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NEWS: RECORDING

Recent Listening In Brief: A Sextet And Three Duos

Recent Listening In Brief: A Sextet And Three Duos

Rafal Sarnecki, Climbing Trees (Outside In Music) A native of Warsaw, guitarist Sarnecki moved to New York City in 2005. An adventurous—even daring—composer, he heads a sextet whose members have similar inclinations. His ten compositions here range from the agitated pointillism and serene contemplation of “Homo Sapiens” to a three-part suite, “Little Dolphin,” that includes an intense ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Recent Listening: Scott Reeves and others

Recent Listening: Scott Reeves and others

Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra, Without A Trace (Origin) Reeves’ second big band album for Origin features players in the top level of New York musicians. Saxophonists Steve Wilson, Vito Chiavuzzo, Tim Armacost and Rob Middleton are among the impressive soloists, along with trombonist Matt Haviland, trumpeter Andy Gravish, pianist Jim Ridl, and Reeves on flugelhorn and trombone. ...

NEWS: VIDEO / DVD

For Labor Day: “Work”

For Labor Day: “Work”

The admonition above may seem contradictory, since Labor Day was designed to honor those who labor by giving them the day off. We presume that workers in the US and in Canada (where this is Labour Day), are observing the intent with picnics, ball games, jugs of lemonade and family festivities of all kinds. It is ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Randy Weston, 1926-2018

Randy Weston, 1926-2018

Pianist and composer Randy Weston, who championed the African origins of jazz, died at home in New York yesterday. He was 92. With his distinctive rhythmic patterns and powerful harmonic progressions, Weston underlined the African heritage that so definitively helped shape the music’s development. He frequently visited and performed in Nigeria and other African nations. For ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Monday Recommendation: Luciana Souza

Monday Recommendation: Luciana Souza

Luciana Souza, The Book Of Longing (Sunnyside) Returning to recording, Luciana Souza is inspired by poetry. The Book Of Longing finds her drawing inspiration from poets of two centuries and singing three new songs of her own. Bassist Scott Colley and Brazilian guitarist Chico Pinheiro accompany her, enhancing the album’s moods, using counterpoint as commentary. Both solo ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Jack Costanzo, 1920-2018

Jack Costanzo, 1920-2018

The percussionist Jack Costanzo was so closely identified with his instrument that early in his career he became known as “Mr. Bongo.” Costanzo died over the weekend at his home near San Diego, California. He was 98. During his long career he worked with Stan Kenton, Nat Cole, Charlie Parker and dozens of other musical stars. ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Monday Recommendation: The TJO At 20

Monday Recommendation: The TJO At 20

Toronto Jazz Orchestra, 20, (TJO) Something drifting down from Canada that is far less disturbing than the smoke you saw in yesterday’s post is an album celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Toronto Jazz Orchestra. Arrangements by the TJO’s director, Josh Grossman, include an extended four-part suite in tribute to one of his inspirations, the 95-year-old bandleader ...

NEWS: RECORDING

The Old Catchup Game: Daan Kleijn And Charles Lloyd Reviewed

The Old Catchup Game: Daan Kleijn And Charles Lloyd Reviewed

For at least the next couple of days we’ll attempt to deal with some of the backlog of albums that accumulated during the week or so when the Rifftides staff was on vacation. Daan Kleijn, Passages, (Self Produced) Kleijn’s spare format of his guitar with bass and drums allows him freedom to pursue an instinct for melodic creativity. ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Recent Listening: JD Allen

Recent Listening: JD Allen

JD Allen, Love Stone (Savant) Tenor saxophonist Allen’s brief liner notes are addressed to “Hello Dearest,” who is not identified. Allen tells the object of his affection, ‘True confession: playing the melody while knowing the lyrics is like drinking champagne alone and laughing at yourself all night long. I figured you would get a kick out of hearing ...

NEWS: RECORDING

Recent Listening: Cy Coleman

Recent Listening: Cy Coleman

Cy Coleman, A Jazzman’s Broadway (Harbinger Records) Cy Coleman’s success as a popular songwriter and a composer for musical theater overshadowed his effectiveness and influence as a jazz pianist. Nonetheless, as this album reminds us, he could be a spirited improviser whose background as a classical prodigy equipped him with impressive technique and a feeling for the ...