Jazz

Allan Holdsworth – FLATTire (2001; 2013 reissue)

Allan Holdsworth – FLATTire (2001; 2013 reissue)

The turn of the millennium was a time of artistic resurgence for UK guitar lord Allan Holdsworth; with its stripped down arrangements and group improvisational freedom, Holdsworth got more from less out of Sixteen Men of Tain (2000).

‘I kind of had my suspicions': John Clayton on the mystery gig that turned out to be Paul McCartney

‘I kind of had my suspicions': John Clayton on the mystery gig that turned out to be Paul McCartney

For John Clayton, the gig was a complete mystery. He knew that Diana Krall would be on piano, but not who the singer would be. “They wouldn’t say who it was,” the Grammy-winning jazz bassist reveals. Because it was Paul McCartney.

Billy Vera – Big Band Jazz (2013)

Billy Vera – Big Band Jazz (2013)

Anyone who came of age in the 1980s can instantly visualize one scene when hearing the name “Billy Vera and the Beaters”: Michael J. Fox and future wife Tracy Pollan slow dancing to “At This Moment” on the TV sitcom Family Ties.

The Leif Arntzen Band – Continuous Break (2013)

I’m not saying that trumpet player Leif Arntzen has been around a while, but he has a son, drummer Miles, who’s making a name for himself in the afrobeat arena. Nowadays, though, ol’ Dad’s been making his own mark in jazz.

WTF?! Wednesdays: Anthony Braxton, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” (1974)

WTF?! Wednesdays: Anthony Braxton, “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” (1974)

Loving covers of popular music is a grand jazz tradition. From blues vamps to show tunes to popular song of the day, jazz musicians have explored the harmonic opportunities found in pop music.

Matt Parker – Worlds Put Together (2013)

Vimeo. Matt Parker’s debut album Worlds Put Together is appealing, but in an odd way. Perhaps that’s because on this record, the tenor and soprano sax practitioner is a paradox.

Christian McBride and Inside Straight – People Music (2013)

Christian McBride and Inside Straight – People Music (2013)

Taking a page from Cannonball Adderley, who had a remarkable ability to take the complex and make it feel approachable, Christian McBride’s new album is as relatable as it is intense, as ebullient as it is substantive.

Steve Jenkins and the Coaxial Flutter – Steve Jenkins and the Coaxial Flutter (2013)

Steve Jenkins may be a bassist, but he’s seemed to have learned a lot from guitarists with which he’s worked, like, say, Vernon Reid and David Fiuczynski, in how to craft music around his chosen instrument and his style of playing it.

One Track Mind: Bill Cunliffe Trio, “Blue Notes” from River Edge, New Jersey (2013)

1989 Monk Competition winner Bill Cunliffe is a diversely skilled pianist who puts his range to use in a variety of settings, from Latin jazz, to fusion to fruitful collaborations of straight ahead jazz.

Noah Preminger – Haymaker (2013)

The sharp, agreeable Haymaker will be Noah Preminger’s first album since the last one Before The Rain (2011) catapulted the tenor saxophone master to the front ranks of today’s current crop of young lions.