jazz Archive

Album Review: Peggy Lee — Something Wonderful

A casual listener might only be able to name “Fever” – and possibly “Is That All There Is” – but Peggy Lee scored a lengthy run of hit singles. The primary arc of her career ran from the early ‘40s (when she was the singer in Benny Goodman’s big band) through 1974, when she hit

Album Review: Breakestra — The Live Mix, Part 1

A central component of some of the best hip-hop is the repurposing of tasty licks, breaks or other snippets from previously-record music, creating something new out of the old. Los Angeles-based Breakestra takes things a step farther (or backwards, depending on your point of view). However you describe it, it’s inspired. Breakestra’s debut album The

Album Review: Binker and Moses — Dem Ones

It take confidence to put together a musical duo featuring only saxophone and drums; there’s nowhere to hide, musically. There’s no traditional rhythm section to establish a foundation, no polyphonic instruments to craft a melody. But Binker and Moses – saxophonist Binker Golding and drummer Moses Boyd – make the most of the format. As

Album Review – Gerald Gradwohl Group — Episode 6

What might it sound like if Metallica was influenced by Allan Holdsworth? The answer might just be Episode 6, the new album by the Gerald Grawhol Group. But then Metallica have not (to my knowledge) worked saxophone into their sound. This Austrian four-piece led by guitarist Gradwohl does feature tenor sax right alongside bass and

Album Review: Reggie Quinerly — New York Nowhere

As a jazz fan, my own particular tastes tend toward music that hits a sweet spot right between old and new. I dig specific jazz forms: bop, post-bop, some fusion and some big band, primarily. All of those substyles have been with us for some years now, so new music in those categories also need

Album Review: D-Town Brass — Demiurge

Much of what passes for avant garde music tends toward a kind of seriousness, a dour approach that screams, “this is art!” and all but insists that the listeners revel in its importance. Accessibility rarely figures into the mix, and that’s the point, kind of. But there are exceptions. The work of Sun Ra certainly

Album Review: Miles Davis’ ‘Jack Johnson’ at 50 (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … Side Two of Miles Davis’ Jack Johnson features the same players plus a different lineup, and in fact the aggregation wasn’t credited on the original LP. McLaughlin returns, joined by gonzo electric guitarist Sonny Sharrock. The bassist now is Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette plays drums. Bennie Maupin – whose

Album Review: Miles Davis’ ‘Jack Johnson’ at 50 (Part One)

Much is made – and rightly so – of Miles Davis’ landmark 1970 release Bitches Brew. The album represented Davis’ adventurous foray into the (previously unoccupied) space in which rock and jazz coexisted. True, others had made moved toward bridging the gap between the two genres, but none had done so as forcefully and uncompromisingly

Album Review: The David Angel Jazz Ensemble – Out on the Coast

Unless one was an aficionado of the style during its heyday in the 1940s, there was little reason to predict that the form would endure far into the future. It’s doubtful that even hardcore big band fans would have expected it to last into the 21st century. But here we are. Yes, it occupies a

Hundred-word Reviews: February 2021, Part 3

These five are all archival, reissue and/or compilation releases. There’s even a vinyl release here. Wolfgang Lackerschmid & Chet Baker – Quintet Sessions 1979 I was only recently introduced to the sublime collaborative genius of Lackerschmid and Baker via this release. Now, from the same era, comes this archival release. It’s even better, featuring as