Natalie Cole Still Unforgettable (DMI/Atco/Rhino) As the daughter of Nat “King” Cole, vocalist Natalie Cole has a huge advantage when it comes to interpreting standards. Cole brings more to the table than most, having been thoroughly immersed in the Great American Songbook courtesy of her dad. Or maybe it’s genetic. [...]Read more >>
Gene Ludwig Trio with the Bill Warfield Big Band Duff’s Blues: Live From the Zoellner Arts Center (18th & Vine/Allegro) When the Hammond B-3 organ grew popular in the 1950s, musicians viewed the instrument as a big band in a box. Combining a B-3 player with a roaring big band [...]Read more >>
Anat Cohen Notes From the Village (Anzic) “Washington Square Park,” the opening track to multi-reed player Anat Cohen’s latest disc, begins as a modern-jazz piece with African and Middle Eastern influences. Just when you’ve settled into the exotic, intricate patterns, the piece shifts gears into a straight-out funk interlude – [...]Read more >>
Rudresh Mahanthappa Kinsmen (Pi Recordings) Like many great ideas, it started with a joke. While saxophone player and composer Rudresh Mahanthappa was struggling to express his Indian-American heritage through music, his brother presented him with a gag gift called Saxophone Indian Style. The album proved revelatory, featuring the legendary Kadri [...]Read more >>
Fourplay Energy (Heads Up) Improvisational magic flows through Energy, Fourplay’s latest recording for the Heads Up imprint. Keyboardist Bob James, guitarist Larry Carlton and the seasoned rhythm section of bassist Nathan East and drummer Harvey Mason deliver a heady mix of African, pop, funk and R&B-flavored contemporary jazz. The seductive [...]Read more >>
Charles Mingus Sextet with Eric Dolphy Cornell 1964 (Blue Note) The legendary Charles Mingus well understood that in jazz, the music’s only as good as the musicians playing it. This is why the bassist-composer’s choice collaborator in the early ’60s was Eric Dolphy, an extraordinarily intuitive improviser on bass clarinet, [...]Read more >>
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