If jazz has become a niche market in the music industry (and it is), a contributing factor for its slide into cultural irrelevance is a failure to promote and support new artists. No matter what sub-genre of jazz you personally love, across the board there is no sustained effort to develop a roster of first-tier talent in jazz. Every so often along comes a Esperanza Spalding who joins the long list of previous saviors" of jazz such as Wynton Marsalis or Robert Glasper and is saddled with the unasked-for responsibility of reviving interest in the incredibly shrinking jazz field.read more
The album title is something of a misnomer as Introducing is Marialy Pacheco's seventh release as leader since Benediciones (Weltwunder Records, 2005). The jny:Melbourne-based Cuban's stock has certainly risen since that introduction, notably as a result of becoming the first female winner of the Montreux Jazz Festival Solo Piano Competition in 2012. A noted classical pianist too, Pacheco has recited Bach with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and guested with the Queensland Chamber Orchestra, the Camerata of St. John's. For her Neuklang debut Pacheco delves deep into her roots, dishing up evocative Cuban-inspired originals and fresh arrangements of old chestnuts.read more
It's hard to be innovative in the piano trio format. The last big change happened in the late fifties and early sixties, with pianist Bill Evans' groundbreaking trio featuring bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. The democratization of input and interplay changed the trio game, and countless groups have worked on refining that Evans approach ever since. A more recent development has been bombast and the inclusion of rock and poplar tunes into the jazz piano trio endeavor--with varying degree of success. Rubato playing, the stretching of the varying of tempos, in a three way improvisational way, is pianist ...read more
If patience is a virtue, then Erik Honoré is, indeed, one virtuous man. Over the past few decades he's built a busy career as a novelist and record producer in his home country of Norway, and has come to increasing international attention as co-Artistic Director of the Punkt Live Remix festival--that globe-trotting festival with a philosophy that is about to celebrate its 10th anniversary in its hometown of Kristiansand in September, 2014. He's also become a more active participant on recordings over the past few years, performing on recordings by trumpter Arve Henriksen like Cartography (ECM, 2008) and Places of ...read more
Pianist Paul Giallorenzo's Force Majeure, his second album with his ensemble GitGo, covers a wide variety of motifs but maintains a consistently stimulating, darkly hued ambience. This and Giallorenzo's unique style and modal harmonies give the disc its cohesive character. The music ranges from the free flowing, five-way conversation on A Tone" to the undulating, reggae influenced Roscoe Far I." On the former the members of the quintet create their simultaneous monologues out of sparse notes, honks, thrums and thuds mixed in with carefully weighed silent pauses. Bassist Anton Hatwich's brief con-arco drone enhances the provocative and thrilling ...read more
Craig Greenberg Band Joe's Pub at the Public Theater August 23, 2014 New York, NY On his debut as a bandleader at Joe's Pub, singer-songwriter Craig Greenberg took to the stage with his band for a show billed as his Birthday Show," opening with the original I'm Coming Around," an up-tempo rock tune whose arrangement focused on his piano style, which bears some resemblance to that of Elton John but with more of a blues-tinged flair. He followed that with That Girl Is Wrong for You," another original that had more of ...read more
Any blues played by Oz Noy would have to be a little twisted. Drawing on influences ranging from the classic jazz guitarists of yesteryear to the trailblazers of more recent vintage, Noy's instantly recognizable voice is also heavily influenced by blues and heavy metal guitarists. Two and a half years have passed since Twisted Blues Volume One (Abstract Logix, 2011), Noy's electrifying, knotty and visceral take on the blues featuring an all-star cast of the guitarist's regular collaborators. The format is pretty much the same on Twisted Blues Volume 2 (Abstract Logix, 2014), with old sparring partners joined ...read more
Saxophonist Mark Turner favors quality over quantity. Lathe of Heaven--his first outing as a leader since 2001--is his first on the ECM label. Turner has hardly been absent from the music scene as the intervening years have seen him as a sideman for guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and saxophonist David Binney among many others. He's gathered strong praise for his role on trumpeter Enrico Rava's fine New York Days (ECM, 2009) and as one-third of the trio Fly with drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier. Turner cites saxophonists Wayne Marsh and John Coltrane as primary influences; not ...read more
So what makes The Latin Side Of Joe Henderson different from trombonist Conrad Herwig's previous Latin Side albums? Well, for starters, Herwig played with Henderson for several years, an experience which gave him great insight into the music and the man who made it. Then there's the material itself. Henderson's music, more so than that of previous Latin Side honorees like Herbie Hancock or John Coltrane, is tailor-made for this type of project, as some of the songs already lean toward the Latin side. This album, recorded live at New York's Blue Note in July of 2012, ...read more
Remember when CDs were so expensive to make that record companies would release double albums and remove a track or two, just so that it could fit on a single CD? Well, there may be many negatives about the state of the music industry today---despite this being a time when so much music is being made that, like the glory days in the 1960s/70s, it seems like anything is possible...there's just no more industry support to help any of it reach the same number of people--but one good thing is that the price of manufacturing a CD has dropped so ...read more
With this album, Denmark's premier jazz pianist Carsten Dahl throws into doubt the old adage that familiarity breeds contempt. First, there's the line-up: he's played with Lennart Ginman (bass) and Frands Rifbjerg (drums) many times before, most notably on two previous albums for Storyville, Will You Make My Soup Hot & Silver from 1996 and Message From Bud, recorded two years later. Fine albums, both, but eclipsed by this one. Secondly, there's the content. Nearly all the numbers on A Good Time will be familiar to Dahl aficionados, yet none have received such relaxed ...read more
A home isn't just a physical space and a place to hang your hat; a home is wherever an individual finds comfort, acceptance, and personal fulfillment. On Finding Home, bassist-vocalist Kristin Korb explores the journey and process that brought her to such a place in her life. Korb, who grew up in Montana, found a new home in California a long time ago. She studied at the University of California at San Diego, became a pupil of the late Ray Brown, and eventually set up shop in 2002 in Los Angeles, developing a career as teacher, recording ...read more
Dear Mr. P.C. I play five nights a week in a restaurant, and there's a sign right at the entrance that says Restrooms are for Customer Use Only." My problem is that it's a four-hour gig, and sometimes I have to go really bad by the end. Would it be out of line for me to ask the management if I could use the restroom once a night? --John Dear John: The problem is all the uncertainties it would create. For example: If you don't use the restroom one night, ...read more
On Everybody Says Don't, his second album, London-based singer Mark Jennett joins a bunch of top flight instrumentalists, including producer Geoff Gascoyne, on a collection that takes in an impressive array of songs, composers and moods. Great songs, interpreted with style. Jennett opens up with Stephen Sondheim's Everybody Says Don't," taken at speed. Gascoyne's acoustic bass and Sebastian De Krom's drums move the song forward with swing and precision, Jennett's vocal is suitably emphatic and Rob Barron's swift and percussive piano solo is all-too-brief. The pace drops for a ballad reading of Cole Porter's Just One ...read more
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