jazz Archive

Album Review: Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio – It’s Time

If you’re the sort of music listener who thinks you don’t like jazz but you do dig Steely Dan, then It’s Time may be the ticket. Featuring the vocals of Rose Ann Dimalanta – formerly a member of Prince’s band – is sleek, sexy and soulful. A slick (but not too slick) and urbane vibe

Jonathan Scales’ Structural Integrity

Composer, band leader and steel drum player Jonathan Scales maintains a busy and challenging schedule. In just the last two years or so, he’s toured internationally as part of the U.S. State Department’s cultural ambassador program, given a TEDx Talk, played at Victor Wooten’s music camp, and produced an album by his friend, musical associate

Cannonball Adderley’s “Swingin’ in Seattle”

Released today by Reel to Real Records, Swinging’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse 1966-1967 represents the first release in a long while of previously-unheard (and previously un-bootlegged) Adderley recordings. I had the honor of writing the liner notes for this album. And I’d like to tell you about why I wrote them, and why

Hundred-word Reviews, November 2018 Part 1

More hundred-word reviews. If you’ve wandered in here before, you know the drill: they’re all worthwhile and deserve deeper coverage. These ten are all archival, reissue or compilation releases. Oakland Elementary School Arkestra – The Saga of Padani Let’s begin by acknowledging that this disc isn’t for all tastes. Imagine the Residents meeting Sun Ra,

Album Review: Jazzville — Blue Skies

Jazz is one of the few musical idioms in which artists can record and/or perform the compositions of others and still gain widespread critical acclaim. The form itself is designed to allow — and perhaps even demand — a fresh and original approach to existing material. Against that backdrop, Blue Skies, the debut release from

Album Review: Dave Brubeck — Time In

The opening solo piano strains of “Last Waltz,” the opening track on Dave Brubeck’s 1966 LP Time In are lovely enough. But they suggest that the album is going to be a somewhat staid, fussy and classically-leaning collection of songs. Certainly, there’s nothing wrong with that; Brubeck has always been a master of many styles.

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part Three

These quick reviews cover an assorted lot: two compilations, a reissue and a 45rpm single all in needle-hits-groove physical format. Warren Zevon – My Ride’s Here If you only know a few things about Zevon, it’s that he did “Werewolves of London,” that he had a celebrated sardonic sense of humor (imagine a rock-oriented Randy

Notable Vinyl Releases, Part One

These three are reissues. Hank Jones – Arigato Jones’ recording career as a jazz pianist began in 1947 and continued until age 91 with the aptly-named Last Recording in 2010. Recipient of numerous accolades (NEA Jazz Masters, ASCAP Jazz Living Legend Award, etc.), Jones was a prolific musician; he released some five dozen albums under

Victory Boyd: From Subway to Festival Stage

Victory Boyd was “discovered” busking Stevie Wonder songs on the streets and in the subway stations of New York City, and that discovery led to a recording contract not only for her, but for her entire family including her father and eight siblings. The singer-songwriter was a featured performer at the fourth annual LEAF Downtown

Album Review: Richard Shulman Trio — Turned Into Lemonade

Conveying a spirit of hope and optimism without the use of words is a challenging goal. But on Turned Into Lemonade, the latest from the prolific jazz/orchestral/new age composer (he’s released more than two dozen albums), that ambitious goal is realized. This all-original jazz outing is credited to the Richard Shulman Group: Shulman plays acoustic