Jazz

The Ocular Concern – Sister Cities (2014)

The West Coast ensemble The Ocular Concern meekly touts their product as “Music for the Curious Listener,” but that belies a whole lot of adventure contained within their songs.

WTF?! Wednesdays: Fred Frith, “No Birds” (1974)

WTF?! Wednesdays: Fred Frith, “No Birds” (1974)

Many years ago, I made a mix tape specifically for use on long drives in my pickup truck. No, it was not filled with country music.

Steve Davis – For Real (2014)

Jazz Messengers-alum and sideman trombonist of choice Steve Davis makes his fourth Posi-Tone disc For Real yet another enjoyable collection of no-bullshit, genuine hard bop.

On Second Thought: Fareed Haque – Out of Nowhere (2013)

Fareed Haque’s masterful fluidity is all over Out of Nowhere, the guitarist’s latest record. For this round, the Chicago-based musician forges ahead through a collection of standards and originals

Scott Jeppesen – El Guapo (2013)

In his debut album as a leader, saxophonist Scott Jeppesen showcases all he’s learned on the journey thus far.

Rich Rosenthal – Falling Up (2013)

Rich Rosenthal developed a love for not just jazz but for the most adventurous kinds of jazz when he was barely a teenager, and the budding guitarist aspired early on to be among the ranks of Sun Ra, Sam Rivers,

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Country Poem” (1979)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “Country Poem” (1979)

Pat Metheny has spoken many times about his “voice,” and obviously that voice comes in many flavors — from the hollow body guitar, the various acoustics, the Red One, the Pikasso, the Orchestrion.

Matt Criscuolo – Blippity Blat (2014)

When we last encountered Connecticut restaurateur and alto saxophonist Matt Criscuolo in 2009, he had made an interesting record that supplemented a base jazz quartet with a violin/violin/viola/cello quartet. Melancholia accentuated a crisp, post-bop swing with the stately refinement of a small string ensemble.

S. Victor Aaron’s Top Unreviewed Jazz and Fusion Records of 2013: Ivo Perelman, Frank Rosaly

S. Victor Aaron’s Top Unreviewed Jazz and Fusion Records of 2013: Ivo Perelman, Frank Rosaly

So many great records to rave about…and so little time to rave. Last year I started a new tradition with a “just one more list before we’re done with lists” kind of list.

Bobby Watson – Check Cashing Day (2013)

Bobby Watson – Check Cashing Day (2013)

Bobby Watson, over a career that began with his meteoric rise to musical director in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers at the turn of the 1980s, hasn’t shied away from the political.