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...

Billy Hart Quartet: One Is the Other Jan20
Tonal and Consonant

Billy Hart Quartet: One Is the Other

Billy Hart has done as much as anyone alive to master the vocabulary of jazz drumming. Mr. Hart (b. 1940) has been the beat behind over 500 albums by artists ranging from Sam & Dave to Pharoah Sanders. With The Montgomery Brothers and Jimmy Smith in the ‘60s, Miles Davis and Herbie...

Vijay Iyer (composer, piano, electronics): Mutations Jan14
Somewhat Atonal or DissonantChamber Music

Vijay Iyer (composer, piano, electronics): Mutatio...

Vijay Iyer should be familiar to both jazz enthusiasts and people interested in creative new music of all sorts. He has collaborated with artists from Amiri Baraka to John Zorn on record labels from Asian Improv to Sunnyside. It is not only his piano playing and composing that has won him a...

Xavier Desandre Navarre: In-Pulse Dec30
Tonal and Consonant

Xavier Desandre Navarre: In-Pulse

The French jazz composer and percussionist Xavier Desandre Navarre has released a promising first album as bandleader entitled In-Pulse, on the Jazz Village label. He has assembled a tremendous combo behind him that enlists two upright bass players, Stéphane Kerecki and Bruno Rousselet, and...

Michel Bisceglia Trio: Singularity / Michel Bisceglia, piano; Werner Lauscher, bass; Marc Léhan, drums Nov20
Tonal and Consonant

Michel Bisceglia Trio: Singularity / Michel Bisceg...

The sometime politically-fractious, culturally heterogeneous, low country of Belgium continues in the present day to foster its lengthy and distinguished relationship with Jazz, one that includes producing the eminent musical personages Django Reinhardt and Toots Thielemans, the Brussels Jazz...