Top Ten: August 2015

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

11DIEHL2-master315Aaron Diehl, Space Time Continuum (Mack Avenue)

Amir ElSaffar, Crisis (Pi)

Wayne Horvitz, Some Places are Forever Afternoon: 11 Places for Richard Hugo (Songlines)

Ingrid Laubrock Anti-House, Roulette of the Cradle (Intakt)

James Brandon Lewis, Days of Freeman (OKeh)

Jeremy Siskind, Housewarming (BJU)

Lucas Pino, No Net Nonet (Origin)

Troy Roberts, Secret Rhymes (Inner Circle)

Marta Sánchez Quintet, Partenika (Fresh Sound New Talent)

Donald Vega, With Respect to Monty (Resonance)

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Top Ten: July 2015

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

600x533xcover_wo_border-e1428805281293.jpg.pagespeed.ic.Jz53Jxf-kMChris Dingman, The Subliminal and the Sublime (Inner Arts)

Double-Basse, This Is Not Art (Clean Feed)

Dave Douglas, High Risk (Greenleaf)

Robert Glasper, Covered (Blue Note)

Devin Gray, RelativE ResonancE (Skirl)

Brian Landrus, The Deep Below (Palmetto)

Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble, Circulation: The Music of Gary McFarland (Planet Arts)

Henry Threadgill & Zooid, In for a Penny, In for a Pound (Pi)

Michael Valeanu, Hard to Cook (ind.)

Walt Weiskopf, Open Road (Posi-Tone)

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Top Ten: June 2015

Monday, June 1st, 2015

61249bsRE6L._SY355_JD Allen, Graffiti (Savant)

The Bad Plus Joshua Redman (Nonesuch)

David Berkman, Old Friends and New Friends (Palmetto)

Andrew Bishop, De Profundis (Envoi)

Hayden Chisholm, Breve (Pirouet)

Kris Davis Infrasound, Save Your Breath (Clean Feed)

Mark Guiliana Jazz Quartet, Family First (Beat Music)

Makaya McCraven, In the Moment (International Anthem)

Billy Mintz, The 2 Bass Band… Live (Thirteenth Note)

Maria Schneider Orchestra, The Thompson Fields (ArtistShare)

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Top Ten: May 2015

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

81L7MhMX4xL._SY355_Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, You’ve Been Watching Me (ECM)

Anat Cohen, Luminosa (Anzic)

Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance, Synovial Joints (Pi)

Erik Friedlander, Illuminations: A Suite for Solo Cello (Skipstone)

Pedro Giraudo Big Band, Cuentos (Zoho)

Ghost Train Orchestra, Hot Town (Accurate)

Marty Grosz Meets the Fat Babies, Diga Diga Doo: Hot Music from Chicago (Delmark)

Ross Hammond, Flight (Prescott)

Mario Pavone, Blue Dialect (Clean Feed)

Matthew Stevens, Woodwork (Whirlwind)

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Top Ten: April 2015

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

51LPItNr-JL._SS280Jovan Alexandre, Collective Consciousness (Xippi)

Stephan Crump & Mary Halvorson (Secret Keeper), Emerge (Intakt)

Harris Eisenstadt, Golden State II (Songlines)

James Falzone’s Renga Ensemble, The Room Is (Allos)

Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas, Sound Prints (Blue Note)

Myra Melford, Snowy Egret (Enja)

PRISM Quartet, Heritage/Evolution (Innova)

Reggie Quinerly, Invictus (Redefinition)

Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project, Lines of Color: Live at Jazz Standard
(Blue Note/ArtistShare)

Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain, Live in New York: The Vanguard Sessions
(Random Act)

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Top Ten: March 2015

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

AC1Aidan Carroll, Original Vision (Truth Revolution/Lyte)

Jack DeJohnette, Made in Chicago (ECM)

Duchess (Anzic)

Jozef Dumoulin & The Red Hill Orchestra, Trust (Yolk)

Fresh Cut Orchestra, From the Vine (ind.)

Marshall Gilkes & WDR Big Band, Köln (Alternate Side)

Albert “Tootie” Heath/Ethan Iverson/Ben Street, Philadelphia Beat (Sunnyside)

Julian Lage, World’s Fair (Modern Lore)

Alex Norris Organ Quartet, Extension Deadline (BJU)

Glenn Zaleski, My Ideal (Sunnyside)

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Top Ten: February 2015

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

61VLRlwgKzL._SY355_Rez Abbasi Acoustic Quartet, Intents and Purposes (Enja)

Lotte Anker, What River Is This (ILK)

Andy Brown, Soloist (Delmark)

Ben Goldberg, Orphic Machine (BAG Productions)

Allan Harris, Black Bar Jukebox (Love Productions)

Vijay Iyer Trio, Break Stuff (ECM)

Rudresh Mahanthappa, Bird Calls (ACT)

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra, Imaginary Cities (ECM)

Joe Sample & NDR Big Band, Children of the Sun (PRA)

Omar Sosa’s Quarteto AfroCubano, Ilé (Otá)

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Top Ten: January 2015

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

intentions_coverAddison Frei, Intentions (Armored)

Art Hirahara, Libations & Meditations (Posi-Tone)

Wayne Horvitz & The Royal Room Collective Music Ensemble, At the Reception (Songlines)

Justin Kauflin, Dedication (Jazz Village)

Tony Malaby’s Tubacello, Scorpion Eater (Clean Feed)

Jack Mouse & Scott Robinson, Snakeheads & Ladybugs (Tall Grass)

Sam Newsome, The Straight Horn of Africa: A Path to Liberation (ind.)

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra, Imaginary Cities (ECM)

Nathan Parker Smith Large Ensemble, Not Dark Yet (BJU)

Jeremy Pelt, Tales, Musings and Other Reveries (HighNote)

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Top Ten: December 2014

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

0003691280_10Michael Blake, Tiddy Boom (Sunnyside)

Jimmy Greene, A Beautiful Life (Mack Avenue)

Louis Hayes, Return of the Jazz Communicators (Smoke Sessions)

Owen Howard, Drum Lore Vol. 2: More Lore (BJU)

Dave Liebman’s Expansions, Samsara (Whaling City)

David Ryshpan, Alicuanta (ind.)

Dayna Stephens, Peace (Sunnyside)

Lennie Tristano, Chicago April 1951 (Uptown)

Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Over Time: Music of Bob Brookmeyer (Planet Arts)

David Weiss, When Words Fail (Motéma)

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On Bobby Avey

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

This review appears in the November 2014 issue of The New York City Jazz Record.

Authority-Melts-from-Me-coverBobby Avey
Authority Melts From Me (Whirlwind)

By David R. Adler

Inspired by a visit to Haiti in 2012, pianist Bobby Avey sought to develop his own musical response to the voudou drumming ensembles he studied. The result is Authority Melts From Me, featuring alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón and guitarist Ben Monder as well as Avey’s longtime trio mates Thomson Kneeland (bass) and Jordan Perlson (drums).

There are three extended movements and two briefer interludes in this nearly hour-long suite, a musical mountain confidently scaled by these ambitious and well-matched players. The music breathes, churns tumultuously, slogs through mud, digs its way out into soaring melodic releases. “Kalfou” moves from highly configured staccato passages to expanses with Monder in a wailing fuzztone mode. Zenón solos assertively but fulfills many functions, doubling bass or piano figures or picking up counterlines as the tracks unfold.

Between Avey and Monder, there are layers on layers of impenetrable harmony in this music, as well as textural reach and an intriguing give-and-take of acoustic and electric sounds. Monder’s hovering, scratchy, sculpted, machine-like swells during “Louverture” give an uncanny shape and feel to the latter part of that nearly 18-minute piece. On the closing “Cost,” by contrast, Monder’s acoustic guitar gives a sense of solid ground, a tactile foundation, under all the harmonic and rhythmic flux.

In his liner notes Avey makes an impassioned case for righting injustices toward the Haitian people. He notes the harmful role of much U.S. policy toward Haiti, citing the CIA-backed ouster of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 1990 though not mentioning the U.S. military action that reinstated Aristide in 1994. In any case, Avey’s opinions are strong and worth knowing more about, as they shed light on the knowledge and commitment that lays behind this exceptional album.

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