Angel Eyes Afro Bop Alliance

01/12/15    Albums    By Owen Cordle

Afro Bop Alliance
Angel Eyes

The most unusual feature of the septet Afro Bop Alliance is the presence of steel pans in the frontline alongside trumpet and alto and tenor saxophones. A recent addition to the band, pans player Victor Provost is a vigorous and dazzling soloist, and the...

To Lady With love Annie Ross

01/11/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Annie Ross
To Lady With love
Red Anchor

Though she did record one subsequent, posthumously released album, 1958’s Lady in Satin has long been considered Billie Holiday’s exit music. Its musical worth remains heatedly debated, one camp insisting it ranks among her best work, another decrying Holiday’s...

Questioned Answer Brian Lynch and Emmet Cohen

01/10/15    Albums    By Thomas Conrad

Brian Lynch and Emmet Cohen
Questioned Answer
Holistic MusicWorks

Brian Lynch met Emmet Cohen in 2011 when he began teaching at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where Cohen was an undergraduate. Three tracks on this album, all standards, are trumpet/piano duos. Six tracks, all originals, add Boris...

Save Your Love For Me: Sings the Nancy Wilson Classics Cynthia Felton

01/09/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Cynthia Felton
Save Your Love For Me: Sings the Nancy Wilson Classics
Felton Entertainment

Tribute albums are a tricky business. What, one must invariably ask, is the intent? To replicate the sound of the honoree? To echo his or her style? Or just to cover a slate of associated songs? Intentionally or not, in this case it is the lattermost. Vocalist...

Worker Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

01/08/15    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
The Royal Potato Family

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, a band that has altered its lineup many times over its 20 years and 25 albums, is down to a trio for its 26th—keyboardist Brian Haas, guitarist Chris Combs and drummer Josh Raymer. At this point it is clear that these guys are making...

Happy to Be Julie Kelly

01/07/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Julie Kelly
Happy to Be
Jazzed Media

Listening to Julie Kelly, it’s hard not to be reminded of her fellow West Coaster Rebecca Kilgore. Kelly, whose recording career enters its third decade with Happy to Be , her eighth release, shares Kilgore’s crystal-clear phrasing, her effortless way with...

Inspiration Jason Jackson

01/06/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

Jason Jackson
Jack & Hill

Inspiration can’t really be classified as a vanity project, since its impresario, Jason Jackson, is neither a household name nor particularly interested in becoming one. But Jackson composed five of its 10 songs, arranged six of them, performed trombone...

Somos Agua Tony Malaby Tamarindo

01/05/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

Tony Malaby Tamarindo
Somos Agua
Clean Feed

Tamarindo is a power trio that takes its time, conserving space and making sagacious use of its outsized collective talent. Tony Malaby sustains oblong notes and deploys silence as well as any saxophonist this side of Roscoe Mitchell, and is fond of building...

Peace Dayna Stephens

01/04/15    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Dayna Stephens

Since his debut as a leader, 2007’s The Timeless Now , saxophonist Dayna Stephens has surrounded himself with exceptional players, and his good taste continues on Peace , his fifth album. Joining Stephens here are pianist Brad Mehldau, guitarist Julian Lage...

Pages From an Imaginary Life Andy Bey

01/03/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Andy Bey
Pages From an Imaginary Life
HighNote Records

Producer Joe Fields has always been a fine developer of jazz talent. But his greatest gift may be in crafting career renaissances for established yet stalled artists. He did it with Mark Murphy in the 1970s and ’80s, shaping a string of masterpieces for...