Trip Tom Harrell

11/03/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Tom Harrell
HighNote Records

Not to discount the work of Tom Harrell’s frontline partners from his previous albums, but the tonal match and improvisational rapport between the trumpeter-flugelhornist and tenor saxophonist Mark Turner on this record is striking. Of course, Harrell’s...

Can You Feel It Rick Braun

11/02/14    Albums    By Lucy Tauss

Rick Braun
Can You Feel It
Artistry Music

There’s a cut on Rick Braun’s new album called “Get Up and Dance,” and while it’s not the title track, that title captures this disc’s spirit perfectly. Braun, a popular smooth-jazz trumpeter/flugelhornist, evokes the sound and spirit of classic ’70s jazz...

Quartet Frank Kimbrough

11/01/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Frank Kimbrough
Palmetto Records

Frank Kimbrough’s piano playing is unpredictable. Not in terms of quality—he’s always “on”—but in terms of content, direction and execution. He’s a genuinely spontaneous player. He can sound barbed yet romantic, busy but introspective, funky but un-clichéd...

Duologue Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash

11/01/14    Albums    By Bill Beuttler

Steve Wilson/Lewis Nash
MCG Jazz

Duo albums featuring sax and drums aren’t unheard of, but earlier pairings—John Coltrane and Rashied Ali, Max Roach on one each with Anthony Braxton and Archie Shepp, David Murray and Kahil El’Zabar, to name a few—have usually leaned toward the avant-garde...

A Tribute to Wayne Shorter Dave Liebman Big Band

10/31/14    Albums    By Britt Robson

Dave Liebman Big Band
A Tribute to Wayne Shorter
MAMA Records

The reputation of composer Wayne Shorter is a growth stock likely to continue to soar for decades on end. But unlike Duke Ellington or even Charles Mingus, Shorter has written relatively little for large ensembles. Still, his supple melodies, harmonic sophistication...

The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite Anthony Branker & Wordplay

10/30/14    Albums    By Britt Robson

Anthony Branker & Wordplay
The Forward (Towards Equality) Suite
Origin Records

Anthony Branker has released an album on the Origin label every year since 2009, honing a hybrid of freewheeling postbop and social commentary, abetted by judicious dollops of funk, fusion, spoken word, clave and polyrhythmic percussion. That’s a heady stew...

Mwandishi & More: A Great Night in Harlem

10/29/14    Concerts    By Jeff Tamarkin

Mwandishi & More: A Great Night in Harlem

A dream team performs at the Apollo to support the Jazz Foundation of America

From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project Ann Hampton Callaway

10/29/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Ann Hampton Callaway
From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project

Among vocal jazz’s female holy trinity, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald have been lionized most but Sarah Vaughan has been feted best, via such fine salutes as Carmen McRae’s Sarah: Dedicated to You and Dianne Reeves’ The Calling . What, then, can an...

Visitation Saxophone Summit

10/28/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Saxophone Summit

Here’s what this album suggests at various times: the soundtrack to a dark, slow-moving suspense film; an orchestra tuning up; six musicians practicing simultaneously in different rooms; a tedious sensitivity-training class; insistent conversation. According...

Joy in Spite of Everything Stefano Bollani

10/27/14    Albums    By Brad Farberman

Stefano Bollani
Joy in Spite of Everything
ECM Records

Joy in Spite of Everything , the new album from pianist Stefano Bollani, is beautiful. Gorgeous. Peaceful. Serene. But that’s all it is. There’s no darkness for all that light to bounce off of. Featuring drummer Morten Lund, acoustic bassist Jesper Bodilsen...