It may seem as if jazz recordings have slowed to a flurry, but it's more like a blizzard, with dozens already coming down in the new year. Hear highlights from a few albums worth shoveling out, by Archie Shepp, Edward Simon, James Brandon Lewis and more.
From time to time, we hear a recording or concert which merits comment and deserves to be passed along. Here are our recommendations and reviews of new releases and goings-on in jazz today, with as many opportunities for preview listening as we can provide.
The annual jazz competition for young musicians, which featured saxophonists in 2013, was a bit predictable — at least in the semifinal round. But given the particular displays of talent on stage, is that necessarily a bad thing?
From church services to arguments at the table, the jazz musician finds himself drawn to the music of the everyday. His debut album, Live Today, is anchored in jazz grooves and layered with influences from hip-hop to gospel.
This summer has seen plenty of worthwhile jazz, including a pianist who's been around since the '50s, a Caribbean jazzman, a band of deliberate melody, and a cover from The Jungle Book. Sample recordings from Harold Mabern, Etienne Charles, the band Black Host and Lauren Desberg.
The blend of flute and vibraphone or marimba brings a transparent, sparkling quality — light and listenable, but permitting depth and mystery. On new albums, Nicole Mitchell and Anna Webber harness this energy, which has a surprisingly rich history
Veteran jazz masters "Killer" Ray Appleton and Barry Altschul have issued fine new albums this year. Both in their early 70s, it's clear they draw from extensive experience. So how might that translate to making music that's fun to listen to?
It's a festival with everything between international headliners and relative unknowns, intricately-plotted compositions and completely free improvisation, high-concept one-offs and bands shaped over decades. See photos from the nine-year-old marathon of new bands and repertoires in New York.
The new year's major releases so far feature a few living legends and a lot of drummers in charge. Here's a preview of some records which will be talked about by jazz aficionados, including new efforts from Chris Potter, Darcy James Argue and Wayne Shorter.
WBGOA lot can happen in six years. For one young New York-based jazz trumpeter, losses in the family and gains in musical maturity were enough to inspire a new album, End of an Era. He and his band visited WBGO's studios for this in-studio recording.
WBGOGary Walker, music director of WBGO in Newark, highlights the pianist's take on a Miles Davis classic.