• Steve Khan: Parting Shot

    Steve Khan: Parting Shot

    As long ago as his 1983 outing, Casa Loco, guitarist-composer-producer Khan had been hinting at this kind of infectious Latin-jazz fusion. He’s made several gestures in this direction over the years, most recently on 2006’s ...
  • Bill Frisell: Sign of Life

    Bill Frisell: Sign of Life

    Known primarily as a jazz-fusion innovator, guitarist Frisell imparts his unique palette of timbres, textures, and colors to a chamber setting with his 858 Quartet (Jenny Scheinman, violin; Eyvind Kang, viola; Hank Roberts, cello), founded ...
  • Bill Dixon: Intents and Purposes

    Bill Dixon: Intents and Purposes

    Very few records are genuinely unique; musicians usually work with known frameworks, and in the rare instances where really new territory is charted, it doesn’t take long for settlers to arrive. When RCA released trumpeter ...
  • Marilyn Crispell, David Rothenberg

    Marilyn Crispell, David Rothenberg

    Pianist Marilyn Crispell attracted an initial following with a full-fisted attack, dense tone clusters, and bold dissonances inspired by Cecil Taylor, later refining her style during a ten-year stint with Anthony Braxton. She brought her ...
  • The New York Art Quartet: Old Stuff

    The New York Art Quartet: Old Stuff

    The New York Art Quartet was formed in 1964 by trombonist Roswell Rudd and alto saxophonist John Tchicai. Rudd was a member of another quartet, completely devoted to the music of Thelonious Monk, and wanted ...
  • Pat Metheny: What's It All About

    Pat Metheny: What's It All About

    Occasionally, Pat Metheny goes “into the cave” and emerges with some personal statement that goes against the grain of his more commercial instincts. Sometimes it’s something so uncompromising and off-putting, as in the case of ...
  • Starlicker: Double Demon

    Starlicker: Double Demon

    Starlicker features an unusual lineup for a trio—trumpet, vibes, and drums—but Double Demon blends the instruments together nicely, making music that’s both adventurous and accessible. This has partly to do with rhythm: two percussionists playing ...
  • Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage

    Michael Brecker: Pilgrimage

    Because only a small fraction of contemporary jazz is released on vinyl, recently-recorded LPs should matter, and fortunately Mobile Fidelity has lent its talents to Michael Brecker’s Pilgrimage. Recorded months before Brecker succumbed to leukemia, ...
  • Satako Fujii Min-Yoh Ensemble: Watershed

    Satako Fujii Min-Yoh Ensemble: Watershed

    If the prolific Satoko Fujii had an audience proportionate to her growing critical acclaim, the Japanese composer/ pianist might rival Esperanza Spalding as a popular jazz phenomenon. But Watershed’s prickly textures and dissonances signal that ...
  • Alex Hoffman: Dark Lights

    Alex Hoffman: Dark Lights

    As the liner notes point out, tenor saxophonist Alex Hoffman is a perfect fit for the hard-swinging, no-nonsense style of modern jazz that Smalls Records has been presenting over the past eight years. If I ...

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