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Ahmad Jamal: Blue Moon

Read "Blue Moon" reviewed by Larry Taylor

In 1958 Pianist Ahmad Jamal burst on the scene with At the Pershing: But Not for Me( Argo Records), which contained the runaway hit “Poinciana." The song's impact was such that it remains Jamal's signature tune to this day. As sometimes comes with popular success, some jazz critics pulled back, but his championing by other musicians, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Xavier Casellas: Yesterday's Sun

Read "Yesterday's Sun" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

La voce non è certo il mio “strumento" preferito e questo spesso influisce in modo pesante sulle mie recensioni di album a firma di cantanti. In questo caso, però, faccio volentieri un'eccezione. Innanzitutto perché la scelta dei brani non è affatto scontata. E poi perché i musicisti non svolgono un semplice ruolo di sostegno alla voce del leader, ma ...

Canela & Vidal: Univers Miles

Read "Univers Miles" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

For this recording made in Barcelona, Spain in 2002, vocalist Carme Canela and pianist Lluis Vidal undertook the challenge of presenting songs from the Miles Davis Songbook. I've given up counting the various tributes over the course of the past twelve years, but Canela-Vidal should be credited with coming up with ten selections that avoid the ...

Gorka Benitez: The Free Session

Read "The Free Session" reviewed by AAJ Staff

The Free Session presents Basque saxophonist Gorka Benitez in a dizzying variety of stylistic approaches. These mostly short performances focus more on the leader as a composer than as an improviser. And while some of the music may indeed by characterized as free jazz, some of the pieces are through-composed, and some are urgently swinging post-bop. ...

Rob Wilkerson: Imaginary Landscape

Read "Imaginary Landscape" reviewed by AAJ Staff

There is a new style of jazz composition emerging, one which seeks to combine the melodic hooks and sonic ambiance of such pop artists as Radiohead and Björk with the harmonic and rhythmic imperatives of jazz. This approach can be heard in the work of such younger artists as Steve Cardenas, Eli Degibri, and Rob Wilkerson, ...

Magali Souriau Trio: Petite Promenade

Read "Petite Promenade" reviewed by Joshua Weiner

Nowadays, jazz artists release records less frequently than they once did, and partly because of this, each new album takes on an air of supposed (and usually record-company suggested) “importance” that often undercuts the music. I’ve mentioned previously my irritation with the proliferation of “theme” records, as if one has to have a special angle to ...

Guaranteed Swahili: Three More Years

Read "Three More Years" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

With music that makes use of saxophone harmonies against a backdrop of free jazz, Guaranteed Swahili’s third release, Three More Years, intricately delivers expressive and tightly knit musical ideas. The piano-less quartet which now resides in New York was formed in 1995 in the vibrant Boston jazz scene with associations with other popular area musicians such ...

Fernando Huergo: Live at the Regattabar

Read "Live at the Regattabar" reviewed by Joshua Weiner

Though released on Fresh Sound's “World Jazz" imprint, this live album by Fernando Huergo's Jazz Argentino band captures a fantastic set of Latin-influenced modern jazz that does not deserve to be pigeonholed. Bassist and composer Huergo reunited the musicians that made 2002's Jazz Argentino studio album (save for new pianist Mika Pohjola) for a burning gig ...

Steve Lehman Quintet: Artificial Light

Read "Artificial Light" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

There have been some quiet rumblings about the young Steve Lehman. The New York alto saxophonist won Downbeat's award for “best alto saxophonist under 21" in 1997 and has studied under sax greats Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton. His recent associations with his contemporaries include bassist Mark Dresser and pianist Vijay Iyer, with the trio Fieldwork. ...

Steve Cardenas: Panoramic

Read "Panoramic" reviewed by AAJ Staff

An observation we might make about jazz albums today, as opposed to the days of vinyl, is that there are a lot more first-rate musicians recording today, for a welter of small, independent CD labels. This means that there is a lot more available, high-quality jazz product today, if the astute listener knows where to look. ...