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

Mat Maneri Quartet: Dust (Sunnyside)

Putting aside for the moment mention of chamber-jazz weaves, global influences, modal designs, and high-wire improv, what’s the most economical way to describe the performances on Dust? How about suggesting an alternative four-letter album title? Soul, for instance. After all, that’s the common emotional thread running through these mostly introspective, artfully executed performances—a yearning vocal-like … Read More “Mat Maneri Quartet: Dust (Sunnyside)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Wallace Roney: Blue Dawn – Blue Nights (HighNote)

Let’s face it. Given what we’ve long known about his remarkable artistry and output, is it any wonder that Wallace Roney’s latest CD is worth acquiring for its deep soulfulness alone? On this outing the trumpeter delivers the goods upfront, just two tracks into a session brimming with youthful talent and energy, during a spacious, … Read More “Wallace Roney: Blue Dawn – Blue Nights (HighNote)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Jamie Cullum: Taller (Blue Note)

Recording for a legendary jazz label may be fraught with expectations, especially for a contemporary artist with unabashedly eclectic tastes. But at this stage in his career, upwards of 10 million album sales along, Jamie Cullum doesn’t appear the least bit concerned with where his music falls on the pop-jazz spectrum. Arriving five years after … Read More “Jamie Cullum: Taller (Blue Note)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

George Cables: I’m All Smiles (HighNote)

What a joy it is to find George Cables recording again following a series of potentially career-ending health issues. Clearly, as the title of this collection of mostly trio performances suggests, the acclaimed pianist couldn’t be happier to reassert his extraordinary talents while reuniting with a pair of longtime, well-matched collaborators: bassist Essiet Essiet and … Read More “George Cables: I’m All Smiles (HighNote)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Vic Juris: Two Guitars (SteepleChase)

The title of Vic Juris’ latest release references one of the album’s chief strengths. Largely devoted to original, recently minted tunes, it’s brimming with tonal contrasts generated by hollowbody electric and steel-string acoustic guitars (both played by Juris, but not simultaneously). When you consider the colorful sonic spectrum, the fresh themes, and the alert, subtle, … Read More “Vic Juris: Two Guitars (SteepleChase)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan: Epistrophy (ECM)

Can devotees of guitarist Bill Frisell listen to Epistrophy without connecting a lot of dots? Not likely. Recorded live at Manhattan’s Village Vanguard and prominently featuring bassist Thomas Morgan, these intuitive duets resonate with the signature elements of Frisell’s uncommon discography: the borderless repertoire, the sparse yet inimitable arrangements, the deliberate consideration given to tone, … Read More “Bill Frisell/Thomas Morgan: Epistrophy (ECM)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Caesar Frazier: Closer to the Truth (Savant)

Hammond B-3 vet Caesar Frazier and company offer listeners drawn to vintage jazz organ abundant relief with this album, clearly inspired by the keyboardist’s organ-combo influences. Suffice to say, fans of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff, Shirley Scott, and Don Patterson, to say nothing of guitarists Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, and George Benson, have reason … Read More “Caesar Frazier: Closer to the Truth (Savant)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Mimi Fox: This Bird Still Flies (Origin)

Nothing humbles a jazz guitarist accustomed to playing a solidbody or archtop instrument quite like an acoustic flattop, even if it’s a top-tier Taylor cutaway. There are, of course, musicians who can switch-hit with deceptive ease—Pat Metheny, for one—and now the same can be said of Mimi Fox with the release of this, her first … Read More “Mimi Fox: This Bird Still Flies (Origin)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Keiko Matsui: Echo (Shanachie)

If name-dropping were a crime, keyboardist Keiko Matsui would have a helluva time promoting Echo. The album features a string of well-known artists, including guitarist Robben Ford, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, bassists Marcus Miller and Kyle Eastwood, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, and percussionist Luis Conte. Suffice to say, Matsui never wants for good company … Read More “Keiko Matsui: Echo (Shanachie)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Sound Underground: The Power of Three (Tiny Music)

Audacious by nature? You could easily make that case for Sound Underground, given its lean and unlikely instrumentation—alto sax, trumpet, and guitar—and its stirring yet unamplified synthesis of jazz, chamber, and world beat influences. Still, what ultimately distinguishes this New York City-based trio has less to do with its curious tonal palette and expansive stylistic … Read More “Sound Underground: The Power of Three (Tiny Music)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

John Escreet: Learn to Live (Blue Room)

After an anthemic opener resounding with block chords and splintered beats, John Escreet toggles between form and freedom, composition and improvisation on Learn to Live. In doing so, the British-born, Brooklyn-based pianist and keyboardist doesn’t just provide an expansive view of his inside-out interests. Through a prism of jazz improv, fusion, funk, R&B, and synth … Read More “John Escreet: Learn to Live (Blue Room)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Open Land: Meeting John Abercrombie (ECM)

Given guitarist John Abercrombie’s recent passing, you may be inclined to view Open Land, a film by directors Arno Oehri and Oliver Primus, as something it was never intended to be: an elegiac postscript. Instead, the film comes across as a lyrical portrait, quiet, spacious, reflective, and funny. From the outset, Oehri and Primus distill … Read MoreOpen Land: Meeting John Abercrombie (ECM)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

No Fast Food: Settings for Three (CornerStore Jazz)

If veteran drummer, arranger, and composer Phil Haynes is busy tallying lucky stars these days, it’s easy to hear why, thanks to a pair of simultaneously released recordings that reveal the breadth of his talents and good fortune. In some ways, the albums couldn’t be more different. 60/69 My Favorite Things is an imaginative, larkish, … Read More “No Fast Food: Settings for Three (CornerStore Jazz)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Bill O’Connell: Jazz Latin (Savant)

The latest release from pianist Bill O’Connell is generic in name only. In many ways, it’s a distinctly personal statement, inspired by the recent passing of flutist Dave Valentin and drummer Kim Plainfield, the legacy of significant influences (Monk and Jobim, as well as O’Connell’s mother), and the opportunity to cast a seasoned trio, featuring … Read More “Bill O’Connell: Jazz Latin (Savant)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Adam Nussbaum: The Lead Belly Project (Sunnyside)

Aptly enough, this tribute to folk-music legend Lead Belly comes with 12 strings attached, albeit in a thoroughly modern jazz context. Eager to salute one of his earliest and most enduring influences, drummer Adam Nussbaum recently joined tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor and two electric guitarists—Steve Cardenas and Nate Radley—for a one-day recording session that quickly … Read More “Adam Nussbaum: The Lead Belly Project (Sunnyside)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

The Nels Cline 4: Currents, Constellations (Blue Note)

Guitarist Nels Cline has always been a sucker for music that’s a bit mystifying—not easily described, transcribed or summarized. So no one should be shocked if he’s particularly pleased with Currents, Constellations, an audaciously charted collaboration with guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey. Perhaps “charted” is too strong a word, since … Read More “The Nels Cline 4: Currents, Constellations (Blue Note)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Jakob Bro: Returnings (ECM)

If Danish guitarist Jakob Bro needed a good reason to further explore some of the music he’s recorded in recent years while also breaking new ground, he clearly found it here, collaborating with trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Jon Christensen in an intimate, fluidly interactive session. Not surprisingly, given Mikkelborg’s stellar contributions, … Read More “Jakob Bro: Returnings (ECM)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.

Rez Abbasi: Unfiltered Universe (Whirlwind)

Art is shaped by nuance, guitarist Rez Abbasi asserts in the brief liner notes that accompany Unfiltered Universe, and the sentiment offers a clue as to why each of the album’s seven performances invites additional hearings. With every spin, it seems, his latest release reveals fresh rewards and new, far-reaching perspectives. In a sense, this … Read More “Rez Abbasi: Unfiltered Universe (Whirlwind)”

To access this content, you must purchase JazzTimes Membership.