Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

Ornette Coleman – Sound Grammar (2006)

by Mark Saleski Sometimes, curiosity will get the best of me. A strange attraction to something new — a particular (and often peculiar) food, drink, author, musician — will emerge and the craving will not be denied. Mostly, this works out

Half Notes: Miles Davis – Doo Bop (1991)

Confession time: I still have a place in my heart for Miles Davis‘ oft-reviled last album Doo-Bop. Sure, taken as a hip hop album, it didn’t set any new standards. But taken as a jazz album looking to the future, it held lasting importance as the precursor to hybrid albums by Guru and Us3, hits that included (for the firstRead More

Half Notes: Pat Casey and the New Sound, "Canteloupe Island" (2010)

We’ve heard this all before, right? Not exactly: The New Orleans-based Pat Casey opens the second of two interpretations of Herbie Hancock tunes with a gurgling bass before Rex Gregory and Ashlin Parker join in with on sax and trumpet, respectively, to restate the swinging, salacious, but by now unfortunately very familiar theme. Then everybody makes way for Danny Abel,Read More

Matana Roberts – Live In London (2011)

A few years ago when I sat down and took a stab at identifying some up and coming women in a world of instrumental jazz still dominated by men, one of those ten names that came to mind was avant garde saxophonist Matana Roberts. After moving to NYC from her Windy City hometown she finally led a record, The ChicagoRead More

Half Notes: Ahmad Jamal – Ahmad's Blues (1958)

Ahmad Jamal originally recorded this concert at The Spotlite Club, in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 6, 1958. Featured is the same terrific trio that had that Top 40 hit with “Poinciana” — Jamal, bassist Israel Crosby and drummer Vernel Fournier. That signature song, which charted for 108 weeks (then unprecedented for a jazz record) allowed Jamal the financial freedom toRead More

Forgotten series: Paul Motian – I Have The Room Above Her (2005)

by Mark Saleski You wouldn’t suppose that most musicians would look favorably upon being compared to an old pile of rocks. How about an old, organized pile of rocks?

Half Notes: Harris Eisenstadt – Canada Day II (2011)

The Toronto-derived drummer, composer and bandleader Harris Eisenstadt was described by The New York Times jazz critic Nate Chinen as taking a “fixer’s approach to music making, looking for ways to fit the pieces together,” and while I agree with the praise he and others have heaped on Eisenstadt, I see the man more as a demolition specialist. For hisRead More

Half Notes: Kurt Elling – The Gate (2011)

Up until the year 2003, I had successfully avoided Kurt Elling. This wasn’t all that hard to do considering that male jazz vocals never really resonated with me. I do own a Coltrane/Hartman record, and of course some Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. Still, only a handful of albums? It does reveal my level of interest — a level thatRead More

Claire Ritter – The Stream of Pearls Project (2011)

There is a sensuous, lush quietude to this recording, which notes on the front that it was “inspired by water.” Ritter’s playing — trickling and ruminative one moment, bubbly and adventurous the next — certainly echoes the theme.

Half Notes: Artie Shaw – More Last Recordings (1993)

Even if he wouldn’t have established so many jazz standards, Artie Shaw would have still been famous for his blaze-of-glory exit.