No Regrets Melissa Stylianou

12/22/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Melissa Stylianou
No Regrets

Given Canadian-in-New-York Melissa Stylianou’s recording trajectory—four previous albums of steadily increasing authority and ingenuity—it’s hardly surprising that No Regrets is so extraordinarily good. Gone are Stylianou’s usual accompanists, replaced by...

Protocol II Simon Phillips

12/22/14    Albums    By Bill Meredith

Simon Phillips
Protocol II

British drummer Simon Phillips is on a recent roll, no pun intended. His work on Japanese keyboardist Hiromi’s 2014 release, Alive , helped make it the best of the three efforts by their Trio Project with bassist Anthony Jackson. And the drummer’s latest...

Modern Art Don Cherry

12/21/14    Albums    By David Whiteis

Don Cherry
Modern Art

This limited-edition CD and LP, recorded at Stockholm’s Museum of Modern Art in 1977, includes selections from trumpeter Don Cherry’s 1977 Hear & Now , a fusion-tinged outing that generated some controversy when it was released. Although it doesn’t quite...

Circa Dylan Ryan/Sand

12/20/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Dylan Ryan/Sand
Cuneiform Records

Dylan Ryan’s drums and songwriting might lead Sand, but guitarist Timothy Young is the guy doing the heavy lifting. And “heavy” can be easily affixed to his fretwork. The low, drop-tuned riff in “Possession” evokes Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi on a more progressive...

Talisman Sammy Figueroa & Glaucia Nasser

12/19/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Sammy Figueroa & Glaucia Nasser

Before percussionist Sammy Figueroa proved himself masterful at everything from bebop and vocalist accompaniment to rock and R&B—with a résumé stretching from Chet Baker, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins and Mark Murphy to Blondie, David Bowie, Annie Lennox and...

Our Point of View in NYC

12/19/14    Concerts    By Evan Haga

Our Point of View in NYC

Supergroup celebrates Blue Note Records’ 75th anniversary

The Late Show: An Evening With Jaki Byard Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 3 Jaki Byard

12/19/14    Albums    By Jeff Tamarkin

Jaki Byard
The Late Show: An Evening With Jaki Byard Live at the Keystone Korner, Vol. 3
HighNote Records

“It’s born out of tradition and raised by the heart,” says Keystone Korner proprietor Todd Barkan in his introduction to Jaki Byard’s 1979 solo piano set at the San Francisco club. What would probably just be dismissible hyperbole in most cases is apt here...

The Great Lakes Suite Wadada Leo Smith

12/18/14    Albums    By Britt Robson

Wadada Leo Smith
The Great Lakes Suite

Composer-trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith has set an impossibly high bar for himself recently with a pair of politically trenchant, inventively knotty large ensemble projects, his magnum opus Ten Freedom Summers (2012) and Occupy the World (2013). The Great Lakes...

Live at Smalls David Berkman

12/17/14    Albums    By Brad Farberman

David Berkman
Live at Smalls

The five releases covered in this review—albums from pianist David Berkman, guitarist Peter Bernstein, drummer Rodney Green, tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton and singer-pianist Johnny O’Neal—were all recorded at the New York club Smalls in 2012 or 2013...

Still Casual Walter Smith III

12/16/14    Albums    By Sharonne Cohen

Walter Smith III
Still Casual
Walter Smith III

Tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III assembles a stellar cast of collaborators here, all of whom he has played with in various constellations: Taylor Eigsti (piano), Matthew Stevens (guitar), Harish Raghavan (bass), Kendrick Scott (drums) and guest Ambrose...