Reviews

Alloy Tyshawn Sorey

12/23/14    Albums    By Mike Shanley

Tyshawn Sorey
Alloy
Pi Recordings

In addition to being a drummer able to handle the jagged musical terrain of Vijay Iyer, Steve Coleman and Steve Lehman, Tyshawn Sorey continues to mature as a composer who draws equally on experimental jazz and new music. While Sorey’s Oblique – I featured...

Fire on the Nile Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt

12/22/14    Albums    By Britt Robson

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt
Fire on the Nile
Red House

Dean Magraw and Eric Kamau Gravatt have been honing their approach to improvised guitar-percussion duets on a fairly regular basis for a couple of years now at night spots and festivals in and around the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Magraw playfully calls his...

No Regrets Melissa Stylianou

12/22/14    Albums    By Christopher Loudon

Melissa Stylianou
No Regrets
Anzic

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
Phantom

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
Mellotronen

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
Circa
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
Talisman
Savant

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
Tum

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...