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Category Archive for 'Jazz'

Bill Frisell: Big Sur

“Bill Frisell’s Big Sur… collects 19 individual pieces in a suite commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival. He spent ten days in retreat at Big Sur’s Glen Deven Ranch, where he composed most of it….On Big Sur, Frisell delivers an inspired musical portrayal of the land, sky, sea, and wildlife of the region with majesty, [...]

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John Medeski: A Different Time

“John Medeski’s solo piano debut was a long time coming. Recorded for Sony Masterworks’ revived Okeh imprint, it’s a 41-minute showcase of a pianist we’ve not really encountered — at least at this length — before….A Different Time may be the first solo entry for Medeski, but given its quality, it hopefully isn’t the last.” [...]

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Stix Hooper: Jazz Gems

“[A]n outstanding creative session of mostly first takes and intimate ‘conversations’ among three minds from three different cultures. The result is superb modern music encompassing jazz, blues, funk, straight-ahead swing; an example of what the international medium of jazz is all about.” –CD Universe Check Our Catalog

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Gregory Porter: Liquid Spirit

“A singer whose quicksilver vocal style refuses to be caged by either jazz, gospel, or R&B, his warm, inviting baritone utilizes them all when he wishes to….While his first two recordings revealed a major new talent with their promise, Liquid Spirit is a giant step forward artistically, and for the listener, an exercise in musical [...]

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Ben Monder: Hydra

“Together, Monder and his band create a highly sophisticated group sound that can unnerve you one minute and envelope you in ambient warmth the next….Ultimately, Hydra is a highly engaging and unique recording that ranks as one of Monder’s best.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Gary Willis: Retro

“Retro’s ten tracks cover a lot of ground, offering up some old school funk, some fusion, some hard swing and a few ballads. The album also features a few covers, including the Beatles’ ‘Norwegian Wood,’ Bill Evans’ ‘We Will Meet Again’ and an old standard, ‘For All We Know,’ – a cover made popular by [...]

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Preservation Hall Jazz Band: That’s It!

“Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s 2013 album, That’s It!, is the first album of all-original material in their 50-year career. Certainly, the storied ensemble has performed original songs by its various members over the years, but the group has never released an album made up solely of new compositions….That’s It! [is] a vibrant, engaging work and [...]

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“Harry Connick, Jr.’s 2013 studio album Every Man Should Know finds the New Orleans native delving into a handful of original songs that touch upon country, pop, and R&B, with only a few jazz-oriented cuts in the mix…. Ultimately, Every Man Should Know is a record with something for every Connick fan.” –All Music Guide [...]

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Kenny Garrett: Seeds From the Underground

“On Seeds from the Underground, the boundary of Garrett’s lyricism has been extended; his newfound rhythmic invention is singular among other post-bop technicians. But these qualities are part of something larger: that this music is welcoming and accessible, underscoring the notion that Garrett’s new compositions have that mercurial something in them that approaches the mysterious [...]

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José James: No Beginning No End

“The dozen songs on offer here continually contrast aspects of James’ seemingly limitless musical persona: from funky neo-soul to elegant balladry to adventurous pop and R&B… Here he not only blurs the boundaries of the various genres he examines, but extends them; in the process, he creates a beguiling, sophisticated, important music that is his [...]

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“The Cherry Thing features vocalist and songwriter Neneh Cherry fronting the brilliant, provocative Scandinavian the Thing… The Cherry Thing is a collaboration whose immediacy, dynamic, and motion are organic; its creative originality singular. It unabashedly and nakedly displays its seams and inspirations. It is a serious contender for any representative year-end list.” –All Music Guide Check [...]

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Gregory Porter: Be Good

“Gregory Porter’s sophomore effort confirms the talent that was so apparent on his debut. He’s developed greater technique and subtlety in his impressive singing… He’s becoming a major talent, not just as a singer but also as a composer, with a unique, elliptical style, both for melodies and lyrics, which is quite evident when held [...]

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“Black Radio creates an entirely new context for popular music in its near erasure of boundaries. It is the sound of the future — even if no one knows it yet.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Tony Bennett: Viva Duets

“The dean of American pop vocalists took a different and exciting fork in the road for his third Duets album, recruiting the best Latin vocalists in the world….[C]rossover fans will note that Bennett’s English gives way to his duet partners’ Spanish, an intriguing and successful choice.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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Diana Krall: Glad Rag Doll

“For only the second time in her career, jazz pianist and vocalist Diana Krall deviates from her tried, true m.o. of covering easily identifiable jazz standards. …Glad Rag Doll is not the sound of Krall reinventing herself so much as it’s the comfortable scratching of an old, persistent itch. The warmth, sophistication, humor, and immediacy [...]

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Keith Jarrett: Sleeper

“The double album Sleeper contains a previously unreleased live concert by Keith Jarrett’s European quartet from the ’70s, recorded at Tokyo’s Nakano Sun Plaza on April 16, 1979…. Sleeper offers another noteworthy document of the creative interplay between these four musicians.” –All Music Guide Check Our Catalog

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“The program features seven originals and two covers, recorded over a couple of days in 2011. There isn’t any conceptual bent to what’s here; the definition is in the humorous title — four jazzmen investing themselves fully in a set of diverse compositions, focusing on the details of collective conversation, interplay, harmony, and improvisation….Four MFs [...]

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Vijay Iyer Trio: Accelerando

“Iyer’s own tunes, such as the title track and “Lude,” reveal an extensive, purposeful build on jazz history from Thelonious Monk (in the latter) to the future (in the former), where dynamic repetition and gradually complex harmonic multiplications result from simple beginnings. What’s most remarkable about these tunes, and the others here, are how consciously [...]

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“This compilation draws from four nights in 1977 at the Rising Sun in Montreal, all likely recorded for Gordon’s use and not with the idea of issuing them. Fans of Dexter Gordon are in for a treat, given a front-row seat in the club to hear the tenor saxophonist’s long but imaginative interpretations of four [...]

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