City Folk James Farm

02/10/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

James Farm
City Folk
Nonesuch Records

On City Folk the heralded quartet James Farm indicates they are in it for the long haul. The song-based, ensemble-first aesthetic that guided their eponymous debut three years ago has only deepened, with the composers taking more liberties than the soloists...

In the Wee Small Hours Sax Gordon

02/08/15    Albums    By David Whiteis

Sax Gordon
In the Wee Small Hours
Delmark Records

Tenorman Sax Gordon joins forces here with organist Alberto Marsico and drummer Alessandro Minetto to recreate the classic soul-jazz organ trio. The set list, as might be expected, is rich with standards and chestnuts, but neither Gordon nor his compatriots...

Because of Billie Molly Johnson

02/07/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Molly Johnson
Because of Billie

As Molly Johnson explains in the liner notes, when people note her similarity to Billie Holiday, she responds that, no, she’s not “like” Holiday but is “because of” her. Which is a stretch, considering that Johnson’s career began with a brief flirtation...

10--10th Anniversary: Best of-Live at the SFJAZZ Center SFJAZZ Collective

02/05/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

SFJAZZ Collective
10--10th Anniversary: Best of-Live at the SFJAZZ Center

The founding template for the SFJAZZ Collective, devised by saxophonist Joshua Redman and executive artistic director Randall Kline in 2004, was a stroke of genius. Recruit a stellar octet of musician-composers and underwrite a residency, tour and recording...

That the Days Go By and Never Come Again Indigo Mist

02/04/15    Albums    By Steve Greenlee

Indigo Mist
That the Days Go By and Never Come Again

Indigo Mist is the partnership of Cuong Vu, the trumpeter who came up in the Pat Metheny Group and has forged an identity with an ethereal rock-leaning sound, and Richard Karpen, a classically trained pianist and computer-music academic. The two met at the...

So Long, Eric!— Homage to Eric Dolphy Aki Takase/Alexander von Schlippenbach

02/03/15    Albums    By Matt R. Lohr

Aki Takase/Alexander von Schlippenbach
So Long, Eric!— Homage to Eric Dolphy

Any musician, in celebrating an artist like Eric Dolphy, is stepping onto a minefield. Exploratory and ever-forward-looking, the music of the free-jazz pioneer seems almost designed to resist the sometimes bloodless tribute-recording format. Fortunately...

Concert: The Bad Plus at Berklee Performance Center

02/02/15    Concerts    By Bill Beuttler

Concert: The Bad Plus at Berklee Performance Center

Trio performs Ornette Coleman’s “Science Fiction” with special guests

Black Bar Jukebox Allan Harris

02/01/15    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Allan Harris
Black Bar Jukebox

The myriad fans who’ve fallen under the spell of Gregory Porter need to give Allan Harris a listen. Though Harris has a dozen previous albums to his credit, including fine tributes to Nat King Cole and Billy Strayhorn, he seems long overdue for Porter-sized...

I Remember Cedar David Hazeltine

01/30/15    Albums    By Britt Robson

David Hazeltine
I Remember Cedar
Sharp Nine

I Remember Cedar represents the passing of a baton, with a lingering grip. Pianist Cedar Walton had a profound influence on the musical artistry of David Hazeltine. For his part, Walton once called Hazeltine “for sure the brightest star on the jazz piano...