Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

Half Notes: Holly Hofmann and Bill Cunliffe – Three's Company (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Although she’s made bop-oriented records for over twenty years, Holly Hoffmann is not as well known as she probably should be. A flautist of the first order, she’s the logical heir to Frank Wess’ legacy. Bill Cunliffe is accomplished in the jazz world himself, having won the Monk piano competition in 1989, recorded with some heavyRead More

Half Notes: Mario Romano Quartet – Valentino (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Here’s the setup: a successful real estate tycoon suddenly decides to revisit his original passion, music, and pulls in three of Canada’s most prestigious jazz musicians and a top-notch producer to make his first record, one full of done-to-death standards. And you’re thinking, this is probably going to be a very competent but very boring, vanityRead More

Half Notes: The Britton Brothers Band – Uncertain Living (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Bands led by horn players tend to work well if there’s a lot of rapport between the horn players. That’s not an issue for The Britton Brothers Band, whose trumpet player (John) and saxophonist (Ben) have the same parents. For this debut, these young cats built a band of other young up and comers, like BrooklynRead More

Half Notes: Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore – Three Kinds Of Happiness (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Jason Stein is a bass clarinetist who is making waves on Chicago’s dynamic improvised music scene. A member of Ken Vandermark’s Bridge 61 band as well as minimalist rock collaborations with David Daniels, Stein’s own main project is a bass/drums trio he calls Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore. For this band that includes Jason Roebke on bassRead More

Half Notes: Kenny Burrell – Be Yourself (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Like another longtime legend Barry Harris, guitar great Kenny Burrell cuts a live disc that proves he’s still got what it takes to live up to his immense reputation. Recorded over a week-long engagement at one of NYC’s hottest jazz spot’s, Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola, Burrell assembled a band players young (24 year old saxophonist/flautist TivonRead More

Half Notes: Avishai Cohen – Introducing Triveni (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Avishai Cohen, the trumpet player, was last seen nearly two years ago in conjunction with his 2008 release Flood, a sparsely configured work where he sought to push against the outer boundaries of jazz using just his trumpet accompanied by only piano and percussion. This year’s Introducing Triveni also involves only three players, but the objectivesRead More

Half Notes: Barry Harris – Live In Rennes (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Like James Moody and Benny Golson, Barry Harris is a fine, old-school performer with a few standards under his belt and whom I was pleasantly surprised to find is still making viable records. Having a long legacy from 1960 on playing alongside greats such as Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Stitt, Coleman Hawkins, Dexter Gordon, and Max Roach,Read More

On Second Thought: Mort Weiss – Raising The Bar (2010)

I tend to regard unaccompanied solo records as a pretty good indicator as to how well that musician can play their instrument. Even if they play so well a capella, though, that doesn’t necessarily make it a great record. It can so easily devolve into a “look how good I am” exercise at the expense of playing actual music. Luckily,Read More

Half Notes: Mike Pride's From Bacteria To Boys – Betweenwhile (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron Here’s another CD of advanced jazz led by its composing drummer, this time Mike Pride. One thing I’ve found with drummer-led combos, is that drummers have a natural tendency toward democracy in a band, and his Bacteria To Boys (Darius Jones, alto sax; Peter Bitenc, bass; Alexis Marcelo, piano) share the load equitably and logically. TheRead More

Mark Lomax Trio – The State of Black America (2010)

by S. Victor Aaron The drummer and composer Mark Lomax convened a recording session with saxophonist Edwin Bayard and bassist Dean Hulett with a batch of compositions that the Blacklist co-founder wrote when he was trying to come to terms with his own identity as both an American and a black person. His personal rediscovery and way of dealing withRead More