Feature Articles


  • Jazz artist Melani Charles.

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 [...]

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 [...]

  • J.D.Allen-Love-Stone

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 [...]

  • octobop

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 [...]

  • Dexter-Gordon-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 [...]

  • Fred Hersch Trio, Live In Europe

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 [...]

  • Cunningham-Peplowski

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Reviews - Clarinetist and tenor-saxophonist Ken Peplowski originally made his reputation as a brilliant swing player who was forward-looking and built upon the innovations of the past.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 [...]

  • Jerry Vivino-coast

JERRY VIVINO – Coast To Coast

Reviews - Jerry Vivino  - Coast To Coast - Jerry Vivino is perhaps best known for playing tenor with the Basic Cable Band, the house group for the Conan O'Brien Show. The older brother of guitarist Jimmy Vivino, he grew up in a [...]

  • The Django Festival All Stars, Attitude Manouche


Reviews - The Django Festival All Stars  - Attitude Manouche - The comeback of Django Reinhardt's music and style is unprecedented in jazz history. The great gypsy guitarist, had no real competitors when he burst upon the European jazz scene in 1933, topping [...]

  • Tia Fuller, Diamond Cut

TIA FULLER – Diamond Cut

Reviews - Tia Fuller - Diamond Cut -Tia Fuller is one of the top alto-saxophonists in jazz of the past decade. She plays with the passion of a Jackie McLean. Every note means something to her and is expressed emotionally and with passion. Born in [...]

  • Kenny Barron Quintet, Concentric Circles

KENNY BARRON QUINTET – Concentric Circles

Reviews - Kenny Barron Quintet  - Concentric Circles - One of the great veterans of jazz, pianist Kenny Barron, who recently turned 75, has been an important part of the jazz scene since the early 1960s. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Barron was a [...]

  • Oscar Peterson - Plays


Reviews - Oscar Peterson  - Plays - Producer Norman Granz, who discovered Oscar Peterson playing in Montreal in 1949, loved the pianist's playing so much that he presented Peterson with Jazz At The Philharmonic, became his manager, and recorded him prolifically during the [...]

  • Martial Solal - My One and Only Love

MARTIAL SOLAL – My One And Only Love

Reviews - Martial Solal  - My One And Only Love - One of Europe's (and jazz's) finest pianists during the past 60 years, Martial Solal turned 90 last Aug. 23. Born in Algiers and a resident of Paris since 1950, Solal gained experience [...]

  • The Manhattan Transfer - The Juncton


Reviews - The Manhattan Transfer  - The Junction - The Manhattan Transfer was originally founded in 1969 by Tim Hauser. After one recording, that version of the group broke up and can now be thought of as a false start. In 1972 Hauser [...]

  • David Kikoski


Reviews - David Kikoski  - Kayemode - Although never the most famous of jazz pianists, David Kikoski has been one of the most vital of the past 30 years. He joined Roy Haynes' group back in 1986 (they have played together off and [...]

  • Eva Cassidy-Songbird

EVA CASSIDY – Songbird 20

Reviews  Eva Cassidy Songbird 20 There are three remarkable facts about the late singer Eva Cassidy. One is that she had a tragically brief life, passing away in 1996 at the age of 33 from melanoma. Another is that during her lifetime she [...]

  • Miles Davis & John Coltrane - The Final Tour


Reviews Miles Davis & John Coltrane The Final Tour In 1960, John Coltrane faced one of the turning points of his career. A member of the Miles Davis Quintet and Sextet during 1955-56 and since 1958, Coltrane had recently recorded his monumental Giant [...]

  • TheChickCorea-SteveGaddBand


Reviews The Chick Corea and Steve Gadd Band Chinese Butterfly Chick Corea and Steve Gadd are old friends, having worked together on several notable occasions back in the 1970s. Gadd was the original drummer with the second version of Return To Forever before [...]

  • Anat-Cohen-and-Fred-Hersch


Reviews Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch Live In Healdsburg Anat Cohen, a superior clarinetist and tenor-saxophonist from Israel, and veteran pianist Fred Hersch have had very different lives and lifestyles but both have adventurous spirits along with complete command of their instruments. [...]

  • Harold-Mabern

HAROLD MABERN – To Love And Be Loved

Reviews Harold Mabern To Love And Be Loved The great veteran pianist Harold Mabern, who has been an important part of the New York jazz scene since the early 1960s, is now 83. However on his recent CD To Love And [...]

  • Mike Vax & Ron Romm, Collaboration

MIKE VAX & RON ROMM – Collaboration

Reviews Mike Vax & Ron Romm Collaboration Mike Vax, an alumnus of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, has always been comfortable in several musical idioms. His career is filled with an endless number of associations including performances and recordings with Art Pepper, Gene Krupa, Don [...]

  • Nina Simone, Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles

NINA SIMONE, Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles

Reviews Nina Simone Mood Indigo: The Complete Bethlehem Singles Nina Simone (1933-2003) was unique in music history. She was a classically trained pianist who, due to the racism in the classical music world, found herself having to make a living as a singing pianist [...]

  • Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas, Scandal


Reviews Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Scandal Tenor-saxophonist Joe Lovano and trumpeter Dave Douglas have been major names for decades, always creating stimulating post-bop music that defies classification as anything beyond "modern jazz." They had crossed paths occasionally through the years before finally coming [...]

  • Stephane-Wrembel

STEPHANE WREMBEL – The Django Experiment III

Reviews STEPHANE WREMBEL The Django Experiment III The Gypsy Jazz movement has resulted in a countless number of groups emulating the Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grappelli Quintet Of The Hot Club Of France, particularly in Europe. Ranging from near-recreations to esoteric extensions of the original string [...]

  • Joey-Alexander

JOEY ALEXANDER – Joey, Monk, Live!

Reviews JOEY ALEXANDER Joey, Monk, Live! 2017 was Thelonious Monk's centennial, a year in which there were quite a few recorded tributes to the unique pianist-composer. One of the last to be released is by pianist Joey Alexander, who was born 21 years after [...]

  • Houston-Person

HOUSTON PERSON – Rain or Shine

Reviews HOUSTON PERSON Rain or Shine Throughout his long career, which reaches back to at least 1963 when he recorded with organist Johnny "Hammond" Smith, Houston Person has always displayed a large tone inspired by Gene Ammons, the ability to caress melodies, and the [...]

  • Dan Beck Band - Review - JazzMonthly.com

DAN BECK BAND – All The Fish are Hoppin’

Reviews DAN BECK BAND All the Fish are Hoppin' - Independent Expressive and soulful guitarist, vocalist, writer Dan Beck performs front and center with the Dan Beck Band on his debut release All The Fish Are Hoppin.’ This studio-recording blend of Blues and Jazz along with [...]

  • Christian McBribe


Reviews CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE BIG BAND Bringin' It One of the best-known and busiest bass players in jazz, Christian McBride is still just 45. A major performer by the age of 17 in 1989 when he joined Bobby Watson's group, McBride has worked with nearly [...]

  • Steve Davis - Think Ahead - JazzMonthly.com

STEVE DAVIS – Think Ahead Review

Reviews STEVE DAVIS Think Ahead Trombonist Steve Davis has played such consistently rewarding music throughout his career that it is easy to take him for granted. He studied at the Hartt School under Jackie McLean who recommended him to Art Blakey. Davis was a [...]

  • wes-montgomery-Paris


Reviews WES MONTGOMERY In Paris 1965 was one of the peak periods of Wes Montgomery's career. A major and influential jazz guitarist since at least 1959, Montgomery (who turned 42 in '65) was growing in fame each month. That year he recorded the popular [...]

  • Mars Williams


Reviews  MARS WILLIAMS presents An Ayler Xmas Albert Ayler (1936-1970) took jazz to its extreme. In fact, the saxophonist could be said to have brought jazz beyond its logical “end” while coming back again at its beginning. His groups, particularly the one he had during 1965-66 with [...]

  • Matt King

MATT KING – Monk In Brazil

Reviews  MATT KING  Monk In Brazil Many jazz artists had their centennial in 2017 including Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald, but somehow it has ended up being the year of Thelonious Monk. Unlike Ella (whose talent has never been duplicated) and even Dizzy (who did write a [...]

  • Martial Solal & Dave Liebman


Reviews MARTIAL SOLAL & DAVE LIEBMAN Masters In Bordeaux Although it was not inevitable that they would record a duet album together, pianist Martial Solal and saxophonist-flutist Dave Liebman have a fair amount in common. Solal, who at the time of this recorded concert from 2016 was [...]

  • Bill Evans - Another Time

BILL EVANS – Another Time: The Hilversum Concert

Reviews BILL EVANS Another Time: The Hilversum Concert It is fair to say that there is no shortage of Bill Evans recordings available. In addition to the release and reissue of virtually all of his studio recordings, there are an apparently unlimited supply of [...]

  • Nestor Torres

NESTOR TORRES – Jazz Flute Traditions

Reviews  NESTOR TORRES Jazz Flute Traditions Nestor Torres made his early reputation as a talented flautist who played Latin pop/jazz. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, he moved to New York after high school, attended Berklee, and gained experience playing with a wide variety [...]

  • Peter Bernstein


Reviews PETER BERNSTEIN Signs Live Back in 1994, guitarist Peter Bernstein recorded a CD, Signs Of Life, that found him leading an all-star quartet that also featured pianist Brad Mehldau, bassist Christian McBride and drummer Gregory Hutchinson. Over 20 years later, on Jan. 4, [...]

  • Larry Coryell’s 11th House, Seven Secrets

LARRY CORYELL’S 11th HOUSE – Seven Secrets

Reviews LARRY CORYELL'S 11th HOUSE Seven Secrets Larry Coryell was the first fusion guitarist. He brought the sound of electric blues and rock into jazz during 1966-67 on his recordings with Chico Hamilton, Free Spirits, and the Gary Burton Quartet. While later overshadowed by [...]

  • Chris Potter, The Dreamer Is The Dream

CHRIS POTTER – The Dreamer Is The Dream

Reviews CHRIS POTTER, The Dreamer Is The Dream Chris Potter has been one of the most significant and stimulating saxophonists of the past 30 years. His latest ECM release showcases him in a quartet with pianist David Virelles, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Marcus [...]

Hilary Kole – Review

Reviews HILARY KOLE, A Self Portrait A perennially popular presence on the NYC jazz scene and a world renowned concert hall and symphony performer, Hilary Kole has wowed us before with her dynamic recordings Haunted Hart (produced by fellow jazz great John Pizzarelli) and [...]

Gregg Kallor – Review

Reviews GREGG KALLOR, A Single Noon Tremendously gifted pianist and composer Gregg Kallor describes his latest CD,”A Single Noon” as “a love letter to this incredible city.”  Now, exactly which city is he speaking of?”-- you ask. Of course he is speaking of the [...]

Diane Reeves – Review

Reviews DIANNE REEVES, Beautiful Life (Concord) After a five year layoff, one of jazz’s most sparkling voices and innovative vocalists returns on a new label to celebrate the art of collaboration. In the spirit of her producer Terri Lyne Carrington’s 2011 Grammy winning The [...]

Lawrence Blatt – Review

Reviews LAWRENCE BLATT, Emergence In 2007, acoustic guitarist Lawrence Blatt named one of his trademark recordings Fibonacci’s Dream, after one of the Middle Ages’ greatest mathematicians – and composed songs using Fibonacci’s “Golden Ratio” numbers to inspire the way he approached the chords, melodies [...]