CD Reviews

CD Review Roundup

This month’s new CDs include a solo set by Dena DeRose, a live quintet recording by Lewis Nash, an exploration of jazz and Brazilian music by Monday Michiru, an album of originals by the Uptown Vocal Jazz Quartet, a wide-open collection by the Hot Club of Detroit and a tribute to Duke Ellington and his saxophonists by an all-star band led by Mark Masters of the American Jazz Institute. Thomas Cunniffe and Amy Duncan provide the details.

More

Bright Vocal Talents

Our vocal CD reviews showcase three remarkable young singers who have mastered the jazz language and could either carry old traditions into the next generation or blaze innovative trails. Thomas Cunniffe discusses impressive new releases by Cyrile Aimée, Gregory Porter and Nicky Schrire.

More

Big Bands Of Our Time

Perhaps the best answer to the age-old question is that big bands never truly went away. Since their first appearance in the 1920s, big bands have been a constant presence on the jazz scene. In this month’s instrumental CD reviews, Thomas Cunniffe examines discs of established jazz orchestras led by Christine Jensen, Pete McGuinness and David White.

More

Art of the Duet

Ever since King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton combined forces on a recording of “King Porter Stomp”, jazz musicians have played some of their most intimate performances in the duet format. The past few months have brought several new CDs in this venerable format. Thomas Cunniffe offers capsule reviews of the best new duet releases, including discs by Christian McBride, Ran Blake, Jane Bunnett, Eddie Daniels and Bill Kirchner.

More

Antonio Adolfo: “Chora Baião” (AAM 703)

Antonio Adolfo is not very well-known outside of Brazil—yet! His new CD, Chora Baião is a tribute to two well-known Brazilian composers, Guinga and Chico Buarque, and our Latin jazz expert Janine Santana feels that this album may be the one to bring Adolfo greater recognition.

More

Catching Up 1

Here at the JHO offices, we have an abundance of CDs waiting for review. For the next two months, we are trying to get as many discs reviewed as possible–not only to relieve the overflowing pile of discs, but to qualify them for next month’s 2016 Summation. Thomas Cunniffe offers reviews of (fairly) recent discs by Richie Cole, Brandi Disterheft, Monika Herzig and Catherine Russell.

More

The Delicate Balance

Jazz musicians pride themselves about being ahead of most audiences, but they must offer some sort of gateway to their music if they expect listeners to follow them on their musical journeys. In this month’s vocal CD reviews, Thomas Cunniffe explores new recordings by Kendra Shank and Sara Serpa that successfully strike the delicate balance between accessibility and progressiveness.

More

Better With A Band

Jazz began as an ensemble music, and even after soloists took the spotlight, ensembles have played a major role in the music’s development. This month, Thomas Cunniffe explores how modern ensembles like the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, The Cookers and Coalition work together as bands in their latest recordings.

More