Jazz

Fabian Almazan – Rhizome (2014)

Fabian Almazan – Rhizome (2014)

If you’ve seen trumpeter Terence Blanchard live you are already well aware of pianist/composer Fabian Almazan.

Viper Mad Trio – Buddy Bolden’s Blues (2014)

Viper Mad Trio – Buddy Bolden’s Blues (2014)

With so many traditional jazz artists fetishizing the oh-so-serious 1950s, it’s a breath of fresh air to find the Viper Mad Trio kicking up their heels amid the hipster — and determinedly happy — small-combo sounds that came before.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” (1981)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls” (1981)

I don’t know about the rest of the Pat Metheny fan base, but I was pretty much unprepared for what As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls had to offer.

‘Things, for a while, were not looking good’: For UK jazz scene, a bold return to vibrancy

‘Things, for a while, were not looking good’: For UK jazz scene, a bold return to vibrancy

Not so long ago, the UK jazz scene looked like it was in trouble. Audience numbers were dwindling and it became harder for musicians to get gigs, especially for those new on the scene.

Mike Dillon – Band of Outsiders (2014)

Mike Dillon – Band of Outsiders (2014)

Gonzo vibes man Mike Dillon is the secret weapon in whatever project he’s involved with, whether it’s Garage A Trois, The Dead Kenny G’s or even Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe.

Oran Etkin – Gathering Light (2014)

Oran Etkin – Gathering Light (2014)

Oran Etkin brings a childlike wonder to the clarinet, which is not just a passing comment in his case; the clarinetist and saxophonist has a school that teaches smalls kids up to age ten about music in an open and effective way through his Timbalooloo method.

Abe Ovadia – Three by Three (2014)

Abe Ovadia – Three by Three (2014)

Nearly a year ago, I wrote a review about a stellar performance by Abe Ovadia — a young up and coming guitarist who creates his own rules and is an imitation of no one.

Jamie Saft and Joe Morris – Plymouth (2014)

Jamie Saft and Joe Morris – Plymouth (2014)

Out of the box thinkers Jamie Saft and Joe Morris combined forces last year for an update on the guttural, jam-rock aesthetic popular around the turn of the 70s.

Omar Hakim – We Are One (2014)

Omar Hakim – We Are One (2014)

It’s not just that the do-anything Omar Hakim rarely puts out his own albums. That’s perhaps understandable, considering his over-stuffed career as a sideman alongside the likes of Sting, Weather Report, Dire Straits, David Bowie, Miles Davis and Daft Punk. What was strange was how little, well, drumming there seemed to be on his solo efforts.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Goin’ Ahead” (1980)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Goin’ Ahead” (1980)

80/81 concludes with Pat bringing it all together with acoustic guitars. For all of the different aspects of jazz (and “jazz folk”) on display on this record, there’s something about Metheny’s final song that really does feel like a true, integrated conclusion. Certainly all of these years of listening have imparted some of that feel, but it seemed this wayRead More