Melanie Charles is out to ‘make jazz fun again’

Jazz skeptics may have never heard Alice Coltrane and Pharaoh Sanders trade trippy harp and saxophone licks on “Journey in Satchidananda,” but they probably conjure something akin to the song’s avant-garde experimentation when imagining jazz. To those unfamiliar with swing or boogie woogie or Latin jazz, the whole genre has been dismissed as esoteric and [...]

Nomadim – ‘Nomadim’

Nomadim – Nomadim (Unit Records. CD review by Jane Mann) Nomadim is the first album from a young Switzerland-based trio of the same name. Nomadim were originally the Marc Crofts Trio but decided to change their name to reflect their musical style which they call “nomadic jazz with a classical tinge”. Leader and composer Marc [...]

Jeff Williams: Live At The London Jazz Festival – Road Tales

If there is one thing that jazz fans are probably missing most of all during the current pandemic, it is the ability to go out and listen to live music. I am hoping that well before the end of the current year, we will all be able to channel our new-found “vaccine fuelled” enthusiasm into [...]

Jeremy Pelt: Griot – This Is Important! review – a jazz album for everyone

Jeremy Pelt, a trumpet virtuoso who could have dropped without blinking into classic 1960s Blue Note sessions cut years before he was born, has interlaced his familiar mix of agile contemporary bop and elegant ballads with spoken-word passages on African American jazz life, edited from his own interviews with musicians across the generations. Pelt’s inspiration [...]

J.D. ALLEN – Love Stone

A major tenor-saxophonist since the turn of the last century, JD Allen performs a set of vintage ballads on Love Stone, his 13th CD as a leader. Since he is generally a hard-charging soloist who mostly performs originals, Love Stone is a real change of pace for him. In [...]

OCTOBOP – Live @ Savanna Jazz

Formed in 1999, Octobop is an octet based in Northern California that has 1950s West Coast jazz as its roots. It does not stick exclusively to that idiom and repertoire, certainly stretching a bit on their seventh CD, but collectors who enjoy cool jazz will find much to savor [...]

DEXTER GORDON QUARTET – Tokyo 1975

One of the all-time great tenor-saxophonists, Dexter Gordon (1923-90) had a fascinating life that someday should be made into a movie. After stints with the big bands of Lionel Hampton and Louis Armstrong in the early 1940s, he joined the Billy Eckstine Orchestra and became one of the first [...]

Fred Hersch Trio, Live In Europe

Reviews - One of the giants of the jazz piano of the past 35 years, Fred Hersch has recorded prolifically as a leader since the mid-1980s but has yet to make an unworthy or uninspired recording. His playing at times hints at Bill Evans (mostly in the close interplay [...]

Adrian Cunningham and Ken Peplowski, Duologue

Reviews - Clarinetist and tenor-saxophonist Ken Peplowski originally made his reputation as a brilliant swing player who was forward-looking and built upon the innovations of the past. Adrian Cunningham was born and raised in Australia and has been part of the New York jazz scene since 2008. He plays [...]

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