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Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio: Outliers (Papillon Sounds)

In a perfect world, critics would always hear a band live, playing music from their new record, right before sitting down with the record to review it. For Outliers, the stars so aligned. Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio appeared in the Just Jazz series at Mr Musichead Gallery on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles on February … Read More “Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio: Outliers (Papillon Sounds)”

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John Pizzarelli Trio: For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole (Ghostlight)

When guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli last paid tribute to his primary musical inspiration with 1999’s P.S. Mr. Cole, he was in his late thirties, and Nat Cole probably still cast an imposing shadow as a legendary jazz master. P.S. was his second release honoring his hero, following not long after 1994’s Dear Mr. Cole, a swinging … Read More “John Pizzarelli Trio: For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole (Ghostlight)”

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Hedvig Mollestad Trio: Smells Funny (Rune Grammafon)

The belching, blues-rock mongrel that is the Hedvig Mollestad Trio could emanate only from the Scandinavian music scene and only in this particular time, when vinyl is trending and when the past is ceaselessly reexamined. Performing blues shrapnel improvisations allied to sprawling Frank Zappa-like, fuzzed-out guitar solos and a ZZ Top-worthy rhythm section manhandled into … Read More “Hedvig Mollestad Trio: Smells Funny (Rune Grammafon)”

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Giovanni Mirabassi Trio: Summer’s Gone (CamJazz)

Paris-based pianist Giovanni Mirabassi has been recording since the mid-1990s, his output including tributes to Jacques Brel, Léo Ferré, and Serge Gainsbourg, as well as solo outings and trio journeys. His 21st release, Summer’s Gone, is one of the latter. Joined by bassist Gianluca Renzi and drummer Lukmil Perez, Mirabassi explores terrain familiar to fans … Read More “Giovanni Mirabassi Trio: Summer’s Gone (CamJazz)”

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Russ Lossing: Changes (SteepleChase)

Russ Lossing’s career is centered on writing and playing his own music, but he’s intermittently addressed our ever-growing jazz canon with the kind of insight that can only be honed by decades of improvising. Check the pianist’s takes on Sonny Rollins’ “Pent Up House,” Andrew Hill’s “Awake,” or Paul Motian’s “Dance” for a clear view of … Read More “Russ Lossing: Changes (SteepleChase)”

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Kelly Green Trio: Volume One (KG Music)

The Kelly Green Trio opens its debut album, Volume One, with an almost 10-minute rendition of the Jerome Kern/Johnny Mercer chestnut “I’m Old-Fashioned” that establishes the opposite premise of the lyric. Subtly reharmonizing the standard, the ensemble sounds anything but out of date, streamlining Kern’s already compressed melody without detracting from the beauty of his … Read More “Kelly Green Trio: Volume One (KG Music)”

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Steve Kuhn Trio: To and From the Heart (Sunnyside)

We don’t necessarily need a reminder about pianist Steve Kuhn’s eminence in the trio domain; his work in that realm has been well-documented and greatly respected. It is, however, always a pleasure to receive a gift such as this. To and From the Heart capitalizes on the creative rapport that Kuhn has developed with bassist … Read More “Steve Kuhn Trio: To and From the Heart (Sunnyside)”

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Bill Stewart: Band Menu (self-released)

For his 11th release, drummer/composer Bill Stewart joins tenor saxophonist Walter Smith III and bassist Larry Grenadier on the ironically titled Band Menu. The literal menu listed on the CD’s inner sleeve offers such dishes as “Hand Rolled Drum Rug with Perspiration Reduction,” “Pickled Jazz Stalwart,” and “Pay Your Dues Fondue.” Stewart is both a … Read More “Bill Stewart: Band Menu (self-released)”

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Josh Sinton’s Predicate Trio: making bones, taking draughts, bearing unstable millstones pridefully, idiotically, prosaically (Iluso)

Baritone saxophonist and bass clarinetist Josh Sinton—a steady presence in Brooklyn’s avant-garde jazz scene since the early 1990s—caused a bit of a ripple recently when he announced he was taking a hiatus from music. Citing the rigors of making a living as a musician while supporting a family, Sinton concluded that a career reassessment was … Read More “Josh Sinton’s Predicate Trio: making bones, taking draughts, bearing unstable millstones pridefully, idiotically, prosaically (Iluso)”

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