Reviews

Convalleria Thumbscrew

11/01/16    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Thumbscrew
Convalleria
Cuneiform Records

To record their sophomore Thumbscrew album, guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara took part in a two-week residency in Pittsburgh, which allowed them to compose individually but work up the music as a unit. The extended...

The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart The Cookers

10/31/16    Albums    By Philip Booth

The Cookers
The Call of the Wild and Peaceful Heart
Smoke Sessions

Hard bop, soul jazz and postbop are the domain of the Cookers. Few bands perform their chosen variety of jazz with as much style, integrity and vigor as this group featuring five under-celebrated veteran players—tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, trumpeter...

Cinema Spiral Jason Roebke Octet

10/31/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Jason Roebke Octet
Cinema Spiral
NoBusiness

The Jason Roebke Octet is the gathering of a tribe, a robust contingent of Chicago-based bandleaders who came to prominence mostly during the aughts and frequently play on each other’s records. The group’s 2014 debut, High/Red/Center , was a bruising, squalling...

Live at Okuden Jungle: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/Hamid Drake

10/30/16    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Jungle: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/Hamid Drake
Live at Okuden
ESP-Disk

Pianist Matthew Shipp and drummer Hamid Drake are among the greatest musicians ever to play avant-garde jazz. Mat Walerian, on the other hand, is almost a complete unknown, having only one other widely distributed album—a duo with Shipp—to his name. But...

North Kevin Hays New Day Trio

10/29/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Kevin Hays New Day Trio
North
Sunnyside

The New Day Trio is Kevin Hays on acoustic piano, Rob Jost on bass and Greg Joseph on drums. North is their follow-up to last year’s New Day , but Hays lays off the vocals this time around and keeps guest artists at bay. It’s thus the first purely instrumental...

Dark Territory Dave Douglas

10/28/16    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Dave Douglas
Dark Territory
Greenleaf Music

Many jazz fans often wonder what kind of music Miles Davis would be making if he were still alive. Given that he was a musical chameleon who absorbed, internalized and expressed himself in all sorts of styles—from big band to hip-hop—anything is possible...

Brasil L.I.K.E. Ron Carter Quartet & Victoria Maldonado

10/27/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Ron Carter Quartet & Victoria Maldonado
Brasil L.I.K.E.
Summit

Ron Carter shares top billing here with the Brazilian vocalist Vitoria Maldonado, but for all of Carter’s bass skills and his undeniable legacy, he and his quartet—pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Payton Crossley and percussionist Rolando Morales-Matos—are...

Inner Agent David Gibson

10/26/16    Albums    By Michael J. West

David Gibson
Inner Agent
Posi-Tone

The tuxedoed, sunglasses-clad, cocktail-nursing David Gibson in Inner Agent’s CD-gatefold photo evokes not the James Bond type that the title suggests but the laidback cool of the Rat Pack. That’s not what the trombonist’s postbop music brings to mind, though...

“100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella!” Reviewed

10/25/16    Concerts    By Jeff Tamarkin

“100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella!” Reviewed

Featuring Andra Day, Monica Mancini, Lizz Wright and more

Let's Call the Whole Thing Off Seamus Blake/Chris Cheek With Reeds Ramble

10/25/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Seamus Blake/Chris Cheek With Reeds Ramble
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
Criss Cross

Two-tenor frontlines are thin on the ground, but there is a small tradition. Back in the day, Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis/Johnny Griffin and Al Cohn/Zoot Sims had good runs. Of the “Top 50 Tenor Sax Albums of All Time” (according to the June 2012 issue of this...