jazz Archive

Diana Krall: Here to Stay

While she is popular the world over, contralto Diana Krall got off to a modest start. Her official debut release, 1993’s Stepping Out earned positive reviews, but it didn’t initially sell in large numbers. Yet that release did bring her to the attention of producer Tommy LiPuma. He produced her second album, Only Trust Your

The Midnight Hour: Looking Back to Move Forward

Evoking the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance while exploring modern musical territory, The Midnight Hour combines jazz arrangements with a decidedly hip hop aesthetic. Led by two leading lights of American music, the group makes carefully orchestrated yet beat-centric music. Both Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad got their start in music making use of

Album Review: The New Mastersounds — Shake It

It may well not have been their explicit intention, but over the last two decades, the New Mastersounds have helped a strain of jazz to become mainstreamed into widespread popular culture. Jazz has always been there – at least for a hundred or so years – but with some important exceptions it’s enjoyed only a

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2019, Part 2

More capsule reviews! New music! Vinyl titles are noted with the designation (LP). Fastball – The Help Machine If you’re a certain age, you remember “The Way.” If you were especially sharp in those days, you might know the even better “You’re an Ocean.” Fastball’s approach struck me as a kind of American answer to

Hundred-word Reviews for September 2019, Part 1

Once again, it’s time for a passel of quick reviews. Twenty in all – ten today, as many tomorrow. All deserve a listen. Titles on vinyl are noted as such (LP). Waiting for Henry – The Gospel of Moby Grape As a serious fan of the star-crossed band name-checked in the title, I had to

Album review: Queen Bee and the Honeylovers – Asheville

On their debut CD release, Queen Bee and the Honeylovers pay tribute to their hometown with a collection of original songs in a warmly familiar style. Singer and songwriter Whitney Moore dug deep into the history of the mountain city, crafting 14 songs that have one metaphorical foot in the past, the other firmly planted

Album Review: Phil Alvin – Un “Sung Stories”

With the departure of Dave Alvin in 1986, it looked the Blasters were finished. So it was no surprise that guitarist Phil Alvin took the opportunity to record and release his first solo album, Un “Sung Stories”. But Alvin’s solo debut found him traveling far from the straight-ahead rockabilly sounds of the Blasters. On three

Hundred-word Reviews for August 2019, Part Three (Archival)

Time for a look at ten new albums featuring reissued, compilation and/or archival material. Rock, jazz and beyond. Collect ’em all, kids! Soul Asylum – While You Were Out / Clam Dip & Other Delights Minneapolis’ Soul Asylum labored in relative obscurity for quite awhile before their national breakout. They became a household name with

Hundred Word Reviews for August 2019, Part Two

Ten more reviews. All new music, covered in the space of 100 words each. Jazzmeia Horn – Love & Liberation I love instrumental jazz, but I have to admit that vocal jazz resonates less strongly with me. Thus, you’ll find remarkably few reviews here that cover jazz vocalists. This is well worth an exception; very

Heart Still Beating Strong: Chick Corea’s ‘Antidote’ (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two … Are you at all intrigued by recent developments in keyboard technology? I’m thinking of things like the Continuum Fingerboard. Or do you prefer to stick with tools that are tried and true? Well, I’m always interested because instrument makers provide you with the instrument. The thing is is that when