Jazz

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

Matt Slocum – Black Elk’s Dream (2014)

Matt Slocum – Black Elk’s Dream (2014)

Matt Slocum had only been in NYC for a couple of years when he debuted as a leader with the impressive Portraits (2010).

On Second Thought: Jon Irabagon – It Takes All Kinds (2014)

On Second Thought: Jon Irabagon – It Takes All Kinds (2014)

If Foxy was a test of endurance, It Takes All Kinds is its continuation in the most expansive of senses.

Jared Gold – JG 3+3 (2014)

Jared Gold – JG 3+3 (2014)

Sometimes, both quality and quantity is possible: Hammond B3 commander Jared Gold has been punctually making a record a year since 2008.

Andrew Hadro – For Us, The Living (2014)

Andrew Hadro – For Us, The Living (2014)

That burly baritone sax, it can be an abrasive sound maker, but in the right hands it can be this warm, inviting sonority.

Birchall and Woolhouse – The Scenery of Life Unfolding (2014)

Birchall and Woolhouse – The Scenery of Life Unfolding (2014)

This has been done, of course. Among the legends to have played in a piano-and-bass duo are Bill Evans and Eddie Gomez, Chris Anderson and Charlie Haden, Duke Ellington and Ray Brown, and Paul Bley and Gary Peacock, among many others. To be sure, stepping into this format has its pitfalls.

Barb Jungr – Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen (2014)

Barb Jungr – Hard Rain: The Songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen (2014)

Barb Jungr has a powerful tool in the box — and that is her voice. Combine this with the powerful songs of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, and a group of good musicians, and you have something which has the potential to blow your mind

Brian Charette – Square One (2014)

Brian Charette – Square One (2014)

With the exception of John Medeski, there are aren’t a whole lot of Hammond B3 players as imaginative as Brian Charette. And even Medeski didn’t come up with the idea to put his B3 alongside a four-part horn section like Charette did a couple of years back.

Ivo Perelman and Mat Maneri – Two Men Walking (2014)

Ivo Perelman and Mat Maneri – Two Men Walking (2014)

Two Men Walking is all about Ivo Perelman going one-on-one with a viola player, which is cause for joy for improvised music enthusiasts…especially since the viola player is a kindred soul in Mat Maneri.