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Don Byron/Aruán Ortiz: Random Dances and (A)tonalities (Intakt)

If the last word of this title gives you pause, please note the parentheses. Although Don Byron and Aruán Ortiz are not above dancing out to the furthest reaches of conventional harmony, most of what they play here is solidly tonal. At times, as with their understated reading of Ellington’s “Black and Tan Fantasy,” it’s … Read More “Don Byron/Aruán Ortiz: Random Dances and (A)tonalities (Intakt)”

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Ivo Perelman/Rudi Mahall: Kindred Spirits / Ivo Perelman/Jason Stein: Spiritual Prayers (Leo)

On most of the 30-odd albums Ivo Perelman has released over the last three years, the saxophonist has articulated his free-form vision through mostly conventional jazz combos, generally involving some combination of piano (usually Matthew Shipp), drums, and bass. What sets his latest pair of recordings apart is that instead of squaring off against a … Read More “Ivo Perelman/Rudi Mahall: Kindred Spirits / Ivo Perelman/Jason Stein: Spiritual Prayers (Leo)”

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Dr. Michael White: Tricentennial Rag (Basin Street)

Wynton Marsalis may be the most prominent preserver of traditional jazz, but nobody works harder than Dr. Michael White at keeping it alive. The New Orleans clarinetist has steadfastly clung to the early-20th-century way of doing things for almost four decades, but he always infuses it with freshness. On Tricentennial Rag, he celebrates 300 years … Read More “Dr. Michael White: Tricentennial Rag (Basin Street)”

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Dave Bennett: Blood Moon (Mack Avenue)

Clarinetist Dave Bennett’s Mack Avenue debut, 2013’s Don’t Be That Way, showcased an artist capably tackling and updating music associated with Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Woody Herman and Pete Fountain. In essence, it positioned him as a next-gen swing king with a penchant for taking playful strolls. This follow-up, while retaining that image and ideal … Read More “Dave Bennett: Blood Moon (Mack Avenue)”

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Eddie Daniels & Roger Kellaway: Just Friends (Resonance)

Eddie Daniels left his tenor sax in the case during the 1980s and devoted more time to his clarinet. The move paid off, and he pushed the instrument into new territories far beyond its typically honored tradition. There are moments on this recording, during his original “Reverie for a Rainy Day,” where Daniels creates such … Read More “Eddie Daniels & Roger Kellaway: Just Friends (Resonance)”

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Jason Stein Quartet: Lucille! (Delmark)

Bass clarinetist Jason Stein is in a major comfort zone on Lucille! Named after his now 3-year-old daughter, the album features a pair of his Chicago cronies, Keefe Jackson (on tenor saxophone and contrabass clarinet) and Joshua Abrams (on bass). Three of the songs come from the timeless triumvirate of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz and … Read More “Jason Stein Quartet: Lucille! (Delmark)”

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Lew Green & Joe Muranyi: Together

“If you can feel your pancreas dancing, the music is swinging.” The quote comes from Bob Leary, banjoist/guitarist on this session. The visceral aspect is hard to prove, but his musical assessment is quite accurate. Cornetist Lew Green and clarinetist Joe Muranyi, who have individually accumulated many decades of touring and recording world-wide, even working … Read More “Lew Green & Joe Muranyi: Together”

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