Reviews

Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen Barb Jungr

06/20/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Barb Jungr
Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen
Kristalyn

Many singers have dipped into the Dylan songbook, but none as deeply or masterfully as Britain’s Barb Jungr. As Jungr has often recounted, around the dawn of the new millennium she heard a voice inside her head insisting, “You must sing the songs of Bob...

Mobro John Ellis & Andy Bragen

06/20/14    Albums    By Aidan Levy

John Ellis & Andy Bragen
Mobro
Parade Light

Saxophonist John Ellis’ Mobro , a concept album in collaboration with librettist Andy Bragen, is a radical departure from his previous release, the contemporary postbop date It’s You I Like , but it never veers too far into avant-garde territory; it’s too...

Review: Playboy Jazz Festival 2014

06/19/14    Concerts    By Chris J. Walker

Review: Playboy Jazz Festival 2014

From fusion to Fantasia, a cross-section of styles

For Living Lovers: Revealing Essence Brandon Ross & Stomu Takeishi

06/19/14    Albums    By Brad Farberman

Brandon Ross & Stomu Takeishi
For Living Lovers: Revealing Essence
Sunnyside

“Let’s play a lot of notes.” “Let’s play loud.” These are things that were almost definitely not said during the sessions for Revealing Essence , the first album from For Living Lovers. The acoustic duo of guitarist/ banjoist Brandon Ross and bass guitarist...

Sayat-Nova: Songs of My Ancestors Armen Donelian

06/18/14    Albums    By David Whiteis

Armen Donelian
Sayat-Nova: Songs of My Ancestors
Sunnyside

Through the years, pianist Armen Donelian has worked with figures as diverse as Lionel Hampton, Chet Baker, Mongo Santamaria, Sonny Rollins and Paquito D’Rivera, as well as the fusion group Cosmology. On this two-CD set, he pays tribute to the 18th-century...

Live at the King of France Tavern Teddy WIlson

06/17/14    Albums    By Mike Joyce

Teddy WIlson
Live at the King of France Tavern
Li-Sem

As this recording from a long-defunct Maryland venue illustrates, over the course of two brief sets laced with classic pop and jazz tunes, legendary pianist Teddy Wilson was in fine form in 1978. The first set is mostly notable for its Ellington-Strayhorn...

The Endless Mysteries George Colligan

06/16/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

George Colligan
The Endless Mysteries

Not all piano trios are democracies—all too often, the bassist and drummer play second-fiddle roles. That’s not the case with The Endless Mysteries , released last fall. Although the pianist and nominal leader, George Colligan, wrote all 10 tracks on this...

Forever Young Jacob Young

06/15/14    Albums    By John Murph

Jacob Young
Forever Young
ECM Records

Norwegian guitarist Jacob Young continues mapping out his own exquisite path on his third ECM outing. This time, he teams up with the Poland-based Marcin Wasilewski Trio to deliver spellbinding originals that place maximum emphasis on spatial awareness and...

My Favorite Color Jackie Allen

06/15/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Jackie Allen
My Favorite Color
Avant Bass

Eight years’ absence from the recording studio has done nothing to diminish Jackie Allen’s allure. The voice—dusky, mellow and wise—is as spellbinding as ever, now shot through with a captivating world-weariness, her folk-rock roots clearly showing. Though...

Harlem-Kingston Express Vol. 2: The River Rolls On Monty Alexander

06/14/14    Albums    By Aidan Levy

Monty Alexander
Harlem-Kingston Express Vol. 2: The River Rolls On
Motema

Bridging reggae and jazz without losing the sound of either is a delicate balance. It generally means maintaining the heavy off-beat accents and syncopated basslines that hew toward ska without reining in the challenging harmonic substitutions of bebop...