Area 52 (ATO) Mexican acoustic-guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela have earned a stellar reputation that crosses genre boundaries. Granola-munching world-music types love them every bit as much as the sandaled hippies populating the jam-band festivals where they’ve performed. Meanwhile, their roots in Mexico’s underground metal scene has brought shredders like [...]Read more >>
Almost Human (Morvin/JazzSick) Almost Human’s external trappings make it seem like a novelty recording, from a cover photo featuring anthropomorphic cattle being styled in a vintage beauty salon to goofy song titles not above riffing on Talking Cows’ alleged bovinity (this last word provided the name for the combo’s 2006 [...]Read more >>
All Our Reasons (ECM) A blindfold listening to All Our Reasons would hardly alert you to the fact that the drummer — and nominal leader of the band — is, on average, nearly 30 years younger than his colleagues. But 71-year-old Billy Hart, a master percussionist who’s played with everyone [...]Read more >>
Unfinished Spaces (Distant Second) Unfinished Spaces is the soundtrack to the documentary film of the same name — a revealing examination of the creation and ongoing evolution of Havana, Cuba’s renowned Escuela Nacional de Arte (National School of Art), which has produced such notable talent as pianists Chucho Valdés and [...]Read more >>
From Now On (Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records) The guitar artistry of Oscar Peñas, a native of Barcelona who today is a well-established member of New York City’s youth-oriented jazz scene, takes a backseat to his conceptual visions and compositional skills on this low-key and inviting album, his third release as [...]Read more >>
The Sinatra Project, Vol. II: The Good Life (Concord Jazz) Michael Feinstein’s 2008 recording The Sinatra Project juxtaposed latter-day Sinatra-styled arrangements onto songs that were recorded earlier in the legend’s career. Working once again with veteran arranger Bill Elliot on this dynamic follow-up release, Feinstein opts for a different approach. [...]Read more >>
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