Extended Analysis

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Kenny Wheeler: Songs for Quintet

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With the passing of Kenneth Vincent John Wheeler--Kenny Wheeler to his legion of friends and fans--the world lost yet another significant figure in the history of jazz from the mid-'60s through to the second decade of the new millennium, the artist that Norma Winstone (more often than not his singer of choice) called “the Duke Ellington of our times." While Wheeler had, since 2004, been releasing his music on the Italian Cam Jazz label, but it seems wholly appropriate that ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Gov't Mule Featuring John Scofield: Sco-Mule

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Since the news came out that Gov't Mule was finally releasing Sco-Mule, a collaboration with broad-minded jazz guitarist John Scofield, there's been plenty of speculation and anticipation. The power trio began as a part-time side project for then-Allman Brothers Band guitarist/singer Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody but, along with drummer Matt Abts, was so well-received that the southern-roots jam band ultimately took on an unexpected life of its own. Now that this live recording with Scofield is finally here ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Miles Davis: Olympia – Mar 20, 1960

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A Totally Subjective History of Jazz, 1945--1968 I am going to over-simplify the history of small-ensemble jazz between the heyday of bebop and the vestibule of fusion using a single catalyst--Miles Davis. Davis was instrumental in or the genesis of five major movements (not including fusion) in jazz where the hinges of these movements can be assigned (however arbitrarily) to specific recordings: Bebop--Davis records “Billie's Bounce" with Charlie Parker for Savoy November 26, 1945. This ...

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Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls

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In this innovative album, Rudresh Mahanthappa is to “Yardbird" Charlie Parker what Albert Einstein was to Isaac Newton. He revises Parker's legacy to his own advanced understanding, yet preserves the essential truth of Parker's contribution to jazz. One genius says “hello" to another and then goes his own way. The result is an exciting “leaning in" to Bird's bebop while retaining Mahanhtappa's unique synthesis of the jazz idiom with the music of India and other parts of the world. This ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Roller Trio: Fracture

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Fracture is an intriguing title for this follow up record to Roller Trio's eponymous Mercury nominated debut from 2012. Recent interview comments spoke of how little that nomination changed their financial situation, so it is tempting to read the title as a reference to the band's relationship with the music industry--after all the album is also their first on their own Lamplight Social label rather than F-ire who handled them previously. Or is the title intended to be a more ...

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David Hazeltine and Mike Kaplan: Two Perspectives On Cedar Walton

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Years ago, I often went to a club in which a guest soloist was coupled with the house rhythm section. At one point in nearly every opening set, in an effort to find some common ground, the leader called Cedar Walton's “Bolivia." Sitting and waiting in anticipation for the theme to be played became an important part of witnessing each performance. Regardless of who was on the bandstand, “Bolivia" never failed to bring out the best in everyone.

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

King Crimson: Live at the Orpheum

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It was the reunion nobody expected. After years of touring in circumstances less than ideal--and, for him, distinctly and increasingly unpleasant--co-founder and only remaining original member Robert Fripp was as clear as can be that he was done with his flagship group King Crimson. A brief four-city, eleven-date 2008 tour-- with a revamped version of the 2000-2003 quartet, also featuring Adrian Belew, Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto reunited but with previous bassist/stick man Tony Levin replacing Gunn and a second ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: Imaginary Cities

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While he is, perhaps, best-known as a reed and woodwind multi-instrumentalist of tremendous power and versatility--the torch-bearer and logical successor, even, to the late, great Michael Brecker--Chris Potter has also demonstrated remarkable breadth as a bandleader and composer. It's hard to imagine that it's been only 23 years since the 44 year-old first came onto the scene with Red Rodney and began a career as a leader soon after with Presenting Chris Potter (Criss Cross, 1994)--the first of what is, ...



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