Selected reviews


        
         Subscribe for full reviews


CDs and DVDs for review can be sent to the Ashford address under Subscriptions.  Do not send any other type of review material (e.g., books) but email editor@jazzjournal.co.uk for advice.



RECORD REVIEWS

Jazz Journal offers unrivalled coverage of recorded jazz old and new. We carry more than 20,000 words of expert comment and discography on recent jazz issues in every issue. Here's what we reviewed in the September 2012 issue:

New issues: Vincent Bourgeyx, Harry Allen & Scott Hamilton, Randy Crawford & Joe Sample, Cindy Douglas, Cynthia Felton, Fly, Curtis Fuller, Nico Gori/Fred Hersch, Daniel Herskedal & Marius Neset, Jessica Jones & Mark Taylor, Jacon Karlzon, Greg Lewis, Joe Locke/Geoffrey Keezer, Fred Lonberg-Holm, Virginia Mayhew, Hendrik Meurkens/Gabriel Espinosa, Sophie Milman, Tony Monaco, Stephanie Nakasian, Michel Portal, Louis Perdomo, Ian Shaw, Daniel Smith, Jens Sondergaard, Erena Terakubo, Ryan Truesdell, Cassandra Wilson, Charlie Wood, Pete Zimmer 

Reissued or unissued archive material: Nat Adderley, Louis Armstrong, Jon Balke, Bill Barron, Bix Beiderbecke, Art Blakey, Will Bradley, Clifford Brown, Kenny Burrell, Ray Charles, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans, Michael Garrick, Stan Getz, Michael Gibbs, Billie Holiday, Stacey Kent, Barbara Lea, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Mel Powell, John Sheridan, Frank Sinatra, V-Disc All Stars, Boris Vian, Weather Report, Ben Webster, Frank Wess, Kenny Wheeler/Alan Skidmore, Frank Wright

*   *   *   *   *   *

Just a taste from over 70 CD reviews in the September 2012 issue of JJ:

NAT ADDERLEY: FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS PLUS (Avid)
"Recommended for fans of straight ahead jazz, this set provides a great summary of the early work of the Adderley brothers" (Sam Braysher) ****

LOUIS ARMSTRONG: COMPLETE HOT FIVE AND HOT SEVEN (Essential Jazz Classics)
"These are some of the first great classics of jazz, indispensable to anybody seriously interested in the music and it is good to have them all collected together in one box set of four CDs." (Derek Ansell) ****

BILL BARRON: QUINTET AND SEXTET (Fresh Sound)
"Less well known than his brother Kenny, Bill Barron was an adventurous and original tenor man in the 1950s and 60s who continued to make recordings and tour until his death in the late 1980s. This double CD collects all of the material from his three leader LPs for Savoy including two tracks never previously released." (Derek Ansell) ****

RAY CHARLES: COMPLETE ATLANTIC RECORDINGS 1952-59 (Atlantic R2 74731)
"Charles's music is an indispensible parallel to the jazz of its time and he was as gifted in the blues as he was at ballads. Having it all together on seven CDs like this makes one realize just how huge and without flaw his output was. Atlantic have always been good at the blues and jazz, and their current series of boxes is most attractive." (Steve Voce) ****

DUKE ELLINGTON: THE TREASURY SHOWS VOLUME 16/MY PEOPLE (Storyville)
"The awarding of five stars to these releases doesn't mean they include the best of Ellington but signifies a tribute to the dedication and commitment of Storyville who continue, almost 40 years after his death, to add to the wealth of Ellington's legacy publicly available." (Graham Colombé) *****

FLY: YEAR OF THE SNAKE (ECM)
"Mark Turner is particularly impressive in the higher register of the tenor sax, producing clarity of sound rather like that of Paul Desmond on alto. It's a tone perfectly suited to the probing, exploratory nature of many of the themes performed here . . . but it's hard to see where Fly can take this next time around." (John Adcock) ***

DANIEL HERSKEDAL & MARIUS NESET: NECK OF THE WOODS (Edition)
"The bold contemporary hues of Neset's breakthrough album Golden Xplosion drew almost universal acclaim, marking the saxophonist's card as one of the decade's key emerging voices. Although every bit as satisfying as that extraordinarily creative fulmination, Neck Of The Woods could hardly be more different and may come as a surprise to some listeners." (Fred Grand) ****

HENDRIK MEURKENS/GABRIEL ESPINOSA: CELEBRANDO (Zoho)

"In a blindfold test most people familiar with the sound of Toots Thielemans would surely think he's the one who's playing the harmonica here. Meurkens switched from vibes to harmonica after hearing Toots and is now a comparable virtuoso on that instrument." (Graham Colombé) ****

SOPHIE MILMAN:
IN THE MOONLIGHT (Entertainment One)
"You'd be forgiven for expecting bubblegum pop from the rather sparkly cover, but this in fact belies the singer's surprisingly warm and full tone. Nonetheless, it would be stretching an already stretched definition to call it jazz; 'lite jazz' would perhaps be more fitting. Tracks such as Moonlight in particular are more in the pop vein." (Sally Evans-Darby) ****

MEL POWELL: FOUR CLASSIC ALBUMS PLUS (Avid)
"Blue-chip mainstream from the early 50s, plus four tracks from 1947. Mel Powell was one of the best swing pianists, impeccable, elegant and never struck a wrong note. I was thrilled to see him at the Stage Door Canteen in 1944 but he 'left' jazz in the 50s for three decades during which his love for classical music seriously took over." (Alan Luff) ****

DANIEL SMITH: BLUE BASSOON (Summit)

"The elephant in the room here is whether the bassoon is 'really' a jazz instrument. Committed as I am to the notion that jazz is a verb and not a noun, and therefore playable on anything from an ocarina to a church organ, the real question is: how good is Daniel Smith? In short, he's a formidable technician, swings as hard as eight-and-a-third feet of wooden tubing allows, and consistently tests himself with challenging bop and modernist repertoire." (Brian Morton) ***

RYAN TRUESDELL: CENTENNIAL (artistShare)
"If today's solo players are usually not as good as they were in our day, then contemporary researchers and academics are vastly better! People like Truesdell and, for example, Randy Sandke, deserve all our admiration. This is a unique, tasteful and entirely successful re-creation of Gil's works and I can describe them here with the words Truesdell uses for Gil – bold, with feather-light execution." (Steve Voce) ****

WEATHER REPORT: THE COLUMBIA ALBUMS 1971-75 (Columbia Legacy)
"Seven CDs is a lot. The first few sound wonderful, as remembered, but as they go on the others become clogged with extra electronic ironmongery and harpy voices and things dwindle down a little. It all becomes a bit wearing. That sounds to be a generalisation, and in truth I don't mean to insult Zawinul and Shorter, for both of whom I have the greatest respect." (Steve Voce) ***

CASSANDRA WILSON: ANOTHER COUNTRY (Membran)
"Another Country might lack some of the heart-stopping moments of Wilson's previous sets – and it was not wise to include one, let alone two, versions of the clichéd O Sole Mio – but still, this is a charming, back-to-basics set with its heart in the right place." (Simon Adams) ***

If you want to offer material for review please email the editor

 


post a comment