Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Fe’ … Faith (2011)

Intense and beautiful, Cuban pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s new Fe’ … Faith, is this meditative wonder. Like the earth making its inevitable yearly circle, Rubalcaba returns time after time to themes and thoughts — but never approaches things exactly the same twice.

Half Notes: Marc Cary – Focus Trio Live (2009)

by Mark Saleski Dude is wearing a porkpie hat on the cover. Dude is making “jazz face.” Dude can play his ass off. Skip right to the end and check out “CD Changer.” It’s not often that a pianist will apply so much torque to the percussive nature of the instrument. Also check out the emotionally explosive “Slow Blues ForRead More

Keith Jarrett – Radiance (2005)

by Mark Saleski Some musicians have the ability to transcend their physical talents to put on display their thought processes, a sort of direct conduit between the hands and that mysterious inner pool of music. Or … in Keith Jarrett’s case, the lack of thought

Half Notes: Jae Sinnett – It's Telling … A Drummer's Perspective (2007)

by Mark Saleski Wow, sometimes you just stumble onto a little gold. Jae Sinnett’s kit work manages to channel bits of my favorite drummers (Jeff Watts, Tony Williams) while retaining his own thing. It’s very inspiring to be witness to a player who can muster great power when necessary and still dial back to great levels of sensitivity on theRead More

Dapp Theory – Layers of Chance (2008)

by Mark Saleski Some people really have the wrong idea about jazz. They think that most of it falls into two very broad categories: traditional, where guys in suits play an introductory theme before taking turns soloing over the developed chord changes; and avant-garde, also known as “cats-on-piano” jazz, where everybody just plays whatever the hell they want because, reallyRead More

Half Notes: Dave Glasser – Evolution (2010)

by Mark Saleski Sax, piano, bass and drums — staples in the jazz world. Sometimes, that combination can be bland. If the players don’t add a little spice to the proceedings, you quickly realize that you’ve been here before. (“What? Intro-head-solos-head again?!”) Thankfully, Dave Glasser knows how to apply the leverage to that alto and his band knows how toRead More

Half Notes: Earl MacDonald – Re: Visions (2010)

By Mark Saleski Subtitled “Works for Jazz Orchestra,” this album showcases the arranging talents of Earl MacDonald as well as a stellar cast of cohorts. I have to be honest here and say that big-ish bands are not usually my thing. That is, unless they’re doing something “odd” (see: Carla Bley, The Either Orchestra). This recording grabbed me from theRead More

Half Notes: Charles Evans/ Neil Shah – Live at Saint Stephens (2009)

by Mark Saleski Baritone sax (Evans) and piano recorded live at a church. The room gave just the right amount of natural reverb, which is a great thing because too much echo can muddy all of those wonderful details my ears parts expect from the bari sax: clacking valves, breathy passages. The improvisations range from simple call and response motifsRead More

Half Notes: Tyler Summers Trio – Live at the Cellar (2010)

by Mark Saleski Hey, so the trio is actually a quintet. Sort of. In any event, there’s a healthy dose of telepathic interplay on this disc. I particularly like how Summers plays his soprano sax (he plays alto as well) off of David Braid’s piano on “Contemplation.” There are also long-form compositions (“Solitary Candle”) and tracks that build drama withRead More

Sonny Rollins – Plus Four (1956, reissue)

by Mark Saleski Ever have a dream where the impossible has suddenly come true? No, I don’t mean something like you’ve won the lottery, or you finally hooked up with that special someone. No, I’m talking about the impossible. In my case, it was my guitar playing ability. For a brief moment, I could play whatever I wanted. At theRead More