Further Explorations (Concord Jazz) Bill Evans set the standard for the modern piano trio, a template that still holds today. All the musicians on this disc have a connection with the late legend: drummer Paul Motian and bassist Eddie Gomez played in Evans’ trio (albeit separately) during his prime, and [...]Read more >>
Marvelous Fantasy (Smalls Records) Pianist Harold O’Neal has played many roles in his life, including a kickboxer, a b-boy, and a hip-hop songwriter who’s collaborated with the likes of onetime Jay-Z producer Ski Beatz. But somehow his latest recording exhibits no influence whatsoever from these activities and interests. Far from [...]Read more >>
Three Views (Greenleaf) Dave Douglas’ Three Views is the end product of a technologically savvy new initiative. This handsomely packaged box set comprises the first three digital releases from his “Greenleaf Portable Series,” which features the trumpeter and composer performing his music with radically different groups. Launched last June, the [...]Read more >>
Uchū (self-released) A feisty, fresh and smart sextet, Herculaneum dub their music “prog-jazz.” But the progressive tendencies blend agreeably with acoustic and retro elements. The group of Chicagoans, founded and driven by drummer Dylan Ryan, commingle references and attitudes from post-Mingus swing to rock-influenced angularity. They also channel fringe-dwellers from [...]Read more >>
Yes! (Sunnyside) While the trio of drummer Ali Jackson, pianist Aaron Goldberg and bassist Omer Avital have performed only on an irregular basis, the musicians have been friends and bandmates in various ensembles for two decades. On Yes!, the threesome’s first recording, they deliver a consistently pleasurable and, at times, [...]Read more >>
Visitor (Parallell) These two fine recordings are not led by tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake. However, his presence, ubiquitous on so many excellent recordings of late, seems to guarantee quality. This observation by no means diminishes the talents of his bandmates. Opus 5’s debut recording enlists a quintet of New York’s [...]Read more >>
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