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CD Reviews (11563)

Find full CD and individual track reviews of your favorite jazz artists right here, and hopefully you also discover some new artists to add to your collection as well.

Pianist Noah Haidu composes and plays with a genuine approach to blending the sounds of hard-bop, soul and Latin-tinged jazz. Slipstream, his debut release for Posi-Tone records, effortlessly melds varying styles into an accessible mix of sleek melodic themes and contagious rhythms. Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and alto saxophonist Jon Irabagon make up the front-line of the quintet, capturing seven of Haidu's original pieces and a swinging piano trio version of Cole Porter's "Just One of Those Things."
Adding to his growing body of work for Seattle's Origin Records, trumpeter Chad McCullough teams up with Belgian pianist Bram Weijters for Imaginary Sketches, a compelling set of original compositions, full of lyricism and harmonic delight. Along with bassist Chuck Deardorf and drummer John Bishop, the works as a showcase for thoughtful improvising and subtle, yet convincing compositional ideas. McCullough and Weijters are a fitting pair as both build upon a strong technical foundation to develo
“Tight rhythm section, exquisite solo work that enhances my singing, not overpowering it… There is a strong unity of the musicians, the vocals and the arrangements. Dynamic!” quotes Ms. Stuart, thinking back to her studio memories on Don’t Look Back. Since her debut with Beginning to See the Light, Ms. Stuart has reached another level in her career with this project, as her diversity and innovative studio work mold into a newer and revitalizing sound. The dynamics of the music, the thought proce
A young Italian vocalist from Naples with a persuasive sway describes music this way, “Music could perhaps be called the most truly human form of dialogue among people.” The assured artist is Eugenia Munari and her passion… jazz. Ms. Munari’s tone of voice can be diversely described numerous ways, but correctly stated; it would diabolically seductive with an energized feel. The rhythms would ignite the most stoic pulse into frenzy. Her debut project Challenge has by far a unique “slip into the s
Jo Thompson shows she’s only getting better with age on Forever Fabulous. The octogenarian is in fine form leading the J.C. Heard Orchestra, under musical director Walt Szymanski, through 15 jazz and blues jewels. The singer-pianist sets the tone for the album by leading off with a strong, high-energy version of “Bye Bye Blackbird” that will transport listeners back to the big band days. Thompson is the smart, sassy girl singer and more. She offers thoroughly engaging performances of “Gee Baby A
When Ron Carter writes album notes for another bass player, I take notice. After hearing this album, I think even non-bassists will agree Kenny Davis deserves the praise. Whether soloing or under the top line with well-chosen harmonic support, his articulation is clean, his intonation dead-on, his tone rich and full. Unusual for even a bass-led group, the bowed solo on the heartfelt "Gone too Soon" makes it the date's best track. Davis goes to bluesy plucking on "Before Sunrise," and it's anothe
The Captain Black Big Band, led by pianist Orrin Evans, is a high-intensity, swinging affair featuring a number of top soloists from the jazz scenes of New York and Philadelphia. Recorded during three different live performances in 2010, the group features a rotating cast of thirty-eight musicians over seven tracks. Despite the lack of a cohesive unit, the disc maintains stunning consistency with undeniable spirit and musical drive. From the opening "Art of War," a blistering, boppish piece feat
All Things Must Converge is a memorable listening experience, and the orginal jazz compositions are well-conceived, lively, and enjoyable listening. Al Garcia plays guitars, and other instruments, and these songs are his creation.Al Garcia has a big, lovely talent, and it is much in evidence with this collection. The CD features eight songs. They include "Labyrinth," "The Eternal Cycle," the memorable "Lingua Franca" with its intriguing harmony, "A Distant Mirror," "Two Shakes," "As Luck Would H
Acclaimed vocalist Gretchen Parlato presents an ambitious follow-up to 2009's In a Dream with The Lost and Found, a smorgasbord of vocal jazz styling over a diverse set of tracks. Along with associate producer Robert Glasper, Parlato reaches far and wide with the aid of a first rate band. Pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist Derrick Hodge and drummer Kendrick Scott create ultra-hip grooves while maintaining a sensitive rapport with Parlato's soft-spoken approach. Bassist Alan Hampton—who does a convin
This is Walter Beasley's fifteenth album which was released on October twenty-six of 2010. This album was produced by Chris "Big Dog" Davis and Phil Davis. Walter Beasley is a best-selling contemporary jazz artist of today. He is a recording artist, performer, full professor at Berklee College of Music, performance consultant, and music entrepreneur (founder and CEO of Affable Publishing and Affable Records) who hit number one on the contemporary jazz charts. He plays the soprano/alto saxophone
A pivotal jazz luminary in New York City’s progressive downtown scene, alto saxophonist Tim Berne has notched his name into the record books as an innovator and stylist. His discography and collaborations are well-documented. However, Berne’s a global artiste who recurrently investigates nouveau spins on jazz and improvisation. This release extends metrics and concepts previously exercised with longtime affiliates performing here. Essentially, jazz as a whole reinvents itself as Berne looms
Adventurous has always been the word for the music of Matthew Shipp, and Art of the Improviser his new two-CD set is no exception. At first glance, the purple-and-black cover, with its solid-set lettering, appears to be two disks of Matt solo, but it turns out to be two dates: one in a trio with drummer Whit Dickey and bassist Mike Bisio (recorded in Troy, New York) and a second solo at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. Both contain reworkings of previously recorded tunes, and there are two lov
San Francisco vocalist Margie Baker’s assembled five musician friends with the idea of playing African-American music from the 1930s and ‘40s, which was then known as “race music.” Their three-hour sets would be tribute to the music that Baker heard as a young girl growing up in the city’s Fillmore District, the scene of several nightclubs that housed black entertainers on the “chitlin circuit” when they came through the city. She was too young to be allowed inside these clubs, but the music was
These veteran Italian improvisers convey freedom of expression with a musical panorama that scales rather well. One of the compelling factors on this live recording pertains to the band’s ability to expand themes and subplots without concentrating on one mode of action. With capacious and unrestricting dialogues to complement a myriad of asymmetrical rhythmic variations, the musicians inject dainty contrasts and temperate flows into the grand schema.Saxophonist Edoardo Marraffa’s raspy voicing
Educated at the Academy of Music in Malmö, Sweden, Kristian Lind is a young bassist beginning his contributions to the global corpus of recorded jazz with the release of his first record, Wintergames. Like the Sonny Rollins piano-less trios that inspired him, he is joined only by drums (Peter Danemo) and tenor saxophone (Karl-Martin Almqvist). Paradoxically this setting both draws attention to Lind as he is driving the harmonic progression of the tunes, and detracts from him because the focus i
The Massachusetts-based Mill City Trio stirs up a quiet brand of intensity on Looking Up, with the somewhat unusual instrumentation of drums and two guitars. Drummer Anthony D'Anna provides a delicate, yet driving foundation for guitarists Jamie Dunphy and Greg Passler who display a like-minded approach to jazz guitar. Exchanging solo lines full of quick wit and swinging exuberance, the two revive the spirit of celebrated guitar duo outings with the likes Herb Ellis and Joe Pass on original piec
Sending My Love is the fitting title of the splendidly captivating contemporary jazz release on Peak Records & Concord Music Group from accomplished guitarist Norman Brown. Although Brown is indeed most prominently a superlative guitarist, he also expertly excels at songwriting and from time to time bestows his urban rooted silky-smooth vocals to provide spice and variation to his music. Norman Brown is not a newcomer to making pleasing smooth contemporary jazz recordings saturated with rh
Holly Hofmann (www.hollyhofmann.com) is one of the premier flutists in jazz, "Along with Hubert Laws. . . the best jazz flute player today" according to Phil Woods. Bill Cunliffe (www.billcunliffe.com) is an outstanding pianist--1989 winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Award--and an award-winning arranger--he won a Grammy in 2010, with three other nominations, including another one this year. Together they provide one of the finest examples of the art of the jazz duo. This is
Approximately 23 years ago, Harvie S received a telephone call asking if he would be willing to play bass for a new, young musician performing at the JVC. Harvie has always been in demand both here and abroad, and he accepted the offer. The festival went off without a hitch and over the following months, that young musician, pianist Bill Charlap, and Harvie S became friends. And as friends and musicians, they did what came naturally, played their instruments, jammed together and explored mutu
Featuring a stellar cast of Brooklyn-based musicians, G.R.A.S.S.—the Gowanus Reggae and Ska Society—take on the challenge of reworking the classic sounds of Bob Marley and the Wailers. Their self produced release, G.R.A.S.S. on Fire brings an instrumental, jazz leaning perspective to Marley's 1973 major label debut Catch a Fire. Although void of lyrical content, the ensemble, led by electric bassist J.A. Granelli and keyboardist Nate Shaw, captures the essence of Marley's politically charged mes