Mutations Vijay Iyer

03/13/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Vijay Iyer
ECM Records

This album arrives with high expectations. Vijay Iyer is among the most decorated jazz musicians of his generation. He wins jazz polls, professorships, prizes and MacArthur Fellowships. Mutations is his debut on ECM, a label known for bringing forth new...

Paris 1969 Thelonious Monk

03/12/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Thelonious Monk
Paris 1969

This odd, frayed, faded document, newly unearthed, may make you cry, sometimes from heartbreak, sometimes from joy. Thelonious Monk was only 52 in 1969, and had another 12 years to live. But in terms of his artistic life, he was near the end. At the Salle...

Little Warrior Lisa Engelken

03/11/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Lisa Engelken
Little Warrior
Little Angel

Lisa Engelken’s Little Warrior does precisely what a good sophomore album should: build upon a solid base (her 2010 debut, Caravan ) while growing more adventurous and, by extension, more original. Working with a superb West Coast rhythm section—bassist...

The Connection Ray Mantilla

03/10/14    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Ray Mantilla
The Connection

Jazz and Afro-Caribbean rhythms are a natural connection, one attractively celebrated in the work of Latin percussionist Ray Mantilla, who was born in the South Bronx in 1934. Here, we have a variety of performances by members of his septet, ranging from...

Space and Time Nicky Schrire

03/09/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Nicky Schrire
Space and Time
Nicky Schrire

Two years ago, newcomer Nicky Schrire made an auspicious (if underappreciated) debut with Freedom Flight , a collection of jazz standards, pop covers and originals all supported by a full band. For her sophomore release, again spanning standards, pop and...

Lost Tapes: Germany 1956-1958 Modern Jazz Quartet

03/08/14    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Modern Jazz Quartet
Lost Tapes: Germany 1956-1958

The German label Jazzhaus claims to be sitting on “possibly the most comprehensive reservoir of unpublished jazz recordings worldwide: more than 3,000 hours of footage.” In 2012 they began releasing their stash. They are now at 13 titles and counting. So...

Duets: 20th Anniversary Edition Frank Sinatra

03/07/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Frank Sinatra
Duets: 20th Anniversary Edition
Capitol Records

Frank Sinatra was 77 when he recorded Duets in 1993, and though a companion collection and one final studio album would follow, it truly was his last hurrah. He was back at Capitol Studios, the setting for his landmark 1950s sessions. The tunes were among...

New Day Harold Lopez-Nussa

03/05/14    Albums    By Michael J. West

Harold Lopez-Nussa
New Day
Jazz Village

Best known for his role in the Latin-jazz supergroup Ninety Miles, Harold López-Nussa has a touch heavily indebted to Brad Mehldau’s, but with a rhythmic dance of his own. It’s the latter that’s in focus on the Havana pianist’s lovely New Day . Despite beautiful...

Concert Review: Alexis Cole at the Sarasota Jazz Festival

03/04/14    Concerts    By Ken Franckling

Concert Review: Alexis Cole at the Sarasota Jazz Festival

A style that serves her music well

The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988 Herbie Hancock

03/03/14    Albums    By John Murph

Herbie Hancock
The Complete Columbia Album Collection 1972-1988

Box sets this colossal should come with roadmaps. At 34 discs, the set will surely intimidate the novice listener. In today’s ADD world, being presented with nearly two decades of material can be paralyzing, especially if the listener’s inclination is to...