CD Reviews

NEW HOMETOWNS, FAMOUS HEROES

The tribute albums featured in this issue’s CD Reviews were created by artists living far away from the cultural centers of New York and Los Angeles. Jackie Allen and Hans Sturm salute musicians born in the Cornhusker State in “The Nebraska Project”, Anat Cohen and Marcello Goncalves explore the MPB songbook on “Reconvexo”, Cyrille Aimee, Adonis Rose and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra join forces to examine the cultural connections between New Orleans and France, and David Sanford’s big band pays homage to Dizzy Gillespie and Lester Bowie on “Prayer for Lester Bowie”. Thomas Cunniffe offers his reactions to these superb albums.

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NEW CONCEPTS

The concept album has been around since 1939, but the artists featured in this month’s vocal CD reviews have adapted the concept to fit their own needs. Thomas Cunniffe reviews albums by Patricia Barber, Stacey Kent, Kate McGarry and Roseanna Vitro.

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OF PIANOS AND TENORS

This month’s instrumental jazz reviews focus on the two most popular instruments in jazz. Eliane Elias plays duets with Chick Corea and Chucho Valdés on “Mirror Mirror”; Joel Frahm interacts with his trio on “The Bright Side”; Renee Rosnes and Chris Potter are reunited on “Kinds of Love” and Helen Sung pays tribute to great female jazz composers on “Quartet Plus”. Thomas Cunniffe discusses these four outstanding albums.

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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.

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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”.

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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”.

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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”.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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