Reviews

Dig Dis Whitney Marchelle

03/04/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Whitney Marchelle
Dig Dis
Blujazz

Is Whitney Marchelle the Zelig of jazz? She seems a curious enigma—just try to find any personal information about her online—of indeterminate age, and appears to have released only one previous album, 2009’s Me, Marsalis & Monk . Yet she’s performed the...

Blue Whisper Amina Figarova

03/03/16    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Amina Figarova
Blue Whisper
In & Out Records

On Blue Whisper , her 13th recording as a leader, pianist-composer Amina Figarova mingles rhythmic strength with ardent poignancy. These 10 tracks, all composed and arranged by Figarova, are coaxed into being by a subtly shifting cast of musicians, all of...

More Than Meets the Ear Robin Eubanks Mass Line Big Band

03/02/16    Albums    By Britt Robson

Robin Eubanks Mass Line Big Band
More Than Meets the Ear
ArtistShare

Robin Eubanks has cut an impressively wide swath as a trombonist and composer, and his largest impact in both realms has been as a galvanizing member of ensembles. Those groups range from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers to the early bands of the M-BASE collective...

Into the Silence Avishai Cohen

03/01/16    Albums    By Bill Beuttler

Avishai Cohen
Into the Silence
ECM Records

Trumpeter Avishai Cohen’s beautiful, elegiac Into the Silence is a tribute to his late father, who died in 2014. Lesser life changes of a musical nature are also involved: It is his first recording as a leader for ECM (a switch from sister Anat’s Anzic label...

Poesia Joyce Moreno & Kenny Werner

02/29/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Joyce Moreno & Kenny Werner
Poesia
Pirouet

Nearly a half-century into one of the most respected careers in Brazilian jazz, singer-songwriter Joyce Moreno remains singularly magnificent at age 68. Her voice has grown deeper and richer, its chestnut luster as radiant as ever. Widely known as simply...

Decisions Michael Dease

02/28/16    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Michael Dease
Decisions
Posi-Tone

Following 2014’s Relentless , his first foray into big-band territory, trombonist Michael Dease is back on familiar ground, leading a small-group session with saxophonist Tim Green, pianist Glenn Zaleski, bassist Rodney Whitaker and Ulysses Owens on drums...

Archive Selections Volume 2 Creative Music Studio

02/27/16    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Creative Music Studio
Archive Selections Volume 2
Planet Arts Recordings

The extensive liner notes to this three-CD set compare the Creative Music Studio to other musical collectives of the ’60s and ’70s, such as the AACM in Chicago and the Black Artists Group in St. Louis. Like those organizations, CMS was a command post in...

Tones For Adegoke Steve Colson

02/26/16    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Adegoke Steve Colson
Tones For
Silver Sphinx

On Adegoke Steve Colson’s first album of solo piano, the title refers to three historical figures that inspired the music: Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Frederick Douglass. To mark the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War (and the 50th anniversary...

D-Stringz Stanley Clarke/Bireli Lagrene/Jean-Luc Ponty

02/25/16    Albums    By Mike Joyce

Stanley Clarke/Bireli Lagrene/Jean-Luc Ponty
D-Stringz
Impulse!/Verve

Not for nothing is the opener on this all-star acoustic summit titled “Stretch.” Composed by guitarist Biréli Lagrène, it’s an exceedingly limber foray into swing and blues, a performance that establishes this session’s high standards with audacious verve...

A Voice on Air 1935-1955 Frank Sinatra

02/24/16    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Frank Sinatra
A Voice on Air 1935-1955
Columbia/Legacy

As the oft-told story goes, Frank Sinatra’s career was ignited in June 1939 when bandleader Harry James’ wife happened to tune in to a live feed from the Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., and alerted her husband to the then-24-year-old featured singer...