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Daniel Carter/Patrick Holmes/Matthew Putman/Hilliard Greene/Federico Ughi : Telepatia Liquida (577)

When saxophonist/trumpeter Daniel Carter, clarinetist Patrick Holmes, pianist Matthew Putman, bassist Hilliard Greene, and drummer Federico Ughi joined forces in 2017, “telepathic alliances” were instantly spawned. Fittingly, that was the title these improvising lifers gave to their first recording, an off-the-cuff set that evoked the bracing adventures of pioneering New York free groups like TEST … Read More “Daniel Carter/Patrick Holmes/Matthew Putman/Hilliard Greene/Federico Ughi : Telepatia Liquida (577)”

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Johnny Griffith Quintet: The Lion, Camel & Child (GB)

Long ago, Friedrich Nietzsche laid out the evolution of the human spirit with a useful metaphor: the concept of three metamorphoses, in which the camel, lion, and child come to represent the phases of development or arrival. Now saxophonist Johnny Griffith has adapted that concept for his own musical purposes. Each movement of this album’s … Read More “Johnny Griffith Quintet: The Lion, Camel & Child (GB)”

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The E.J. Strickland Quintet: Warriors for Peace (Jammin’ Colors)

Peace, definitely. Warriors, not so much. At its best, a feel of relaxed jubilation warms this set. Saxophonists Jure Pukl and Godwin Louis dance with nimble dexterity across variegated landscapes conjured by the drumming of E.J. Strickland—textured and multitonal, sometimes toughening and expanding into Blakey-esque dimensions—while bassist Josh Ginsburg’s graceful solidity and pianist Taber Gable’s flexible … Read More “The E.J. Strickland Quintet: Warriors for Peace (Jammin’ Colors)”

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Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) (Pi)

According to many who witnessed them in action, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong were so locked into one another on the bandstand that they could devise complex, spontaneous improvisations in perfect unison—so in synch that listeners couldn’t believe they hadn’t been written in advance. (Armstrong himself later confirmed that they had, indeed, been created extemporaneously.) … Read More “Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) (Pi)”

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Ted Nash Quintet: Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Plastic Sax)

Ted Nash is justly renowned for his sweeping, set-piece orchestrations. He came out of L.A., the son and nephew of musicians who played in big bands and on movie soundtracks, settled in as an ace arranger under Wynton Marsalis for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has subsequently mounted big-band projects that have been … Read More “Ted Nash Quintet: Live at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Plastic Sax)”

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Live Review: Pérez, Cohen, Potter Quintet in Washington, D.C.

How to play a chord that feels like Toni Morrison writing, “I didn’t fall in love with you, I rose in it”? How to play a melody with that feeling? These are the kinds of questions that Danilo Pérez, Avishai Cohen, and Chris Potter were mulling over in the leadup to the debut performance of … Read More “Live Review: Pérez, Cohen, Potter Quintet in Washington, D.C.”

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Kenny Barron Quintet: Concentric Circles (Blue Note)

Kenny Barron has never had anything going for himself except excellence. He is neither charismatic nor flamboyant. Perhaps because his mastery of modern mainstream jazz piano is so comprehensive, he has been more admired than loved. He has also transcended the flaws and mannerisms that humanize lesser piano players. While excellence usually prevails, and while … Read More “Kenny Barron Quintet: Concentric Circles (Blue Note)”

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