Jazz

Miles Davis, with Quincy Jones and the Gil Evans Orchestra – Live at Montreux (2013)

You see Miles Davis’ age, you sense it, in his fingers. Otherwise remarkably well preserved on this date, just months before his death, the legendary trumpeter certainly looks the part — from the technicolor jacket to the red horn

Matt Holman’s Diversion Ensemble – When Flooded (2013)

An emerging talent who has starred in Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society and a 2009 winner of ASCAP Young Jazz Composer’s Competition, trumpet player Matt Holman has put it all together for his maiden record as a leader, When Flooded.

Soft Machine Legacy – Burden Of Proof (2013)

Soft Machine will never come to exist again, but one of the best of the Canterbury bands still lives on in an alumni band called Soft Machine Legacy. Together since 2002, the lineup is dominated by members of the underrated mid 70s version

Bob Arthurs and Steve LaMattina – Jazz for Svetlana (2013)

Perhaps the best birthday present a woman named Svetlana has ever received, Jazz for Svetlana is what happens when two musicians gather to lay something down without expectations.

Larry Carlton, with Robben Ford – Unplugged (2013)

There’s a reason these guys have fronted countless recordings, even while appearing as first-call sidemen with everyone from Miles Davis to Steely Dan to Joni Mitchell. Every time one of them picks up the guitar, it’s an encyclopedic wonder.

Sexmob – Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti (2013)

After reveling in pre-Benny Goodman big band jazz with a cheery avant twist and unlikely pop references leading the Millennial Territory Orchestra, slide trumpet extraordinaire Steven Bernstein returns to his first major project after a seven year studio layoff.

Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet – Wislawa (2013)

The Penguin Guide to Jazz On CD (Fourth Ed., Cook and Morton) opined back in the 90s that the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko is an artist first and foremost and a musician second, asserting that “he is a man whose imagination is fired as much by words…as by music.”

Vo-Duo – Nou La (2013)

To commence Nou La, Vo-Duo sends blessings to the sacred heart of the Asoto drum, to the spirits and finally to the listeners. This modest, exquisite acapella piece, called “Bonjou,” foretells the loveliness and sanctity to come.

Stan Killian – Evoke (2013)

When Stan Killian came out with Unified a couple of years back, it didn’t knock me back in one certain way, it knocked me back in many ways. Killian brought a stout but sensitive tenor saxophone to compositions he crafted with canny detail, but also pleasing to the ear.

Jaleel Shaw – The Soundtrack Of Things To Come (2013)

A longtime member of both the Mingus Big Band and the Roy Haynes Quartet, saxophonist Jaleel Shaw had first gotten my attention as a leader with 2008’s Optimism and his ASCAP award winning song “Flipside.”