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Frank Morgan/George Cables: Montreal Memories (HighNote)

The late altoist Frank Morgan performed together frequently with pianist George Cables; evidence of that includes studio recordings of duets in 1986 (Double Image) and 1989 (half of Mood Indigo), as well as three separate live discs culled from an extended quartet engagement at New York’s Jazz Standard alongside drummer Billy Hart and bassist Carmen … Read More “Frank Morgan/George Cables: Montreal Memories (HighNote)”

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Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices (Intakt) / Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Rainey: Utter (Relative Pitch)

As a bandleader, the wildly inventive soprano and tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock shepherds all-star groups such as Ubatuba, Anti-House, and Serpentines, all category-defying projects with a bent toward unconventional instrumentation and disparate style-shifting. The Germany-born, Brooklyn-based polymath’s collaborative and side work, meanwhile, includes a regular slot in the acclaimed Mary Halvorson Octet, plus stints in … Read More “Ingrid Laubrock: Contemporary Chaos Practices (Intakt) / Ingrid Laubrock and Tom Rainey: Utter (Relative Pitch)”

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Danny Bacher: Still Happy (Whaling City Sound)

The song titles alone on soprano saxophonist and vocalist Danny Bacher’s sophomore release provide a pre-listening hint of what to expect: They contain words like joy, fun, lucky, hooray, laughing, and—three separate times—happy. And just to make sure you’ve got the idea, the CD’s inner sleeve depicts the artist matching the grin on the smiley-face … Read More “Danny Bacher: Still Happy (Whaling City Sound)”

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Camille Thurman: Waiting for the Sunrise (Chesky)

Camille Thurman has to share the credit for her wonderful sophomore effort for the Chesky label not only with her accompanists but with her producer, label head David Chesky, and his “3D” binaural and audio technique. The session, cut in Brooklyn, was captured—without getting into a bunch of audiophile jibber-jabber—with a single microphone, rather than … Read More “Camille Thurman: Waiting for the Sunrise (Chesky)”

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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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Houston Person & Ron Carter: Remember Love (HighNote)

The phrase “age before beauty” does not apply to the duet partnership of tenor saxophonist Houston Person and acoustic bassist Ron Carter. Sure, Remember Love is the first of their six pairings on record to occur when both are octogenarians. Yes, seven of the eight covers are more than 65 years old, and the other, … Read More “Houston Person & Ron Carter: Remember Love (HighNote)”

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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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Mark Turner & Ethan Iverson: Temporary Kings (ECM)/Mikkel Ploug & Mark Turner: Faroe (Sunnyside)

Each of these two duet albums features tenor saxophonist Mark Turner working with someone with whom he normally plays in a quartet. In the case of Temporary Kings, that someone would be pianist Ethan Iverson, who works with Turner in drummer Billy Hart’s quartet; on Faroe, it’s Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug, who invited the saxophonist … Read More “Mark Turner & Ethan Iverson: Temporary Kings (ECM)/Mikkel Ploug & Mark Turner: Faroe (Sunnyside)”

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Miguel Zenón Featuring Spektral Quartet: Yo Soy La Tradición (Miel)

The evolution of Miguel Zenón has been unpredictable and intriguing. Along with being the lone remaining charter member in the SFJazz Collective octet and the longtime leader of a whirlwind postbop quartet, the altoist has developed a fertile catalog of work blending jazz with the folkloric roots of his native Puerto Rico. Originally goosed along … Read More “Miguel Zenón Featuring Spektral Quartet: Yo Soy La Tradición (Miel)”

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