Beginning of a Memory Matt Wilson's Big Happy Family

06/17/16    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Matt Wilson's Big Happy Family
Beginning of a Memory
Palmetto Records

The jazz funeral is a time-honored tradition, but it’s seldom been more exultant or moving than on Matt Wilson’s Beginning of a Memory . The drummer’s first album as leader since the death of his wife, Felicia, in 2014, this recording unites Wilson’s Arts...

Old Locks and Irregular Verbs Henry Threadgill Ensemble Double Up

06/16/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Henry Threadgill Ensemble Double Up
Old Locks and Irregular Verbs
Pi Recordings

Recent Pulitzer winner Henry Threadgill only makes important records. In the jazz avant-garde, he is both revered elder statesman and active agent provocateur. Old Locks and Irregular Verbs is momentous in at least three aspects. Threadgill, a major multireed...

Let Loose Peter Bernstein

06/16/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Peter Bernstein
Let Loose
Smoke Sessions

Peter Bernstein has built a career in the service of others, especially saxophone players and organists. He was in Sonny Rollins’ best working band of the new millennium, and has been crucial to Lou Donaldson and Dr. Lonnie Smith. On Let Loose he slips seamlessly...

In Movement Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison

06/16/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Jack DeJohnette/Ravi Coltrane/Matthew Garrison
In Movement
ECM Records

Talk about having the weight of history on your back: For the first time on disc, the sons of one half of jazz’s all-time greatest quartet are teaming up with a master drummer who collaborated with both of their fathers. To everyone’s credit, they tackle...

Miles Ahead: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Miles Davis/Various Artists

06/16/16    Albums    By Mac Randall

Miles Davis/Various Artists
Miles Ahead: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Enjoyable as it is, the soundtrack album for Don Cheadle’s quasi-biopic Miles Ahead prompts a query common to such releases: For whom, other than completists, is this intended? Not your typical fan, as there are no previously unheard Miles items and some...

Playboy Jazz Festival Reviewed

06/14/16    Concerts    By Matt R. Lohr

Playboy Jazz Festival Reviewed

Performances included Christian Scott, Cécile, Joey Alexander and more

Nattjazz and Nutshell in Norway

06/09/16    Concerts    By Jeff Tamarkin

Nattjazz and Nutshell in Norway

Where jazz means “no boundaries”

The Pauper & the Magician Ari Hoenig

06/04/16    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Ari Hoenig
The Pauper & the Magician

A magician “with darkness in his heart,” who plays cruel tricks on a pauper, sounds less like a scenario for a children’s story than a source for their nightmares. Yet that’s how drummer Ari Hoenig’s thematic album began life, as a tale he told to his young...

The Judy Garland Project Hilary Kole

06/03/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Hilary Kole
The Judy Garland Project
JVC Disc America

Though her career touched four decades, Judy Garland released surprisingly few albums. None, save 1961’s landmark Judy at Carnegie Hall , were major successes; her recordings generated nowhere near the sales or acclaim of LPs by such contemporaries as Sinatra...

harmonicus rex Hendrik Meurkens

06/02/16    Albums    By Philip Booth

Hendrik Meurkens
harmonicus rex
Height Advantage

Hendrik Meurkens has long doubled successfully on vibraphone and the chromatic harmonica. Now, more than 25 years into his recording career as a leader, he stands as arguably the most fluid and fluent jazz harmonica player this side of the great Toots Thielemans...