Paul Motian Trio 2000 + 2 Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (Winter & Winter) Drummer Paul Motian is a master of the elliptical and the unexpected. Where other drummers might play loud and busy, he’s quiet and spare. Few drummers use space better – he’s the percussion champion [...]Read more >>
Maria Schneider Orchestra Sky Blue (ArtistShare) Forget labels like “big band” or even “jazz” when discussing composer and bandleader Maria Schneider. She creates some of the most beautiful music you’re likely to hear, and that’s all that matters. The 22-minute tour de force “Cerulean Skies” tells you all you need [...]Read more >>
Billy Taylor & Gerry Mulligan Live at MCG (MCG Jazz) This live quartet offering from pianist Taylor and baritone saxophonist Mulligan is melodic, swinging, and thoughtful – qualities that too often seem mutually exclusive. Recorded over several nights in October 1993 at Pittsburgh’s Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild for Taylor’s pilot program [...]Read more >>
Matthew Shipp Trio Piano Vortex (Thirsty Ear) This is Matthew Shipp’s first piano trio recording in a decade. Where 1997′s masterful The Multiplication Table showcased deconstructions of Ellington and melded free improv and composition, the new album highlights a different set of concerns. It offers an instructive reminder of how [...]Read more >>
Roberta Gambarini & Hank Jones You Are There (Emarcy) Leave it to a young Italian singer to bring freshness to a collection of American standards. Of course, it helps when her partner is an elder statesman pianist who knows these tunes inside and out. Roberta Gambarini and Hank Jones may [...]Read more >>
Gonzalo Rubalcaba Avatar (Blue Note) Over the course of his two decades in the jazz swim, consummate Cuban-born pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba has pursued multiple directions and projects, in sync with his restless muse. With his latest, Rubalcaba has assembled a solid band of NYC players – including saxist Yosvany Terry [...]Read more >>
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