Thomas Cunniffe

Tenors of our Time

Each of the three tenor saxophonists featured in this month’s instrumental CD reviews have found ways to redefine classic jazz traditions. Geof Bradfield develops the music of folk singers Leadbelly and Blind Willie Johnson, while Jon Irabagon challenges our concept of straight-ahead jazz, and Kirsten Edkins delves into Blue Note and cool grooves with a unique concept of rhythm. Thomas Cunniffe gives his opinions of these three discs.


Classic Brunswick & Columbia Teddy Wilson Sessions (Mosaic 265)

Teddy Wilson was one of the most prolific jazz musicians of the 1930s, recording with Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and many others. No single CD box set could ever cover all of Wilson’s recordings from this period, and Mosaic’s new collection contains some–but not all–of Wilson’s best sides as a leader, including all of his solo tracks, several combo sessions and all of his big band tracks. Thomas Cunniffe reviews the contents of the set in this month’s Retro Review.


Teaching By Example

For this month’s vocal CD reviews, Thomas Cunniffe examines the recordings of several singers who balance teaching and performing. The music of Janice Borla, Rebecca DuMaine, and the group Vertical Voices covers an impressive range of styles, and through their exceptional performances, they prove that they can practice what they teach.