Post Tagged with: "Jazz"

Manhattan New Music Project – Jazz Cycles (2007)

by S. Victor Aaron Orchestral jazz seem to be a dying art these days. Oh sure, there are Ellington, Monk and Mingus tribute bands, but there seems to be a dearth of composers creating new works. Well OK, maybe that’s a little dramatic. In reality, such jazz composers still do exist today, but they toil in relative obscurity. One ofRead More

Max Roach (1924-2007): An Appreciation

Max Roach, a drummer both of unparalleled force and towering intellect, has passed. A New York Times obit talks about the dramatic scope of his life’s work: Mr. Roach’s death closes a chapter in American musical history. He was the last surviving member of a small circle of adventurous musicians – among them Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk andRead More

Terence Blanchard – The Malcolm X Jazz Suite (1992)

NICK DERISO: The task here was turning sweeping orchestral themes from trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s score for Spike Lee’s epic bio into a piece that not only holds together — but also comes across like a true jazz recording. Blanchard’s effort is a triumph, something memorably better than the original film’s music in its dedication to searing emotion then subtle meloncholyRead More

Max Roach and Dizzy Gillespie – Max + Dizzy, Paris (1990)

NICK DERISO: What an enveloping, unforgettable experience: Trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and drummer Max Roach, then bop’s most visible surviving pioneers, performing as a duo in a completely improvised concert. Neither had ever recorded a more free-form album, yet still there remains a deep affection for what came before — and what a treasure it was, what came before. Fifty yearsRead More

Leroy Marshall – New Spices (1998)

NICK DERISO: When it comes to north Louisiana smooth jazz saxophonist Leroy Marshall, you expect a set that is, by turns, shot through with sweet soul ballads, great groovy moods and heaping helpings of delightful romanticism. Consider it done. The initial track on this pleasant 2006 overseas reissue, “Tupelo,” is very Grover Washington. And, really, there’s no better song toRead More

David Witham – Spinning The Circle (2007)

David Witham (r) with one of Nick’s unwitting interview victims. by Pico David Witham is one of those figures in jazz who is hardly a household name to the general public, shoot, even to the jazz public. But just behind the curtain, Witham has been a major contributor to the scene. A pianist who likes to dabble in the electronicRead More

Paul Motian Trio 2000 + 2: Live At The Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (2007)

by S. Victor Aaron When you put the words “Paul Motian” and “Live At The Village Vanguard” together, most jazz fans can’t help but to think of of the time this legendary drummer played at that very venue one magical Sunday in June, 1961. But there were many other enchanted moments spent there by Motian, including a couple of datesRead More

Art Pepper – Unreleased Art, Vol. II: The Last Concert May 30, 1982 (2007)

by S. Victor Aaron There’s often a certain poignancy inherent in the last recordings of great musicians, and last October we examined notable final recordings of such jazz legends such as Bill Evans, Clifford Brown and John Coltrane. In that article, Goin’ Home by alto saxophonist Art Pepper was cited as a notable, delightful coda to a career that sawRead More

Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers – Caravan (1962)

NICK DERISO: Art Blakey demanded bravado from his bands, and this one was perhaps his most intense and adventurous. Debuting here on Riverside, “Caravan” opens with Blakey’s audacious drum solo — then moves quickly into an assertive and simply awe-inspiring take on a track once defined by Duke Ellington. A muscular trio of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, bone player Curtis FullerRead More

Forgotten series: Gonzalo Rubalcaba – Imagine (1993)

NICK DERISO: Cuban sensation Gonzalo Rubalcaba entered the U.S. not yet a legend, but discovered by one, Dizzy Gillespie. Rubalcaba (very Corea, but with some Hancock mixed in) made a splashy debut on both the Blue Note and Messidor labels in the early 1990s — reinvigorating the Afro-Cuban jazz movement. But he didn’t actually make it to America until aRead More