Trombonist Roswell Rudd wasn't always as ubiquitous as he is now. After making a big splash in the 1960s and '70s, he dropped out of jazz for a decade. Family obligations kept him close to home in the Catskills, where he worked in a show band at a resort in too-perfectly-named Kerhonkson. "Did the people who hired you at the resort you know who you were?" he was once asked. "I'd just about forgotten myself."… more »
Jazz Browse All
It's strange, the ways the arc of jazz history can bend. Twenty years ago, for some conservatives, Anthony Braxton epitomized everything that was wrong with jazz. In 2013, he was named an NEA Jazz Master (and rightly so). Few jazz masters have seen their reputations yo-yo like Ahmad Jamal, now ascendant again, to judge by Saturday Morning, a French studio session recorded early in 2013 at age 82-and-a-half. There was a time when Jamal was considered… more »
Around 1960, a bass-playing sophomore at Yale got a call to do a concert with a rising jazz pianist at Bard College. On the appointed day, Steve Swallow got in his car, drove the hundred miles to the Hudson Valley, met the pianist and his budding-composer wife. He could not at that moment have suspected how crossing paths with Paul and Carla Bley would change his life. The concert went very well — so well that… more »
New + Noteworthy
eMusic Reviews View All
On the album Pour une ame souveraine, pop-soul stalwart Meshell Ndegeocello impeccably performed songs associated with the jazz and civil rights icon Nina Simone. A little more than a year later, Jamie Stewart, the unstable center of the 12-year-old experimental group Xiu Xiu, offers an altogether more, well, peccable alternative.
Generally, Xiu Xiu cobwebs together singer/songwriter fare, art-rock and synth-pop with gritty strands of noise and free jazz, but its defining feature is Stewart’s uniquely wounded voice, accentuated by panicky confessional lyrics about car crashes and attempted suicides and abortions. It’s… more »
-0001 | Label: Pirouet Records
This is what happens when you get four reflective musicians with more expertise than ego who have played with one another for decades — gentle luminosity. The disc is credited to pianist Marc Copland, who is typically solid, harmonically sophisticated, and self-assured, but John Abercrombie fans take note: This is another of those occasions (Jack DeJohnette’s New Directions and Charles Lloyd’s Voice in the Night also come to mind) where the guitarist slides in and unobtrusively steals the show.
Abercrombie correctly surmises that the sensitive, cerebral dynamic Copland fosters puts his… more »
2013 | Label: Meta Records / The Orchard
This disc should be celebrated as the first and only musical meeting between a pair of iconoclastic titans on winds and reeds, Yusef Lateef and Roscoe Mitchell. Recorded at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in November, 2008, Voice Prints captures the essence of group improvisation as practiced by avant-garde elders who make their own instruments and approach music in terms of spiritual philosophy as much as creative craft.
Lateef was 88 when these tracks were recorded, but he was still spry enough to showcase his sense of spatial tension… more »
2013 | Label: Columbia/Legacy
To say that Miles Davis’s collected recordings from 1957-64 constitutes some of the finest music ever produced by an American artist is no marketing hype. The voluminous catalog of this inscrutable artist has lost none of its glow. But, as Miles’s music has been repackaged, remixed and remastered ad infinitum, one could argue that Columbia is close to killing the goose that laid the golden egg.
Or are they? What is often said of the Beatles’ early albums is perhaps even truer for Miles Davis’s work: The mono recordings are what… more »