Reviews

Leave the Door Open Joel Harrison & Anupam Shobhakar Multiplicity

06/27/14    Albums    By Britt Robson

Joel Harrison & Anupam Shobhakar Multiplicity
Leave the Door Open
Whirlwind

To say an artist “is challenging himself” is a tired cliché, so let’s simply note that guitarist-composer Joel Harrison exhibits uncommon curiosity and endurance in his search for different ways to make his music beautiful and visceral. On Leave the Door...

Outside the Line Peter Brendler

06/26/14    Albums    By Britt Robson

Peter Brendler
Outside the Line
Posi-Tone

Peter Brendler’s recent projects include an austere collection of duets with guitarist John Abercrombie and a couple of wild and wooly albums with intrepid saxophonist Jon Irabagon. That broad spectrum made it difficult to guess how the young bassist would...

Mukashi (Once Upon a Time) Abdullah Ibrahim

06/25/14    Albums    By Shaun Brady

Abdullah Ibrahim
Mukashi (Once Upon a Time)
Sunnyside

On the eve of his 80th birthday and less than a year after the death of his wife, singer Sathima Bea Benjamin, South African piano great Abdullah Ibrahim has released his starkest, most reflective collection to date. Mukashi is a Japanese word that translates...

Conversations Stanton Moore

06/24/14    Albums    By Sharonne Cohen

Stanton Moore
Conversations
The Royal Potato Family

Veteran drummer Stanton Moore, of New Orleans funk masters Galactic, returns to his jazz beginnings with a spirited piano-trio recording. Setting out to explore his straight-ahead jazz influences, Moore went into woodshed mode, taking lessons with drummer...

Bless Up Ernest Ranglin & Avila

06/23/14    Albums    By Carlo Wolff

Ernest Ranglin & Avila
Bless Up
Avila Street

The 16 tracks on this leisurely CD span the rowdy, the regal and the ruminative. They star Ernest Ranglin, who might be called the father of ska. He’s a Jamaican guitarist who can play both pensively and pyrotechnically, and even now, in his early 80s, he’s...

Sound, Space and Structures John Escreet

06/22/14    Albums    By John Murph

John Escreet
Sound, Space and Structures
Sunnyside

U.K.-born pianist and composer John Escreet has always demonstrated a knack for the adventurous: When he arrived on the New York City jazz scene in 2006, his formidable improvisations resembled those of Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer—searching and explorative...

Rhapsody In Gershwin Ted Rosenthal Trio

06/21/14    Albums    By Britt Robson

Ted Rosenthal Trio
Rhapsody In Gershwin
Playscape Recordings

Whether or not you endorse the finished product, it is hard to argue against Ted Rosenthal being at the helm of a piano-trio rendition of George Gershwin’s opus, “Rhapsody in Blue.” Rosenthal has played the piece solo and with symphonies. As a former Thelonious...

Review: Spoleto Festival USA 2014

06/20/14    Concerts    By Perry Tannenbaum

Review: Spoleto Festival USA 2014

The divas dominate in South Carolina

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...