmann’s 12th album is anything but clinical or cynical. Rather, it’s Hofmann’s celebration of the alto flute, a supple instrument of especially sultry timbre. Largely midtempo and expertly played, this album is...

Mother's Touch Orrin Evans' Captain Black Band

08/25/14    Albums    By Ron Wynn

Orrin Evans' Captain Black Band
Mother's Touch
Posi-Tone

Mother’s Touch is the studio follow-up to this Orrin Evans-led ensemble’s topflight live recording from 2011. It’s as well arranged as its predecessor, versatile in its stylistic presentation and nicely balanced between cohesive ensemble statements and rich...

So Many Roads Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life

08/24/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life
So Many Roads
BJU

The title So Many Roads evokes a journey that abounds with possibilities. The tracks—a prologue, four chapters and an epilogue—suggest a short story, a more well-defined path. Both conventions are at work here. Bassist Iversen and her group—John Ellis on...

Move Your Body Rebirth Brass Band

08/23/14    Albums    By Philip Booth

Rebirth Brass Band
Move Your Body
Basin Street Records

After reclaiming its mojo as a raucous, horns-heavy traditional street band on 2011’s inspired and inspiring Rebirth of New Orleans , which won the group its first Grammy, one of the Crescent City’s most acclaimed marching brass outfit continues in a similar...

With Love Jeremy Fox

08/22/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Jeremy Fox
With Love

As an arranger, Nelson Riddle will forever remain best known for his work with Frank Sinatra. But Riddle achieved equally stellar results with Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Keely Smith, Dean Martin and Rosemary Clooney. His ability...

Young Guns Gene Ludwig/Pat Martino Trio

08/21/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Gene Ludwig/Pat Martino Trio
Young Guns
HighNote Records

Some musical relationships last a lifetime while others simply serve as milestones along the way, conjuring up questions of what might have transpired had certain musicians continued to work in tandem. Pittsburgh’s Gene Ludwig had evolved beyond a Jimmy...

Road Scholars Live Stan Kenton Alumni Band

08/20/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Stan Kenton Alumni Band
Road Scholars Live
Summit

With trumpeter Mike Vax at the helm, the Stan Kenton Alumni Band is in good hands. The group’s 2013 tour, memorialized here, would not disappoint the maestro, and should please new fans as well as the aging faithful. With Kenton you expect drama, majesty...

I'll Fly Away Jeff Denson & Joshua White

08/19/14    Albums    By Ron Wynn

Jeff Denson & Joshua White
I'll Fly Away
pfMentum

Bassist-composer Jeff Denson has earned a stalwart reputation as a rhythm section standout during his tenure with Lee Konitz’s quartet as well as with the trio Minsarah and his own four-piece ensemble. He takes on the role of co-contributor on his latest...