Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

272

November 2006

Doug Collette By

Sign in to view read count
Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau
Metheny Mehldau
Nonesuch
2006

A true synergy of exceptional musicians, Metheny Mehldau scores by demonstrating how guitarist Pat Metheny and pianist Brad Mehldau complement each other. In much the same way as the disc's cover art depicts dark colors flowing into lighter ones, the brooding hues of Mehldau's piano darken the grainy pastels of Metheny's guitar. The original compositions that comprise the disc sound like detailed paintings, the formal structure of which may not become apparent until a track is finished. It's a tribute to the rhythm section—drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier—that they do not render themselves intrusive, letting the headliners lead the way. Like much of the best jazz, with Metheny Mehldau it is well nigh impossible to tell just where the improvisation becomes the song and vice-versa.

Stanton Moore
III
Telarc
2006

Stanton Moore is a renaissance man of modern jazz. Prime motivator of Galactic and Garage A Trois, and now leading, at least on III, his Telarc debut, a trio with keyboardist Robert Walter and guitarist Will Bernard. The three players restore bounce to funk conventions, and when hornmen Skerik and Mark Mullins join in, the five-man ensemble actually sounds like a stompin' big band marching down Bourbon St in New Orleans (the album was recorded live in the studio). But it's the poignant, three-part suite at the end of the disc, Moore's heartfelt tribute to his hometown, which really distinguishes the session: its quiet, prayer-like atmosphere imparts logic to the album that makes it worth having and playing over and over.

Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet
Husky
Hyena
2006

Put this in your changer on shuffle play with Moore, Kirk and Bernstein. Because, in significantly different proportions, this disc mixes the attributes of those titles reviewed elsewhere in this column. Quirky as Skerik himself and his playing, the Septet is also more than a little funky, and manages to attain some measure of majesty when they play in unison. The title is something of a misnomer for the disc because it's streamlined as well as multi-textured: listen how flute plays off against deep intonations of the rhythm section on "Go To Hell Mr. Bush, just before the whole band chimes in with more foreboding figures. And say what you will about the way Skerik and his yakety-sax can honk, the music he creates invariably has atmosphere. Husky is no exception.

Steve Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra
MTO Volume 1
Sunnyside
2006

Contemporizing the repertoire of his big band is only one of the multiple virtues of this release by trumpeter Steve Bernstein. Recorded in just two days live in a Brooklyn studio, the group displays all the jaunty vigor and deft turns of musicianship of a small combo, yet blows large like the big bands of yore. The attention to detail of arrangement that Bernstein himself applies to the music, whether fast-paced ("Boy In The Boat ) or slower ("Soul Serenade ) is worth savoring, as are his unusual choices of material. The take on the Beatles' "Cry Baby Cry is just as ingenious as the soulful blues rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Signed Sealed And Delivered. MTO reinvents big band jazz on this disc and you can only hope it is just the first volume in a long series.

Jason Moran
Artist In Residence
Blue Note
2006

Largely culled from recently released, commissioned pieces, pianist Jason Moran's Artist In Residence gets off to a halting start. Operatic overtones clash with hip-hop beats to alternately pretentious and hollow effect, obscuring the idiosyncratic sound of Moran's piano playing. As the disc progresses, however, the pianist's wilfully unconventional approaches to composition and musicianship kick in to memorable effect. The Bandwagon quartet may actually be the real stars of the album as they traverse material oftentimes ominous, but just as often celebratory. The bottom line is that you grant Moran his misconceived ambition because ultimately it may keep him fresh.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Winter 2017 Jazz Journal Winter 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: December 11, 2017
Read Autumn 2017 Jazz Journal Autumn 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: September 22, 2017
Read January 2007 Jazz Journal January 2007
by Doug Collette
Published: January 7, 2007
Read November 2006 Jazz Journal November 2006
by Doug Collette
Published: November 19, 2006
Read August 2006 Jazz Journal August 2006
by Doug Collette
Published: August 4, 2006
Read May 2006 Jazz Journal May 2006
by Doug Collette
Published: May 11, 2006
Read "Winter 2017" Jazz Journal Winter 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Autumn 2017" Jazz Journal Autumn 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Al Di Meola at Balboa Theater" SoCal Jazz Al Di Meola at Balboa Theater
by Jim Worsley
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Keith Oxman Quartet at Nocturne" Live Reviews Keith Oxman Quartet at Nocturne
by Douglas Groothuis
Published: March 19, 2017
Read "Nenad Georgievski's Best Releases of 2016" Best of / Year End Nenad Georgievski's Best Releases of 2016
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "The Donny McCaslin Group at The Arden Gild Hall" Live Reviews The Donny McCaslin Group at The Arden Gild Hall
by Mike Jacobs
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh Jazz: A Brief History" History of Jazz Pittsburgh Jazz: A Brief History
by Steve Rowland
Published: June 14, 2017
Read "Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964" My Blue Note Obsession Lee Morgan: The Sidewinder – 1964
by Marc Davis
Published: January 23, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!