Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

Half Notes: Avery Sharpe Trio – Live (2010)

by Mark Saleski First off, I just have to say that this album, recorded at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio in Boston, sounds gorgeous. Many modern recordings, even in the quieter jazz realm, are tainted by the overuse of compression. Not so here. The inner detail of Winard Harper’s cymbal work is right there and Onaje Allan Gumbs piano is veryRead More

Something Else! Interview: Jazz pianist Michael Wolff

Jazz pianist Michael Wolff — an endlessly engaging player whom the New York Times has praised for “near impeccable good taste, technical facility and lyrical inventiveness” — joins us for an SER Sitdown

Half Notes: Chris Green Quartet – Merge (2009)

by Mark Saleski I do like my jazz with some funk, and Chris Green delivers. The opening track “Good Riddance!” cooks right along as does “Coffee ‘n Scotch,” built on a simple ostinato that gets moved around in sly ways as the funk slips into and back out of straight swing. The album hits a couple of delicious peaks duringRead More

Edith Wilson – He May Be Your Man … But He Comes to See Me Sometimes (1973)

A pioneer as just the third African American woman to make a phonograph recording back in the 1920s, Edith Wilson later fell on hard times — and was reduced to appearing through the mid-’60s (and quite anonymously) in the first Aunt Jemima TV commercials.

Bela Fleck and the Flecktones – Rocket Science (2011)

Sometimes old really is new again. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones existed as a trio for a handful of years after harmonica/pianist Howard Levy left, only to ask consistent fill-in saxophonist Jeff Coffin to join their ranks.

Sean Jones – No Need for Words (2011)

Sean Jones does something with No Need To Words” that’s sorely needed: Talk about love in a complete way. Not just the romantic part, or the passionate part (though that’s here, too) but the other parts — the angry parts, the melancholy parts. The part where you thank a parent for everything she did; the part where you try toRead More

Half Notes: Melvin Jones – Pivot (2011)

Listening to this record before I even read Melvin Jones’ liner notes, I already knew what he meant by the title of this debut album by him. It’s an album that has many shades of jazz on display, and the constant is the pure, malleable trumpet voice of Jones. So I had to nod in agreement when I read Jones’Read More

Half Notes: Tom Harrell – Roman Nights (2010)

by Mark Saleski My favorite Tom Harrell record is actually a Jim Hall record. These Rooms was a Jim Hall Trio album featuring Tom Harrell. Really great stuff. There was a certain synergy between Harrell’s flugelhorn and Hall’s guitar. Some of that kind of thing is evident on Roman Nights. Danny Grissett’s beautiful piano introduction on the title track leadsRead More

Stephane Grappelli – Plays Jerome Kern (1987; reissue)

This isn’t so much a rethinking of American Broadway composer Jerome Kern’s work as a deeply romantic, light jazz/classical aside. Recorded in 1987, the same year the legendary French gypsy jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli passed, Plays Jerome Kern — re-released this month by Just a Memory Records — is couched in a luminous, almost pillowy orchestral score by Ettore Stratta.Read More

Half Notes: Bruce Barth Trio – Live At Smalls (2011)

I took a quick survey of pianist Bruce Barth’s discography, and the album titles go like this: Home: Live in Columbia Missouri, Live at Café Del Teatre, Live at The Village Vanguard, Hope Springs Eternal, Live. So when New York’s legendary Small’s jazz club asked Barth to make a live record for their fledgling smallsLIVE label from a two nightRead More