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Webber/Morris Big Band Are Tightly Arranged and Gorgeously Free on 'Both Are True'

The new jazz gets a treatment from a thrilling 18-piece big band playing compositions by saxophonists Angela Morris and Anna Webber on Both Are True.

Music

12 Brilliant Recent Jazz Albums That Shouldn't Be Missed

There is so much wonderful creative music these days that even an apartment-bound critic misses too much of it. Here is jazz from the last 18 months that shouldn't be missed.

Music

Jazz's Denny Zeitlin and Trio Get Adventurous on 'Live at Mezzrow'

West Coast pianist Denny Zeitlin creates a classic and adventurous live set with his long-standing trio featuring Buster Williams and Matt Wilson on Live at Mezzrow.

Music

'History Gets Ahead of the Story' for Jazz's Cosgrove, Medeski, and Lederer

Jazz drummer Jeff Cosgrove leads brilliant organ player John Medeski and multi-reed master Jeff Lederer through a revelatory recording of songs by William Parker and some just-as-good originals.

Music

The Chad Taylor Trio Get Funky and Fiery on 'The Daily Biological'

A nimble jazz power trio of drums, tenor sax, and piano, the Chad Taylor Trio is free and fun, funky and fiery on The Daily Biological.

Music

Jazz Trombonist Nick Finzer Creates a 'Cast of Characters'

Jazz trombonist Nick Finzer shines with his compositions on this mainstream jazz sextet release, Cast of Characters.

Music

Joe Fiedler's Big Sackbut Get Down with Trombones 'Live in Graz'

Improvising and brass shaking from three trombones plus tuba equal a whole lotta fun on Joe Fiedler's Live in Graz.

Music

Steve Cardenas' 'Blue Has a Range' Is Steeped in Blues Tradition and Expressed with Elegance

Jazz guitarist Steve Cardenas' Blue Has a Range sports modern but vintage jazz guitar at the center of a gorgeously balanced group of composer and players.

Music

Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride, and Brian Blade Come 'RoundAgain'

Joshua Redman's 1994 quartet of young jazz lions reunites as contemporary masters on RoundAgain.

Music

Rising Young Jazz Pianist Micah Thomas Debuts with 'Tide'

Micah Thomas' Tide is the debut of a young jazz pianist who is comfortable and fluent in a "new mainstream": abstraction as well as tonality, freedom as well as technical complexity.

Music

Sax Player Rudresh Mahanthappa Channels Charlie Parker's Super Powers

On the release of his latest, Hero Trio, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa records his first session of covers, playing jazz standards and hip-pop with a fabulous trio featuring bassist François Moutin and drummer Rudy Royston.

Music

Walter Smith III and Matthew Stevens Make New Jazz So Easy to Love on 'In Common 2'

Two of the top players in modern jazz make the second in a sequence of quintet recordings that presents jazz as unusually easy to love even as it maintains modern complexity.

Music

John Scofield Renews the Jazz Guitar Trio on 'Swallow Tales'

The jazz guitar trio is a classic format, and John Scofield, Steve Swallow, and Bill Stewart are as well-equipped to venerate it and renew it a bit on Swallow Tales.

Music

Ambrose Akinmusire Muses 'on the tender spot of every calloused moment'

The most notable trumpet player in jazz today, Ambrose Akinmusire, creates a major recording focusing on his quartet leaping from mode to mode.

Music

Dave Douglas Pays Tribute to Jazz Legend Dizzy Gillespie on 'Dizzy Atmosphere'

Jazz trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas has constructed a tribute to Dizzy Gillespie that gives his young band as much voice as possible, with two reinterpretations of Dizzy classics and seven originals.

Music

The James Carney Sextet Remain Quietly Essential on 'Pure Heart'

Jazz pianist and composer James Carney returns with a session featuring sparkling collective improvisation and inventive composition.

Music

Jazz's Aaron Parks Explores on 'Little Big II: Dreams of a Mechanical Man'

Jazz pianist Aaron Parks' grooving but exploratory quartet returns for a second recording after being on the road, and it's stunning.

Music

Kurt Elling and Danilo Pérez Prove 'Secrets Are the Best Stories'

Kurt Elling's collaboration with pianist Danilo Pérez features impressionistic and daring playing and poetic lyrics, making it one of the highlights of a brilliant jazz vocal career.

Music

Matthew Shipp's 'The Piano Equation' Will Stand the Test of Time

Matthew Shipp's The Piano Equation is a fully improvised solo piano recital to stand the test of time, sitting in the realm where mathematics and magic collide.

Music

Jazz Vocalist Luciana Souza Beguiles on 'Storytellers'

In arranger Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band, singer Luciana Souza has partners who understand that it's important she beguile rather than batter.

Music

The Best Jazz Albums of 2010

Jazz was working all the angles in 2010. Is there any other genre that has as much range -- from solo instruments to big bands, from instrumental to vocal, from European musicians to both North and South Americans, from truly pretty music to raucously avant-garde "noise"?

Music

Liberty Ellman's 'Last Desert' Is Unafraid to Charm You and Challenge You

Guitarist Liberty Ellman's compositions for this brilliant sextet on Last Desert demand that you pay careful attention, but not that you tolerate harsh tonalities.

Music

Reverso Fuse Jazz, Improvisation, and European Art Music on 'The Melodic Line'

An unlikely trio of trombone, cello, and piano fuses jazz, creative improvised music, and European art music without sounding cobbled together. Reverso are Vincent Courtois, Ryan Keberle, and Frank Woeste.

Music

Pat Metheny Adds Strings to His Quartet on 'From This Place'

On From This Place, Pat Metheny's recent and superb quartet is supplemented by orchestral arrangements on ten new Metheny originals.


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