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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.

Strange timing, this. Almost 25 years after it was originally recorded comes this medium-length conversation between two titans of American improvised music. Fans of jazz’ farther out shores will need little introduction to either of the participants here. But despite their joint (and lazy) labeling as “outcats,” the initial highpoints of their careers – Smith’s sparse and subtle phrasing with the Smith-Braxton-Jenkins trio vs. Blackwell’s upbeat tapdancing underneath the classic Ornette Coleman
Rob Keiter recorded The Glory Of Love during a rough patch in his life. In the midst of the breakup of his 23-year marriage, he found himself putting together a collection of a dozen love songs. The emotion was overwhelming. As he was singing “This Nearly Was Mine,” Keiter couldn’t hold back the tears. Still, he managed to keep singing about lost love until the song’s conclusion. Everyone there realized it was a moment that couldn’t be recreated, so that became the one and only take of the song.
My local record store is selling this under the Classical Music section, so is it really jazz at all? Perhaps more importantly, does a label matter when the music is so good?The 2 CD set of "Love Songs" is very much a game of 2 halves. CD1 presents 7 original songs penned by Mehldau, at although it's okay, it takes itself rather too seriously in places. Anne Sofie Von Otter has a superb voice, but it's probably not used to best effect on this material, with Mehldau trying too hard to sound cla
It isn't often I get over-the-top excited about a new CD, but when I received a press release regarding Disney Jazz Volume 1: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat, my heart began to beat wildly. Remembering some very fine Disney interpretations by some of our finest i.e., Bill Evans, Louie Armstrong, Brubeck, Coltrane, Miles, my anticipation was not misguided. After all, Disney has delighted countless trillions of viewers with his cartoons, films and Magic Kingdom, but to understate the music that has accompanied the optical delight of everything Disney would be simply ludicrous. 
 It's a bold endeavor to believe you can invoke freshness and vitality into thinly worn standards like "Body and Soul," "All the Things You Are" and "My Funny Valentine." Trumpeter Cuong Vu meets the challenge head-on with imaginative results on Leaps of Faith, a quartet outing with wide-open improvisatory exploration, melding consonant lyricism with chaotic tumult.
For those who don’t already own one of the previous versions of this album’s release, now is the perfect time to pick up this incredible recording. The lineup included amazing trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, soulful saxophonists Stanley Turrentine and Hank Crawford, continually underappreciated flutist Hubert Laws, young-at-the-time guitar firebrand George Benson, soul jazz keyboard legend Johnny Hammond, Miles Davis alum bassist Ron Carter, the powerful Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer Billy Cobham and
05.03.2011

Gemini by Koby Hayon

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Koby Hayon’s debut album, Gemini, features a wide-open style of playing that gives the trio plenty of room to fill space and experiment with the pushing and pulling of time to shape the musical space around them. Featuring drummer Jerome Morris and veteran bassist Kermit Driscoll, Hayon's compositions blend traditional jazz guitar with Middle-Eastern song and pop. Born in Israel, Hayon works to incorporate the indigenous Middle-Eastern sound of his home throughout his compositions and improvisat
Cornetist Eric Boeren leads his Dutch quartet with a crisp, compact and expressive sound through a program that toggles between inventive bop, free-bop and avant expressionism on this live date recorded in 2004. With legendary German drummer Paul Lovens garnering the most out of his sparse kit and generating a sparky underpinning, the program is underscored by contrasting tones and a vibrant stance. Lovens and superfine bassist Wilbert de Joode literally have the beat on dynamics throughout the
New York-based pianist Alon Nechushtan has worked as a sideman with the likes of Frank London and Baya Kouyate and is the founder of the quintet TALAT, a critically acclaimed jazz-meets-klezmer ensemble. Nechushtan makes a bold statement with Words Beyond, his first release as leader of a progressive trio featuring bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss. The disc is a hard swinging, soulful collection of nine of the pianist's original compositions. Nechushtan has the ability to reshape a
Vocalist Alison Ruble has gathered a strong set of jazz and folk-rock songs for her second Origin Records release. After displaying her diverse musical taste on her 2008 debut, This is a Bird, Ruble drives home the point that she is as comfortable reinterpreting the American songbook as she is covering recent songs by Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt. Ruble also continues to work with some of Chicago’s top musicians, including guitarist John McLean, who did all the arrangements on Ashland. The 10
Filmed in High Definition, the footage captures eminent and highly-influential guitarist John Scofield with his quartet, largely performing within the progressive-jazz quartet mold, featuring longtime collaborator, drummer Bill Stewart. Captured at a Paris, France venue, Scofield’s animated and poetic delivery is in full form as he perpetuates his expressive bop imagery in concert with funky acid-jazz interludes and soul-blues inflections.Throughout the program, the guitarist aligns with keyboa
A girl's gotta have a little pleasure is a fun album full of blues, ballads and even a little humor; all these delivered by the sensual, soulful and powerful voice of Donna Greene. Donna is in good company in this album with veterans musicians with experience in a diversity of music styles. Jeff Elliot on trumpet played with Flora and Airto Moreira; Sinclair Lott on drums played with jazz legend Freddie Hubbard and percussionist Kevin Winard played with Sergio Mendes. There is something for ever
Since the 1990s, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has been consistently turning heads with a series of releases showcasing his unique playing and compositional voice. Aside from his success as a leader, the Philadelphia native has racked up sideman credits with the likes of Brian Blade, Joshua Redman and Danilo Perez. Since 2003, Rosenwinkel has resided in Europe and currently teaches at the Jazz Institute of Berlin. In 2008, the Portugal-based big band Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos (OJM) invited the g
Easy Street is a delightful collection of jazz ballads presented with simple but effective arrangements that allows the listener to appreciate Callie Cardamon beautiful voice and cool delivery.As any good jazz singer Callie imprint every song with a bluesy feeling, singing behind the beat, a vocal technique most female jazz singers learned from the great Billie Holiday. "When sunny gets blue" and "Dream a little dream are perfect examples of the application of this technique. On "Dream a little
03.03.2011

Scarnoduo by Blastula

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Faced with the prospect of listening to an entire CD of improvised voice-and-percussion duos, I was initially a bit put-off and placed Scarnoduo into the 'back-burner' stack. But the CD's lovely packaging, of all things, made me curious. Once I got it into my CD player, the sheer inventiveness, broad humor, and technical excellence of Blastula quickly won me over. Scarnoduo is certainly one of the year’s very best avant-garde releases, and another feather in the cap for the consistently great Am
ElectroAcoustic Silence, also known as EASilence, is a collaborative effort involving an Italian jazz quartet and Japanese electronic musician Taketo Gohara. Though Gohara is credited with ‘sound design’ on the CD’s packaging, his contributions to Flatime hearken back to the synthesized swoops, sweeps, boops, and beeps I first heard from artists such as Pat Gleeson on Herbie Hancock’s early 70s LPs, or perhaps to the electronic palette of musique concrete as formulated by Pierre Schaffer and Pie
Sicilian Opening is an extraordinarily pleasant modern jazz offering from the veteran Italian jazz pianist and his highly capable trio. What I admire most about this CD is the trio’s obvious musical chemistry, and their ability to create jazz that – while not on the cutting edge, stylistically – manages to challenge the listener despite being quite accessible and pleasant to listen to. Like the Hungarian-born pianist (and Boston resident) Laszlo Gardony, Bonafede has a strong affinity for Americ
Drummer / composer / arranger Mark Lomax drives a free-leaning tenor sax-fronted power trio with sure hands and graceful instincts on his fifth recording as a leader, The State Of Black America. The Blacksburg, VA native, an active music educator, and drum clinician has also worked with Azar Lawrence, Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, and Marlon Jordan. Lomax' compositions, while firmly rooted in the jazz tradition, give bassist Dean Hulett and tenor saxophonist Edwin Bayard plenty of room for
Trumpeter Ron Miles is one of those musicians who is always doing something that is worth paying attention to. This disc – prosaically titled 3ology With Ron Miles - is no exception. 3ology is a Denver-based saxophone – bass – drums trio that performs groove-based improvised music. Clearly, these three fellows have been playing together for quite some time – they've established a rich and multi-layered rapport, and never fall prey to all the sorts of excesses I associate with free improvisation
Brian Landrus is a talented, young, multi-reedist whose primary horn is the baritone saxophone. Though more attuned to the post-Coltrane sound, his technique and sound on the bari evoke great old school players such as Nick Brignola and Pepper Adams. He's also an extremely capable flutist and clarinetist. I particularly enjoyed his rich, woody bass, clarinet tone. Though clearly a modernist conversant with the more edgy variants of jazz and improvised music, Landrus' debut recording, Forward to