For the past 18 years, Howard and Cathy Stone have hosted a world-class jazz party in Vail, Colorado. The party attracts loyal groups of musicians and fans who share a love for great music. Thomas Cunniffe reviews this year’s festivities, which included Cyrille Aimée, Terell Stafford, Wycliffe Gordon, the Jeff Hamilton trio, Houston Person, James Carter, Niki Haris and the Clayton Brothers.
On the surface, the Vail Jazz Party doesn’t change much from year to year. But the continuing programs like the multi-media tributes and the Gospel Prayer Meetin’ have evolved over time, and each party includes fresh concepts, such as this year’s piano duets set. Thomas Cunniffe, who has attended several Vail jazz parties, offers his impressions of the 20th anniversary edition in this month’s Concert Review.
Years ago, jazz musicians would typically release two or three albums a year, but with the current state of the recording industry, new CDs appear much less regularly. The three instrumental albums reviewed this month by Thomas Cunniffe are by artists who have not released albums as leaders or with their usual groups in several years. However, these recordings by Pat Bianchi, Maria Schneider and Terell Stafford were worth the wait.
There are probably more women instrumentalists on the current jazz scene than at any other time in the music’s history. Thomas Cunniffe and Amy Duncan offer capsule reviews of new CDs led by Sarah Elgeti, Jessica Jones, Virginia Mayhew, Roberta Piket and Anne Sajdera.
The spirit of adventure is omnipresent in the latest albums by vocalists Clare Wheeler, Kaylé Brecher, Sara Serpa, Jay Clayton and Andrea Wolper. Thomas Cunniffe explores the fascinating and unpredictable music of these five talented musicians in this month’s feature CD review.
This month’s vocal jazz reviews include an intimate solo recording by Andy Bey, a tribute to veteran composer Harry Warren by Jay Clayton and a vocal showcase for trombonist Pete McGuinness. Thomas Cunniffe offers capsule reviews of these three fine recordings.
This month’s vocal jazz reviews cover a wide range of styles and material. Thomas Cunniffe reviews an elegant collection of standards by Tine Bruhn, an adventurous debut from Molly Holm, a suite of music from Black Orpheus featuring Gretchen Parlato and Leny Andrade, and a humorous tribute to hipsters by Ben Sidran.
While many singers are very comfortable singing in front of an orchestra or big band, there’s something special about working with a small group.The five CDs reviewed this month feature vocalists performing in intimate duos, trios and quartets. Thomas Cunniffe discusses these albums by Karrin Allyson, Laurie Antonioli, Sinne Eeg, Elisabeth Lohninger and the New West Guitar Group (featuring Gretchen Parlato, Sara Gazarek, Peter Eldridge, Becca Stevens and Tierney Sutton)
The title of this review is not a reflection on the musical quality of the latest albums by Patricia Barber, Mostly Other People Do The Killing and Wayne Shorter; rather, it speaks of the uncompromising attitude that all of these artists share. Thomas Cunniffe offers his reactions in this feature review.
Many current jazz albums are either collaborations or tributes, but the four vocal CDs reviewed this month fall into both categories. Judy Niemack and Dan Tepfer’s duet disc, Listening to You salutes Lee Konitz, while a bevy of top-name singers take part in The Passion of Charlie Parker. The New York band Swingadelic offers a sampler of Johnny Mercer songs, and Mark Winkler remembers his late husband on The Company I Keep. Thomas Cunniffe offers his thoughts on these recordings.
In a recording career that spanned 22 years, Tubby Hayes played on nearly 400 different sessions, including broadcast, film and studio appearances. The only job more Herculean than playing all of those sessions is cataloging them. Thomas Cunniffe reviews 100% Proof: The Complete Tubby Hayes Discography, compiled by two of Hayes’ most ardent researchers, Simon Spillett and C. Tom Davis.