Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

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

Nasar Abadey and Supernova – Diamond In The Rough (2011)

Washington D.C. percussion specialist Nasar Abadey has earned his stripes over decades performing with some of jazz’s towering figures like Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald, Pharoah Sanders and Sonny Fortune.

Half Notes: Taylor Haskins – Taylor Haskins + Recombination (2011)

Taylor Haskins, who’s done an impressive amount of soundtrack work, has put out an appropriately cinematic project here. Originally recorded in 2009, but just issued by NineteenEight Records earlier this month, Taylor Haskins + Recombination begins with the soaring sunrise of “Morning Chorale,” moves on into the rush-hour bustle of “Upward Mobility” and then the shimmering lyricism of “A LazyRead More

Something Else! Featured Artist: Ornette Coleman

Ornette Coleman called his music the Shape of Things to Come, then later harmolodics. Everyone else, eventually, came to call it free jazz. And that fits. It was, after all, so very free.

Half Notes: The Elements of Jazz – The Elements of Jazz (2011)

The Elements of Jazz is a quartet from Miami bills themselves as “The New Sound of Miami,” with its clean and lean jazzy grooves that sharply contrast with the “new sound of Miami” from the 80s, Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. The one common element is that both evoke the sights and sounds of South Florida; in theRead More

Anthony Wilson – Campo Belo (2011)

Guitarist/bandleader Anthony Wilson, son of legendary L.A. composer, pianist and big band bandleader Gerald Wilson, has established himself as an artist in his own right since leading his own records from 1997 on, including a long, ongoing stint in Diana Krall’s band. Though Anthony chose guitar as his instrument and is quite good at it, bandleading and composing are bigRead More

Half Notes: Lester Young and Teddy Wilson – Pres and Teddy (1956)

What was cool about Lester Young was that he kept evolving. All “Pres” did was: – Pave the way for bebop in the 1930s. – Presuppose, while playing clarinet with Basie back in the day, the cool California sound of Paul Desmond in Dave Brubeck’s 1960s band. – Later find his own endless vista of late-period thoughtfulness in the 1950s.Read More

Half Notes: Travis Sullivan – New Directions (2011)

Since 1999, alto saxophonist Travis Sullivan has made a record on average only about every six years or so. Perhaps it’s because he’s very much into his signature project leading the 18-piece big band Bjorkestra, a vehicle for his arrangements of songs by Iceland’s pop icon Bjork. Enjoy! (2008) is the recorded fruits of his main labor of love, butRead More

Half Notes: Eric Reed and Cyrus Chestnut – Plenty Swing, Plenty Soul (2010)

by Mark Saleski To my ears, the reference standard of piano duo recordings has to be that Chick Corea/Herbie Hancock thing. Monstrous, is what it is. This is a little different though. First, it’s Reed and Chestnut (duh). Second, there’s the presence of bass and drums (Dezron Douglas, Willie Jones III). The title gets it right. There is mad swingRead More