CD Reviews

JUST SING…

By a happy and well-timed coincidence, the JHO mailbox has been filled with new discs by outstanding vocalists, all of whom have been previously featured on the site. With our 10th anniversary coming up this July, here are Thomas Cunniffe’s reviews of new CDs by Roseanna Vitro, Jane Monheit, Gretchen Parlato, Alyssa Allgood and Veronica Swift.

More

JAZZ IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 (May 2021)

In what we hope will be the final installment of this series, Thomas Cunniffe reviews 5 new discs released during the pandemic. Included are Franco Ambrosetti’s “Lost Within You”, Jane Ira Bloom & Mark Helias’ “Some Kind of Tomorrow”, Noah Haidu’s “Slowly: Song for Keith Jarrett”, Jon-Erik Kellso’s “Sweet Fruits, Salty Roots” and Chris Pattishall’s “Zodiac”.

More

JAZZ IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 (December 2020)

In a continuing series, Jazz History Online devotes its CD Review section to discs issued during the pandemic. Thomas Cunniffe reviews 6 discs this time, including Dave Douglas’ “Overcome”, Fred Hersch’s “Songs from Home”, Carla Marciano’s “Psychosis”, The Royal Bopsters’ “Party of Four”, Matt Wilson’s “Hug!” and Martin Wind’s “White Noise”.

More

JAZZ IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 (September 2020)

In a continuing series, Jazz History Online devotes its CD Review section to discs issued during the pandemic. Thomas Cunniffe reviews 8 discs this time, including “Artemis”, Dena DeRose’s “Ode to the Road”, Dave Douglas’ “Dizzy Atmosphere”, Sarah Elgeti’s “Dawn Comes Quietly”, Brian Landrus’ “For Now”, Allegra Levy’s “Lose My Number”, Maria Schneider’s “Data Lords” & Kenny Washington’s “What’s the Hurry”.

More

JAZZ IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 (May 2020)

The COVID-19 has shut down the world’s economy in short order. For many jazz artists, recorded music is their only source of income. The albums reviewed here are all current releases; most of them were released during the period of nationwide lockdown. These reviews by Thomas Cunniffe will be a continuing feature on Jazz History Online as long as the crisis continues. The current set was adapted from what was to be a standard collection of vocal and piano reviews; the reviews in future issues will encompass all types of instrumental and vocal jazz. JHO has always encouraged its readers to support the musicians by purchasing their CDs. The message could not be more urgent now. If you can afford to help, please do.

More

THE FRENCH CONNECTION

Since the early 1900s, French classical composers and jazz musicians have influenced and inspired one another. Two new recordings examine this unique cross-relationship. “Impressions of Debussy” offers straight performances of Debussy’s Preludes by pianist Lori Sims, followed by jazz interpretations by soprano saxophonist Andrew Rathbun and pianist Jeremy Siskind. “The Melodic Line”, the sophomore release by Reverso–co-led by trombonist Ryan Keberle and pianist Frank Woeste–presents new works inspired by the composers of the French collective Les Six. Thomas Cunniffe reviews both albums in this special CD Review.

More

NEW RECORDINGS FROM VAIL JAZZ PARTY SOLOISTS

Every time Thomas Cunniffe returns home from the Vail Jazz Party, his luggage includes several new CDs featuring the festival artists. This year, it took a little while to gather CDs because some sold out quickly at the party, and other discs will still awaiting release. Here are capsule reviews of newly released albums featuring these superb musicians, many of whom are scheduled to return to Vail this summer.

More

HIS VOICE

The four male vocalists featured in this month’s Vocal CD Reviews have spiced up their new discs with unusual repertoire and unique arrangements. Thomas Cunniffe discusses the newly released music by John Allee, Benny Benack III, Paul Jost and Jay Leonhart.

More

HER VOICE

With an increased presence in today’s jazz scene, more and more female musicians are asserting themselves with projects focusing on personal heroes, historical milestones and contemporary politics. In this CD review, Thomas Cunniffe explores powerful albums by Nancy Harms, Karrin Allyson and Virginia Schenck.

More

THE PROPER COMBINATION

In discovering a unique repertoire, jazz musicians (both instrumentalists and vocalists) must search to find their own proper combination of standard and original material. If the two are not balanced, a musician can be unfairly labeled as either a cover artist or too esoteric. In this month’s Vocal CD Reviews, Thomas Cunniffe examines four self-released discs by artists who are searching for that elusive formula.

More