Music Reviews

One can depend upon Mary Stallings to deliver a good album and yet with “Feelin' Good” she has recorded a quintessential jazz vocal outing. This release embodies all of the qualities that comprise a superior session. It's an album so steeped in jazz tradition and delivered with such consummate ease and style as to be irresistible.

Last Call celebrates the 70th Birthday of one of the drum legends of our time, Steve Gadd.

Guitarist Dave Stryker has been reliably delivering solid recordings for over two decades. With a wonderful tone, impressive chops and a knack for combining stimulating improvisation with accessible compositions, Stryker's music lures the listener with impeccable good vibes. In his latest release among some 30 as leader or co-leader, Stryker pays his respects to a former employer and, no surprise, an individual whose own style embraced the very qualities displayed on this album, Stanley Turrentine.

Rez Abbasi presents a new recording for jazz fans which takes well-known jazz rock 1970s anthems in a new direction. Many fans of jazz-rock are familiar with some of the most well-known 1970s anthems from the supergroups that attracted huge followings worldwide, such as Return to Forever, Weather Report, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, and others.  Some listeners may have desired from time to time to hear these selections through a different, more subtle, less noisy lens.

Patrick Butler/Sound Pinnacle/ Independent Release

Trombonist David Gibson delivers a solid post-bop session that adds further affirmation to the vibrancy of the current jazz scene on his sixth release as a leader. This is no-nonsense, straight ahead music in a program of mostly original compositions. The instrumental setting is a quintet with the fine trumpet player Josh Evans and rhythm section comprised of Theo Hill playing piano, Alex Claffy at the bass and Kush Abadey at the drums.

Pianist Tim Olsen's “Creature of Habit” is a beautifully rendered collection of highly attractive compositions from Olsen, performed in either quintet or sextet settings. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Yale University and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Union College in Schenectady, NY as well as Director of Music and Organist at St. George's Episcopal Church in Clifton Park, NY. He performs in concerts and clubs with a band that varies in size from a quartet to an 18-piece big band. This is his very convincing debut recording.

Bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux has released an attractive album that combines delightful repertoire and musicianship on this introductory recording. She was recipient of the Shelly Manne New Talent Award at age 17 and has won awards for bass and voice. She has attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and later received a Masters of Music at CSU Long Beach. She has performed with numerous prominent jazz artists and has worked at jazz festivals and venues in the Big Apple.

From the opening beat you're in for an exciting musical ride when you take trumpeter Joshua Bruneau's new release “Bright Idea” out for a spin. This enthusiastic and crackling session features compositions and soloing that lure the listener in and perhaps make one more than a little bit jealous of those fortunate to be in attendance at Smalls Jazz Club in New York City when this live session was recorded.

Resonance Records has released a number of historic jazz recordings in the last few years. In 2014 the label released the roof-raising John Coltrane: Offering two disc set, featured on Last Call and reviewed on these webpages. The companion recording on the label is the immediately more accessible Charles Lloyd: Manhattan Stories.    

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