Recent Articles

March 2015

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Dear Mr. P.C.: What is meant by the term “Post-Bop"? Since “bop" ended in the 1950s, isn't everything since then technically “post-bop"? --T.M. in Seattle Dear T.M.: It sure is, and that's great news to anyone worried that jazz is becoming irrelevant. What better solution than to be massively inclusive, the biggest of all big tents! Taylor Swift? Post-bop! Rice a Roni? Post-bop! Richard Nixon? Post-bop! Post-modernism? Post-bop!

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Norris Organ Quartet: Extension Deadline

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Extension Deadline isn't the first organ-based date that trumpeter Alex Norris put together. It is, however, the first one to see the light of day. In the liner notes for this satisfying quartet outing, Norris notes that he recorded an organ-centric record in the '90s, but that record was shelved. So it is with great satisfaction that he sees this record to its release on the BJU Records imprint. While Norris has been a fixture on the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Gov't Mule with John Scofield at the Ogden Theatre

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Gov't Mule with John Scofield Ogden Theatre Denver, CO February 24, 2015 A jazz guy plays with a heavy rock band? That would be the superficial description of Sco-Mule. A deeper examination shows that John Scofield and Gov't Mule's Warren Haynes are twin brothers of different mothers. Each possesses a yearning, restless soul, constantly seeking new musical forms and combinations. Each is fearless behind his guitar. And each is possessed of a virtuoso talent and, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ron Thomas: Impatience

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There is something elemental about the jazz piano trio. It is classically called the “Rhythm Section," that practical subset of a larger ensemble that produces the pulse that propels the band and compositions the band plays. It is also the most enduring of jazz performance formats that has included the giants of jazz. Whether it is the cathedral of Oscar Peterson, the interior world of Bill Evans or the durable consistency of Red Garland and Gene Harris, the jazz piano ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Burak Kaya: Climate Change

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Turkish guitarist Burak Kaya sees climate change as the greatest challenge facing mankind. On the sleeve of his album of the same name, he cites a Cree proverb: “Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught, will man finally realize that we cannot eat money." He offers this disk as a ray of light in an increasingly dark world. The label and cover ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Jazz Masterpieces: 1956-1965

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There are times when you have to hold back and let certain music speak for itself. This list of jazz masterpieces is exactly that kind of music. By definition, these records are without flaw. (Okay, so humans are inherently flawed, but you'll have to get out a microscope to find anything that falls short here.) After surveying our editors, we compromised on this short “master" list. For listeners keen on what the definitive truth was at a certain ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terje Isungset / Arve Henriksen: World of Glass

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Norwegian percussionist Terje Isungset and trumpeter Arve Henriksen seem to have enjoyed careers predicated on the continuous, never-ending search for new sounds. Isungset has incorporated, into his arsenal of percussive instruments, some that are made of natural elements including wooden trunks and branches, stones--and, in recent years, ad-hoc instruments made of ice from different locations around the globe. Henriksen, a close Isungset collaborator who has performed on ice trumpet, has expanded the sonic language of the trumpet in a manner ...

THE BIG QUESTION

Some of the freshest and most innovative music in the current day is coming from the jazz world. Why isn't this better known?

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Jazz no longer has the same degree of influence or popularity nowadays. We shouldn't be surprised to see the public's musical tastes change over the decades. New styles come and go. But I must admit that I am still shocked when I hear young listeners describe jazz as old-fashioned, or treat it like a museum piece. As someone who listens to lots of new music in all genres--I spend 2-3 hours every day listening to new releases--I feel compelled to ...



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