Reviews

Latin Jazz Underground Mark Weinstein

09/05/14    Albums    By Michael J. West

Mark Weinstein
Latin Jazz Underground

In the liner notes to Latin Jazz Underground , flutist Mark Weinstein explains that he aims to “show that you could really stretch the boundaries while holding onto the Afro-Cuban core.” He nails it. The album, a collaboration with pianist Aruán Ortiz, explores...

Review: The Detroit Jazz Festival 2014

09/04/14    Concerts    By Shaun Brady

Review: The Detroit Jazz Festival 2014

Free music for the stubbornly resilient--even in the rain!

Relentless Michael Dease

09/04/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Michael Dease
Relentless
Posi-Tone

Like doo-wop, trad-jazz or rockabilly, big-band jazz is so closely associated with a bygone era that any musician testing its waters must find a way to transcend retro or just give in and drag out the charts from the swing era. Trombonist Michael Dease...

Stairway to the Stars Denny Zeitlin

09/03/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Denny Zeitlin
Stairway to the Stars
Sunnyside

Since the turn of the century, pianist Denny Zeitlin’s recordings have fallen into two categories: solo projects and releases with this trio featuring bassist Buster Williams and drummer Matt Wilson. Stairway to the Stars —recorded at the Jazz Bakery in...

Slam Dunk Gerald Albright

09/02/14    Albums    By Lucy Tauss

Gerald Albright
Slam Dunk
Heads Up

On his latest disc, Gerald Albright offers a high-energy contemporary jazz set that puts the veteran saxophonist’s dizzying array of talents amply on display. Not only does the album showcase Albright’s formidable skills on alto, soprano, tenor and baritone...

Juice Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

09/01/14    Albums    By Shaun Brady

Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood
Juice
Indirecto

For more than 20 years, Medeski Martin and Wood have thrived on remaining indefinable. Are they a jam band with jazz chops? A jazz trio following a groove-rock muse? An avant-garde soul-jazz band? That very malleability has meant that their sound is compatible...

Floating Fred Hersch Trio

08/30/14    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Fred Hersch Trio
Floating
Palmetto Records

The first studio recording in four years from the Fred Hersch Trio, Floating is sequenced like the band’s live gigs. The album commences with an American standard (Dietz and Schwartz’s “You and the Night and the Music”) reimagined with the trio’s idiosyncratic...

Lope and Antilope Get the Blessing

08/29/14    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Get the Blessing
Lope and Antilope
Naim Label

So what is the appropriate course of action? To praise Get the Blessing’s Lope and Antilope for its ambitious synthesis of jazz with rock and electronica inflections? Or simply celebrate the sheer exuberance of this album-length extended improvisation, recorded...

Alive Hiromi

08/28/14    Albums    By Bill Meredith

Hiromi
Alive
Telarc

If there’s a drawback to all-star groups, it’s that they have little to prove. Which may explain why it took a few years for Japanese pianist Hiromi to find the formula for her vaunted Trio Project, with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips...

18th & Racine The Fat Babies

08/27/14    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

The Fat Babies
18th & Racine
Delmark Records

If Wynton Marsalis stands accused of playing museum jazz, what to make then of the Fat Babies? The young Chicago septet is steeped in the music’s earliest moments, performing 1920s jazz not only faithfully but perfectly in every way—from the blowing and...