Reviews

Mwandishi & More: A Great Night in Harlem

10/29/14    Concerts    By Jeff Tamarkin

Mwandishi & More: A Great Night in Harlem

A dream team performs at the Apollo to support the Jazz Foundation of America

From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project Ann Hampton Callaway

10/29/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Ann Hampton Callaway
From Sassy to Divine: The Sarah Vaughan Project
Shanachie

Among vocal jazz’s female holy trinity, Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald have been lionized most but Sarah Vaughan has been feted best, via such fine salutes as Carmen McRae’s Sarah: Dedicated to You and Dianne Reeves’ The Calling . What, then, can an...

Visitation Saxophone Summit

10/28/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Saxophone Summit
Visitation
ArtistShare

Here’s what this album suggests at various times: the soundtrack to a dark, slow-moving suspense film; an orchestra tuning up; six musicians practicing simultaneously in different rooms; a tedious sensitivity-training class; insistent conversation. According...

Joy in Spite of Everything Stefano Bollani

10/27/14    Albums    By Brad Farberman

Stefano Bollani
Joy in Spite of Everything
ECM Records

Joy in Spite of Everything , the new album from pianist Stefano Bollani, is beautiful. Gorgeous. Peaceful. Serene. But that’s all it is. There’s no darkness for all that light to bounce off of. Featuring drummer Morten Lund, acoustic bassist Jesper Bodilsen...

The Darkseid Recital Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp

10/26/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp
The Darkseid Recital
AUM Fidelity

In a solo setting, it can be a challenge to figure out whether Matthew Shipp is playing a composition or if the music is emerging from his fingers spontaneously. If the latter applies, he has an uncanny ability to chart a well-developed course with ease...

Inevitable Western The Bad Plus

10/25/14    Albums    By Bill Beuttler

The Bad Plus
Inevitable Western
OKeh/Sony

This has been a productive year for the Bad Plus. After releasing nothing as a unit in 2013, the “avant-garde populists” have brought out two albums in 2014, their Inevitable Western arriving just five months after their ambitious trio arrangement of Stravinsky’s...

The Signal Elizabeth Shepherd

10/24/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Elizabeth Shepherd
The Signal
Linus

Following in the footsteps of José James and countrywoman Kellylee Evans, Canadian vocalist and keyboardist Elizabeth Shepherd moves steadily toward a more funkified sound, mixing jazz with a whole lotta soul (and occasional hip-hop shadings) on her latest...

Wiring Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer

10/23/14    Albums    By David Whiteis

Trio 3 & Vijay Iyer
Wiring
Intakt

Trio 3—alto saxophonist Oliver Lake, bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille—is one of jazz’s tightest, most self-contained units, but the players have long shown themselves open and flexible enough to accommodate the contributions of gifted guest...

Visitation Saxophone Summit

10/22/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Saxophone Summit
Visitation
ArtistShare

Here’s what this album suggests at various times: the soundtrack to a dark, slow-moving suspense film; an orchestra tuning up; six musicians practicing simultaneously in different rooms; a tedious sensitivity-training class; insistent conversation. According...

Living My Dream Jonathan Butler

10/21/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Jonathan Butler
Living My Dream
Artistry Music

If the album title isn’t enough of a giveaway, be assured that Jonathan Butler is one optimistic, blissful fellow right now. “Living My Dream,” the title track of the South African-born guitarist/vocalist’s 22nd studio album, is a naked declaration of contentment...