Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

Dawn Harden – A Lifetime (2011)

There is this deeply personal texture to A Lifetime, a redemptive 10-track journey through love’s rocky terrain. French jazz-pop singer-songwriter Dawn Harden wrote or co-wrote, with pianist Patrick Pernet, all but one of the songs, giving the record a lasting resonance. She starts with “Traces,” a lovelorn tale of a lost passion presented in a trembling, almost confidential way. It’sRead More

Erik Friedlander – Bonebridge (2011)

Since Tom Cora’s tragic passing in 1998, there might not have been a more adventurous cellist on this planet than Erik Friedlander.

Grover Washington Jr. – Grover Live (2010)

by Mark Saleski I’m not one to quote Wikipedia, but this time around it makes perfect sense: “Smooth jazz is a sub-genre of jazz which is heavily influenced by R&B, funk, rock, and pop music styles (separately, or, in any combination).” This is an interesting definition because it highlights the point of contention: Is smooth jazz actually jazz? For theRead More

Half Notes: Carolyn Leonhart and Wayne Escoffery – Tides of Yesterday (2010)

by Mark Saleski Normally, I’m not a particularly skeptical person. But when I see things in album credits like “hair,” “makeup,” and “dresses,” it’s tough to not tighten up a little. The good news is that Leonhart and Escoffery can bring it. She has a voice that manages to seem almost crystalline while retaining all sorts of texture. A perfectRead More

One Track Mind: Richard Nelson Large Ensemble, "Strive" (2011)

In most big bands, the guitarist functions as nothing more than a member of an expanded rhythm section — and for a while it seems like Richard Nelson (even though it’s his band, and all) had fallen into the same role on his forthcoming album

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