Tim Berne’s Snakeoil: You’ve Been Watching Me Jun29

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil: You’ve Been Watc...

Stimulating, non-hierarchical group improvisation in music – that which is resistant to sloppiness, incoherency and ultimately, irrelevancy – comes to successful fruition only with the tremendous efforts of highly skilled, compatible and coordinated musicians responding relationally in the...

Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain: Live in New York – The Vanguard Sessions Jun24

Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain: Live ...

Gleaned from a week’s worth of live gigs at NYC’s famed Village Vanguard venue in May, 2014, Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain, Live in New York: The Vanguard Sessions, a subtitle pregnant with dual or triple significance, insists at one level that we may be (and to judge from the...

Joanna Wallfisch: The Origin of Adjustable Things May28

Joanna Wallfisch: The Origin of Adjustable Things

There is today a revelatory voice afoot in the world of independent vocal jazz, and that divine gift belongs to Joanna Wallfisch. From a family of musicians and herself a Guildhall School of Music Masters graduate, this captivating British-born vocalist’s sophomore record, whimsically and...

Dave Stryker: Messin’ With Mister T May18

Dave Stryker: Messin’ With Mister T

Tenor saxophonist Stanley ‘Mister T’ Turrentine (1934-2000), one among the many influential jazz musicians to emerge from Pittsburgh, PA, provides the inspiration and focus for the album under review consideration here. Beginning in the 1960s, Mr. Turrentine’s most endearing and notable...

Avishai Cohen Trio: From Darkness Apr22

Avishai Cohen Trio: From Darkness

My beliefs about Israeli-born bassist Avishai Cohen have evolved over the years. Upon the release of his 1998 debut CD as leader, Adama, on Chick Corea’s Stretch/Concord imprint, I was immediately intrigued by the double-threat emergence of this major talent and recent addition to Mr....

Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago / Abrams, Gray, Mitchell, Threadgill Mar25

Jack DeJohnette: Made in Chicago / Abrams, Gray, M...

By 1960, the city of Chicago had experienced decades of transformation and social change. Waves of European immigrants from far shores, as well as migrants from within the nation’s borders, among them millions of African-Americans, coursed into this “City by the Lake,” its broad...

Kenny Wheeler: Songs for Quintet Mar24

Kenny Wheeler: Songs for Quintet

When it came to music, Kenny Wheeler was everywhere and fit in anywhere. Players that crossed the spectrum, from Tubby Hayes to Derek Bailey, knew him as a singular trumpet voice of seldom-equaled musicality. Settling in London in 1952 after leaving his native Toronto, he became a go-to...

Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites Mar12

Wadada Leo Smith: The Great Lakes Suites

The often dazzling and awe-inspiring landmass and waterscape formations resulting from the natural world’s inexorable transformations occurring over vast timescales can prove artistically inspirational, especially for artists whose creative juices are set flowing by the considerable...

Abdullah Ibrahim: The Song is My Story Feb23
Solo PianoTonal and Consonant

Abdullah Ibrahim: The Song is My Story

“You know, he is still a great sax player,” I tell myself while listening to Abdullah Ibrahim’s ‘Celestial Bird Dance,’ the opening number of his 2015 Sunnyside release,The Song Is My Story. A series of solo explorations – two on saxophone, fifteen on piano – , the disc is a...

Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet: Intents and Purposes Feb19
Somewhat Atonal or DissonantChamber Music

Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet: Intents and Purposes

It is highly likely that no period in jazz history has so thoroughly split opinions on the value and quality of its output as did the decade of the 1970’s. And it was in the realm of amplified, hedonistic jazz-rock, or fusion as it is more commonly known, where that split became most...

Marc Perrenoud Trio: Vestry Lamento Feb04
Tonal and Consonant

Marc Perrenoud Trio: Vestry Lamento

The Swiss composer and jazz pianist Marc Perrenoud has released a delightfully hip new trio record entitled Vestry Lamento. Produced by Double Moon Records Label & Challenge Records International, the album was first released in Europe in October of 2013, and has recently been made...

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: ‘Imaginary Cities’ Jan22
Tonal and ConsonantSomewhat Atonal or Dissonant

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: ‘Imagina...

Saxophonist and composer Chris Potter’s triumphant, expansive, visionary and boundary-blurring new release Imaginary Cities marks his second as leader for the ECM label, following 2012’s “The Sirens.” The creative impulse here stems, in part, as Chris himself puts it, from a...