jazz Archive

Album Review: The Tnek Jazz Quintet Plays the Music of Sam Jones

Bassist Sam Jones was an important figure in hard bop and soul jazz of the 1950s and beyond. Alternatively known as “Cannon’s Theme,” his composition “Unit 7” was a showcase number for Adderley’s Quintet. Jones played with Adderley during the latter’s peak period (roughly 1957-’65, and again near the end of Adderley’s time on Earth).

Album Review: Miles Davis – Music From and Inspired by ‘Birth of the Cool’

There’s a trend in recent years: when releasing a film’s companion audio, the CD is sometimes branded as “Music From and Inspired By…” That gives to compiler of the audio document a freer hand to include material that is conceptually relevant even if it didn’t feature in the film itself. Such releases can’t strictly be

Album Review: Vito Dieterle and Joel Forrester – StatusSphere

Jazz fans are likely to pick up on the in-joke of this album’s cover art immediately. It’s a visual homage to the 1957 LP Monk’s Music. And the two round objects in the wagon are a nod to Thelonious Monk’s nickname, “Sphere.” StatusSphere is, then, a fitting name for a Monk tribute. Vito Dieterle plays

Album Review: Ella 100 – Live at the Apollo!

The First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald was among the most influential vocalists of the 20th century. Her distinctive voice, her seemingly effortless and natural delivery and her winning personality combined to great effect. April 2017 marked the 1200th anniversary of her birth, and to commemorate her life and work, an all-star lineup of musicians

Album Review: Dave Stryker — Blue Soul

Dave Stryker’s a busy guy. In 2014 he released Eight Track, a sort of conceptually unified collection of covers, non-jazz tunes rendered in the jazz idiom and featuring his electric guitar and some tasty vibraphone. Even though that set was something like his 18th album, Stryker seems to have felt he hit a kind of

Pimps of Pompe: Hot Jazz Meets Hip-hop

Asheville-based Pimps of Pompe has a unique musical approach. The band takes inspiration from modern hip-hop and rhythm and blues, bending those forms into the style of pre-World War II “hot jazz.” The group’s new self-titled EP showcases that process alongside original songs and selected jazz classics. Songwriter, band leader and mandolinist Cynthia McDermott says

Up Jumped Three’s Implied Rhythm

Rhythm is traditionally a key component in music. But especially within the jazz idiom, some groups craft a sound that doesn’t include a drummer. In the tradition of trios led by Art Tatum, Tal Farlow and other greats, Asheville’s Up Jumped Three makes original instrumental jazz with saxophone, guitar and upright bass. The trio’s latest

Album Review: Paul Shaw Quintet – Moment of Clarity

There’s an old joke that has long made the rounds in rock circles: What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians? “A drummer.” Good-natured ribbing aside, few make that joke in the jazz idiom. In the jazz world – more commonly than in rock – drummers are likely as not to be composers

30 Days Out, April 2020 #2: Taylor Martin, Three Cool Cats, Kathryn O’Shea, Posey Royale

As we all begin to settle into what one might call the new normal, performing musicians are increasingly turning to livestreaming. I suspect their reasons are twofold: (1) to stay in touch with fans (and potential fans) and (2) to stave off boredom and exercise their creativity. I’m here to do my small bit toward

Rebirth of the Firecracker Jazz Band

This is the second of three short features on Asheville-based artists releasing new albums in March 2020. As the 21st century enters its third decade, the Firecracker Jazz Band is doubling down on a music style that enjoyed its heyday a century ago. But guitarist and banjo player Jason Krekel believes he knows why 1920s-style