Reviews

The Purge DRKWAV

07/05/15    Albums    By Brad Farberman

DRKWAV
The Purge
Royal Potato Family/BAG

DRKWAV, the trio of keyboardist John Medeski, drummer Adam Deitch and saxophonist Skerik, is a vibe band. There is little in the way of harmony, melody or arrangement on The Purge , its debut album. Instead, there is the way the music feels: bleak, foreboding...

Time Pieces Kyle Eastwood

07/04/15    Albums    By Lucy Tauss

Kyle Eastwood
Time Pieces
Jazz Village

Bassist Kyle Eastwood explores late-’50s and early ’60s hard bop on Time Pieces . Eastwood says that genre of jazz was a big influence on him, and he and his band—saxophonist Brandon Allen, trumpeter/flugelhornist Quentin Collins, pianist Andrew McCormack...

Afrodeezia Marcus Miller

07/03/15    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Marcus Miller
Afrodeezia
Blue Note Records

For Afrodeezia , Marcus Miller—who mentions in his liner notes that he’s a spokesperson for UNESCO’s “Slave Route Project”—chose to incorporate musicians and instrumentation associated with various locales historically impacted by slavery. It’s a formidably...

Hot Town Ghost Train Orchestra

07/02/15    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Ghost Train Orchestra
Hot Town
Accurate Records

The only downside to listening to old jazz recordings from the 1920s is that they sound as though they were made in the 1920s. Brian Carpenter is making a career out of remedying that, and he continues his winning formula on Hot Town , the third album from...

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Kicks Off 36th Edition

07/02/15    Concerts    By Sharonne Cohen

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Kicks Off 36th Edition

Days 1-4 of Canada's massive annual event

Spark Jenna Mammina & Rolf Sturm

07/01/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Jenna Mammina & Rolf Sturm
Spark
Water Street Music

What began as a casual introduction at a rehearsal for a Grateful Dead tribute orchestra has blossomed into a fine pop-jazz partnership, and it only took two decades. The band was Joe Gallant’s Illuminati and, throughout their shared three-year stint in...

Arms & hands Kirk Knuffke

06/30/15    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Kirk Knuffke
Arms & hands
The Royal Potato Family

Kirk Knuffke has played in all sorts of contexts, so a trio is nothing unusual for the cornetist. What makes Arms & Hands distinctive, though, is his choice of bandmates. Bassist Mark Helias comes from a more adventurous (and prolific) background (Anthony...

The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation Sam Newsome

06/30/15    Albums    By Brad Farberman

Sam Newsome
The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation
Some New Records

On soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome’s The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation , the second entry in his The Art of the Soprano series, one hears, in addition to the leader’s ax, the sounds of mbira , synthesizer, flute and clarinet. But that’s all...

Memory in the Center, An Afro Opera: Homage to Nelson Mandela Ernest Dawkins' Live in the Spirit Residency Big Band

06/29/15    Albums    By David Whiteis

Ernest Dawkins' Live in the Spirit Residency Big Band
Memory in the Center, An Afro Opera: Homage to Nelson Mandela
Dawk

This orchestral jazz suite, written in tribute to Nelson Mandela and recorded live on the opening night of the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival, grafts elements of South African dance and melody onto a characteristic Ernest Dawkins fusion of postbop melodic and...

Emanation (Solo: Volume 2) Roberta Piket

06/28/15    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Roberta Piket
Emanation (Solo: Volume 2)
Thirteenth Note

At one time, pianists could be chastised for having a “weak left hand,” which simply played chords while the right hand did all the heavy lifting. On her second album of solo piano, Roberta Piket proves that not only is her left hand well equipped, it often...