Suite of the East (Anzic) This exceptional release was recorded in a live, daylong 2006 session after bassist and composer Avital and his quintet had thoroughly polished the seven-track program of original works during a month-long residency at the Greenwich Village jazz club Smalls. Avital, one of an increasingly large [...]Read more >>
Fly (Velour) Over its 20-year existence, the jazz-funk septet Lettuce has launched the careers of several notable musicians, among them guitarist Eric Krasno and keyboardist Neal Evans of Soulive; drummer Adam Deitch, who’s played with John Scofield’s band; and guitarist Adam Smirnoff, a semi-regular with Robert Randolph and the Family [...]Read more >>
Carrera (Sunnyside) A palpable strain of melancholia has long been a hallmark of the arts in Argentina, whether expressed through the brooding short stories of Jorge Luis Borges, the sonic turbulence of Astor Piazzolla’s tango nuevo or the stormy neo-expressionism of composer Alberto Ginastera’s symphonic works. It’s little wonder that [...]Read more >>
Diagnostic (Harmonia Mundi/M’ster) Don’t jump to conclusions about trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf’s music. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on Diagnostic (the third album in a triptych that also includes 2007’s Diasporas and 2009’s Diachronism), an unforeseen twist will cause your theory to crumble. But seldom has being wrong [...]Read more >>
Rayuela (Sunnyside) The awarding of the MacArthur “genius grant” to Miguel Zenón in 2008 was met with considerable controversy, but the Puerto Rico-born saxophonist has silenced many of his critics with a series of ambitious conceptual projects. Most of those have explored his musical and cultural heritage, but his latest, [...]Read more >>
Three Things of Beauty (Savant) Pianist Bruce Barth’s latest CD, his 12th as a leader, may well be his most elegant. The quartet session features vibraphonist Steve Nelson, and the interplay between them could hardly be more empathetic and fluid. Suave but never slick, Barth and Nelson expressively navigate each [...]Read more >>
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