Rush Tom Guarna

09/14/14    Albums    By Sharonne Cohen

Tom Guarna

The title of New York guitarist-composer Tom Guarna’s sixth recording alludes to the rush of creativity and excitement that provides the impetus for these eight new compositions. Ranging from fiery to elegiac, the material is interpreted by a formidable...

Corduroy The David Ullmann 8

09/13/14    Albums    By Shaun Brady

The David Ullmann 8
Little Sky

Too often, when a jazz composer draws upon a specific conceptual inspiration, the link between that source and the music itself seems tenuous at best, impossible to determine without the aid of copious liner notes. But slipping David Ullmann’s Corduroy into...

Romantica Caterina Zapponi

09/12/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Caterina Zapponi

Though Caterina Zapponi was born in Rome and raised among Italy’s artistic cognoscenti (her mother is a singer of French origin, her screenwriter father crafted both Roma and Satyricon with Federico Fellini), it was a viewing of the Cole Porter musical High...

Lip Service Richard Elliot

09/11/14    Albums    By Lucy Tauss

Richard Elliot
Lip Service
Heads Up

Marking his 30th anniversary as a solo recording artist this year, saxophonist Richard Elliot delivers Lip Service , an amiable but predictable set filled with the kind of R&B-informed contemporary jazz that has made the former Tower of Power member a mainstay...

ART: Why I Stuck With a Junkie Jazzman Laurie Pepper

09/11/14    Books    By Matt R. Lohr

Laurie Pepper
ART: Why I Stuck With a Junkie Jazzman

Art Pepper’s Straight Life is one of the seminal jazz autobiographies, essential for its portrait of the postwar West Coast scene and its pitiless portrayal of the addict’s lifestyle. The book was a collaboration between Art and his wife, Laurie, who shaped...

The Seeker Azar Lawrence

09/10/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Azar Lawrence
The Seeker

Jazz fans of a certain age who remember McCoy Tyner’s great 1973 album Enlightenment may have wondered what became of Azar Lawrence. He dropped off jazz radar for most of three decades, but he is back. The Seeker is his fifth record since 2007. He also plays...

Live at the Keystone Korner: Reliving the Moment Cedar Walton Featuring Freddie Hubbard

09/09/14    Albums    By David Whiteis

Cedar Walton Featuring Freddie Hubbard
Live at the Keystone Korner: Reliving the Moment
HighNote Records

The “moment” in question occurred in late 1977; the event was the Rahsaan Roland Kirk Memorial Jazz Festival at San Francisco’s Keystone Korner. The Cedar Walton Quartet, co-headlining with Leon Thomas and Bobby Hutcherson, were joined by Walton’s old Jazz...

Present Joys Dave Douglas & Uri Caine

09/08/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Dave Douglas & Uri Caine
Present Joys
Greenleaf Music

The art of shape-note singing combines spiritual messages with simple folk melodies. Created during the 19th century, it gave non-tutored voices the ability to express their devotion while singing in four-part harmony. The music found in century-old books...

My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke Al Jarreau

09/07/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Al Jarreau
My Old Friend: Celebrating George Duke
Concord Records

It would take this entire review, perhaps this entire page, to list all the musicians that the late pianist, composer and producer George Duke collaborated with and influenced across his five-decade career. Yet surely none is better suited to assemble a...

Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: The Music of Joni Mitchell Laurie Antonioli

09/06/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Laurie Antonioli
Songs of Shadow, Songs of Light: The Music of Joni Mitchell
Origin Records

As is common knowledge among even casual Joni Mitchell fans, around the mid-1970s her passion for jazz became increasingly integral to her work; that passion escalated through the ’80s and included collaborations with Mingus, Jaco, Wayne Shorter and Herbie...