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Susan Alcorn's 'Pedernal' Is a Chamber Jazz/Americana Blend

Baltimore's wizard of the pedal steel guitar, Susan Alcorn, offers a creative blend of Americana, jazz, and ethereal improvisation on Pedernal.

Music

The Insular Jazz of Lockdown Rediscovers a Pioneering Sounds of the Past

New COVID-era recordings from saxophonists Chris Potter and Ben Wendel recall pioneering work by the brilliant composer Wayne Shorter.

Music

Bill Evans, Eddie Gomez, and Jack DeJohnette Are 'Live at Ronnie Scott's'

Legendary pianist Bill Evans with a trio not often recorded with Eddie Gomez on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums live in London's famed club.

Music

The 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2020

Here are six of the key jazz trends of the last 20 years, defined by 20 of the best 2020 recordings that made us see, again, why this music is in midst of such a thrilling patch of creativity.

Music

What Once Sounded Like the Future Still Sounds Fresh on Craig Taborn's 'Junk Magic'

Compass Confusion is the long-awaited sequel to Craig Taborn's groundbreaking 2004 recording that mixed jazz, electronica, and new music composition. What once sounded like the future still sounds fresh.

Music

Ron Miles' 'Rainbow Sign' Is Quietly Fantastic

Don't sleep on this magical, flowing music, even if it purposely courts a dreamy mood. The jazz cornetist and composer gets four other distinctive players to come quietly together for a greater good.

Music

Dan Weiss Starebaby Blend Metal and Jazz on 'Natural Selection'

"New jazz" drummer Dan Weiss has composed varied landscapes for a band that use doom metal textures and delve into electronica, but just as often use acoustic piano and organic drumming to make complexity sound luscious.

Music

Charles Mingus @ Bremen 1964 & 1975

Two Bremen concerts by groups led by bassist and composer Charles Mingus in 1964 and 1975 remind us of the longevity and vitality of his brilliance.

Music

Pianist Holly Bowling Discusses Grateful Dead, Jazz, and Jam Bands

Classically trained pianist Holly Bowling is releasing her latest recording of Grateful Dead songs in a few weeks. PopMatters catches up with the virtuoso to discuss the intersection of jazz and rock with classical technique.

Music

John Hollenbeck Completes a Trilogy with 'Songs You Like a Lot'

The third (and final?) collaboration between a brilliant jazz composer/arranger, the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, vocalists Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckman, and the post-1950 American pop song. So great that it shivers with joy.

Music

Artemis Is the Latest Jazz Supergroup

A Blue Note supergroup happens to be made up of women, exclusively. Artemis is an inconsistent outing, but it dazzles just often enough.

Music

Jazz Composer Maria Schneider Takes on the "Data Lords" in Song

Grammy-winning jazz composer Maria Schneider released Data Lords partly as a reaction to her outrage that streaming music services are harvesting the data of listeners even as they pay musicians so little that creativity is at risk. She speaks with us about the project.

Music

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 Fran├žois 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.


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