Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Avram Fefer Quartet: Testament (Clean Feed)

Avram Fefer cuts a raffish figure on this quality quartet date for the left-tilting Clean Feed imprint. Galvanized by a rhythm section well-practiced in the acts of rangy groove-making and barbed gesticulating, the saxophonist delivers a statement that’s raggedly charming, true to form and, at times, deeply moving. The trio of Fefer, bassist Eric Revis, … Read More “Avram Fefer Quartet: Testament (Clean Feed)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Karl Berger/Jason Kao Hwang: Conjure (True Sound)

While there is solid justification for the genre police to tag this music as free jazz or pure improvisation, that act of classification would ultimately be a waste of time. This is simply an instance of two people enjoying each other’s company, calling to spirits through sound, and revealing themselves through their art. Nothing more … Read More “Karl Berger/Jason Kao Hwang: Conjure (True Sound)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Matt Slocum: No Place Like Home

The music on drummer Matt Slocum’s recent album Sanctuary (Sunnyside) draws inspiration from without—referencing Sufjan Stevens, Irving Berlin, Frédéric Chopin, and Ernest Hemingway—but the project actually finds its core strength through the respite offered within. “I didn’t realize it at first, but when I was looking back through these songs I noticed that they all … Read More “Matt Slocum: No Place Like Home”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Caroline Davis and Rob Clearfield’s Persona: Anthems (Sunnyside)

Saxophonist Caroline Davis and keyboardist Rob Clearfield’s Persona, much like the 1966 Ingmar Bergman film inspiring the group’s name, is bent on exploring themes of convergence and identity. The co-leaders capitalize on the bonds they formed during their shared days in Chicago, but their album isn’t bound to any single scene or tied to a … Read More “Caroline Davis and Rob Clearfield’s Persona: Anthems (Sunnyside)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Overdue Ovation: Singer Fleurine, Monk Lyricist & International Star

“Hi! I’m Fleurine, and I’m from Holland, and I wrote lyrics to a Monk song.” That’s how an upbeat Dutch conservatory student introduced herself to musical multi-hyphenate Don Sickler. Thelonious Monk had just been a topic of discussion on a publishing panel featuring Sickler—the scene was the 1994 JazzTimes Convention in New York—and this aspiring vocalist, … Read More “Overdue Ovation: Singer Fleurine, Monk Lyricist & International Star”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

The Curtis Brothers: Algorithm (Truth Revolution)

Fraternal bonds and a Blakey-ish bearing offer an earthy makeover to math music’s image on this release. Pianist Zaccai Curtis and bassist Luques Curtis team up with three Jazz Messenger mentors—saxophonist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Brian Lynch, and drummer Ralph Peterson—for a set that, while inspired and elevated by some algorithmic principles, moves and breathes with … Read More “The Curtis Brothers: Algorithm (Truth Revolution)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Kevin Hays & Lionel Loueke: Hope (Edition)

Talk about your lively and lovely pairings. Despite their extremely different backgrounds—pianist Kevin Hays hails from suburban Connecticut, guitarist Lionel Loueke from Benin—these two notables show uncommonly strong bonds and clear communication skills. Personalities and palettes remain distinctive in their presentations, but time, shape, playfulness, and space align in beautifully uncanny fashion. Working in perfect … Read More “Kevin Hays & Lionel Loueke: Hope (Edition)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

The Verve Jazz Ensemble: Night Mode (LightGroove)

When drummer Josh Feldstein joined forces with tenor saxophonist Jon Blanck to form the Verve Jazz Ensemble back in 2006, the band was a quartet. Over the intervening years that foursome expanded and morphed, eventually becoming a septet for several tracks on 2018’s Connect the Dots. The growth and change has only intensified since then, … Read More “The Verve Jazz Ensemble: Night Mode (LightGroove)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

David Finck: BASSically Jazz (Burton Avenue)

If ever there were a bassist worthy of the “unsung hero” tag, it’s David Finck. His lyrical lines and firm sense of harmonic underpinning have helped add color, weight, shape, and dimension to the work of pianist Steve Kuhn, vocalist Rosemary Clooney, multi-reedist Paquito D’Rivera, trumpeter Claudio Roditi, and saxophonist Phil Woods. And that’s just … Read More “David Finck: BASSically Jazz (Burton Avenue)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Yao/Smith/Hughes Sextet: The Gates (Shifting Paradigm)

This meeting of players and pens fronted by trombonist John Yao, trumpeter Jimmy Smith, and saxophonist James Hughes is more than a simple sextet date. It’s an extension of the enduring Detroit-New York jazz connection.  Smith and Hughes both hail from the Motor City area, where they co-lead a quintet that’s produced a number of … Read More “Yao/Smith/Hughes Sextet: The Gates (Shifting Paradigm)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Brandee Younger: Soul Awakening (Self-released)

Toying with the timeline of her own output, harpist Brandee Younger delivers a collection of music whose completion predates the realization and release of her two previous albums—2014’s Live at The Breeding Ground and 2016’s Wax & Wane. Basically in line with what appeared on those complementary recordings, Soul Awakening still manages to stand out … Read More “Brandee Younger: Soul Awakening (Self-released)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Matt Mitchell: Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi)

Matt Mitchell’s vision is a model of wonky brilliance. The magnitude of his personal and artistic ambition has been stated clearly enough on previous Pi productions and through many other wildly unique associations, but recordings like this remind us that he’s always brewing something fresh.  Leading a quintet through hyper-specific hinterlands, Mitchell revels in the act … Read More “Matt Mitchell: Phalanx Ambassadors (Pi)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Grace Kelly: GO TiME: Live in LA (PAZZ Productions)

You really have to hand it to saxophonist/vocalist Grace Kelly. Not only is she a fine musician on multiple fronts, she’s also a polished entertainer, a savvy self-promoter, and a real marketing maven. That broad skill set serves her well on this cross-platform project. GO TiME: Live in LA, like its two Brooklyn counterparts released … Read More “Grace Kelly: GO TiME: Live in LA (PAZZ Productions)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

David Berkman Sextet: Six of One (Palmetto)

This is six of one, half a dozen full of colors. Leading an augmented sextet stacked with familiars, pianist David Berkman focuses on expanding the inner workings in his writing while, at times, setting his sights on the outer reaches. To a certain extent, this album plays as a logical next step after 2015’s Old … Read More “David Berkman Sextet: Six of One (Palmetto)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Kait Dunton: Planet D’earth (Real & Imagined)

The sixth album from pianist Kait Dunton speaks to mentorship, a merging of spheres, and the artistic alignment that develops through those actions. Paying tribute to trumpeter John D’earth, the educator who helped alter her course by encouraging a path into music back when she was a Spanish major at the University of Virginia, Dunton … Read More “Kait Dunton: Planet D’earth (Real & Imagined)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Pedro Martins Goes from Victory to Vox

When 21-year-old Pedro Martins took top honors in the 2015 Socar Montreux Jazz Electric Guitar Competition, the payoff came with multiple prizes, including a monetary award, a recording session, and official mentorship time. The biggest reward, however, turned out to be the enduring friendship he would come to form with fellow guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, who … Read More “Pedro Martins Goes from Victory to Vox

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Dave Young: Lotus Blossom (Modica)

Dave Young’s Lotus Blossom can be considered something of a byproduct, but these performances never betray that fact. Recorded at the same 2016 session that yielded the venerated bassist’s Juno-nominated One Way Up, it’s a solid reminder that an album’s offerings often belie its origins. Focusing largely on first takes that, with only one exception, … Read More “Dave Young: Lotus Blossom (Modica)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Charlie Dennard: Deep Blue (self-released)

As a longtime musical director for Cirque du Soleil productions, pianist Charlie Dennard has become well-versed in playing to texture, nuance, and emotion in varied environments. And as a resident of New Orleans with a performer’s passion for everything from blues to jazz to world music, he continually displays openness to disparate influences and a … Read More “Charlie Dennard: Deep Blue (self-released)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Ehud Asherie Trio: Wild Man Blues (Capri)

The “fashionably old-fashioned” label fits Ehud Asherie like a bespoke suit. A knowledgeable purveyor of everything from early Crescent City swing to Harlem stride and bop to the music of a bygone Brazil, this 39-year-old pianist might initially come off as a pure throwback. But with an overlay of wit and whimsy placed atop that … Read More “Ehud Asherie Trio: Wild Man Blues (Capri)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Jessica Jones Quartet: Continuum (Reva)

Tenor saxophonist Jessica Jones has always maintained a holistic approach to her art, neither adhering to a single school of thought nor limiting the role that music can and should play in daily life. This broad belief system has already been channeled into a nonprofit—Rare Earth Vibration Association (REVA, for short), which fosters the spread … Read More “Jessica Jones Quartet: Continuum (Reva)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Yelena Eckemoff: Colors (L&H)

Yelena Eckemoff is no synesthete, yet she’s long conjured the sound of colors through the piano’s keys. In this duo encounter with style-spanning drumming Manu Katché, she explores the titular topic with the most marked of intentions. Eckemoff traces the various stages of human life and growth in various tints and tones. The album opens … Read More “Yelena Eckemoff: Colors (L&H)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.