Reggie Quinerly – “Music Inspired By Freedmantown”

December 19, 2012



Reggie Quinerly - "Freedmantown"Tying music into a location can be a tricky thing.  Towns mean many things to many people.  A person’s view of a city often looks very different from what those around him see.  And then there’s the difficulty of translating that view into a work of art.  A lot can go wrong.

On Music Inspired by Freedmantown, drummer Reggie Quinerly draws his inspiration from Freedmantown, an area of Houston, Texas that once boasted the largest percentage of African-American homeowners immediately following the Emancipation Proclamation.  Later referred to as the Fourth Ward, this was also where Quinerly spent his childhood years.

We know this, because on fifth track, titled “Interlude,” he tells us.  And this is where it all could’ve fallen apart.  On “Interlude,” Quinerly speaks to the listener.  Backed by a church organ, Quinerly gives a short history of Freedmantown, then explains what the town means to him personally.  To risk a break in the flow of the album by directly addressing the listener, it’s such a bad idea.  Well, except those rare times when it actually works.  And the reason it works is something Quinerly points out in the interlude, stating that his intention wasn’t “to try to recreate the music of this particular place, but what I did want to capture was a certain soulfulness… of music and the people… and the love.”

On Music Inspired By Freedmantown, Quinerly does exactly that.

By simply attempting to present an impression of Freedmantown through his personal lens, Quinerly avoids the pitfall of turning the album into a history lecture and makes it, instead, an artistic expression of creativity, leaving plenty of room for each listener’s imagination to leapfrog off the facts in whichever direction they choose.  In a very subtle, very deft way, Quinerly inspires daydreams of a town that most listeners will never see in their lives.

That’s pretty cool.

Let’s talk about that music…

Your album personnel: Reggie Quinerly (drums, percussion), Tim Warfield (tenor sax), Mike Moreno (guitar), Gerald Clayton (piano), Vicente Archer (bass, electric bass), Antoine Drye (trumpet), Matt Parker (tenor saxophone), Corey King (trombone), and guests: Sarah Elizabeth Charles (vocals), and Enoch Smith Jr. (vocals, piano, organ, and some arranging).

Most tracks open with gusto and then proceed to swing.  Album-opener “#13 A Corner View from Robin Street” gets things started with a rollicking mood almost celebratory.  And eighth track “The Virginia Gentleman” is a hopping up-tempo piece with choppy emphases and interludes of delicate swaying.  But these are just two examples of an album that is typically gonna keep everyone’s feet moving.

Second track “Live From the Last Row” is a bit more inquisitive, a moody bossa hybrid, though Quinerly’s exuberance on drums never lets any gloom settle in.  Moreno’s guitar refracts notes with alarming delicacy and precision.  It’s a sound that worked well on the modern nu-jazz of Brian Patneaude’s Riverview, and it’s cool to see that Moreno can bring that same sound to Quinerly’s old-school jazz album and have a similar positive effect.  The same can be said about the swinging heat Moreno brings to fourth track “Fenster.”

The title-track is probably my favorite.  A soulful groove light on its feet, Enoch Smith’s barely audible vocals riding it like a cresting wave, and trumpet and sax nudging the tune forward.  Even the congregation of voices that pop up from time to time, as if the recording studio was located in a neighborhood church, enhance the tune’s warmth and accessibility.  One of those songs that makes it so damn easy to like.

Seventh track “A Portrait of a Southern Frame” comes in a close second for favorite album tune.  A somber, moving piece, Drye’s trumpet takes it nice and slow, and couldn’t possibly achieve a lovelier tone to express sadness.  The bridge has a wonderful moment of Clayton’s piano taking deliberate steps and contrasting against Quinerly’s frenetic drumming.  This leads back to Drye restating the melody, slow and somber to end the tune.  Just wonderful.

“#2 Xylent Letters” is another standout track.  A tune with brooding undertones, Warfield’s sax brings a surging element that Clayton’s piano cuts sharp cross-sections out from.  And all of this happens with Moreno’s guitar dancing in and out of punching range on guitar.  The appealing quality here is that Quinnerly sounds to have juxtaposed a meandering post-bop section atop a classic hard-bop tune.

“Victoria” is the other album track with vocals.  Sarah Elizabeth Charles sings a blues, accompanied by elegant piano work.  Quinerly sits this one out, and the vacuum this presents allows Charles’s voice the room to stretch out a bit and add some emotional punch that might’ve been sacrificed for the sake of percussion.

The album ends with the only two non-original compositions:  “I’m Old-Fashioned,” which features a nice solo on drums, and “Sentimental Journey,” which Quinerly admits to choosing because it’s a favorite of his mother’s.  While not falling out of line with the album that proceeded it, these two songs also don’t add anything significant.  The only real weak spot on the album (if solid jazz can actually be construed as a ‘weakness.’).  It would’ve been better had Quinerly cut these two tracks out and either ended with the powerful “Victoria” or added one additional original composition as the album closer.  This, however, comes down to nitpicking over what was, ultimately, an excellent recording.

I first gave this album a spin back in August, and now five months later, Music Inspired by Freedmantown is becoming an increasingly necessary part of my music routine.  It deserves far more attention that it appears to have received, especially considering this is Quinerly’s debut.  An auspicious recording debut, to be sure.

Released on Quinerly’s Redefinition Music label.

Originally from Houston, TX, Quinerly is part of the NYC jazz scene.

Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist.

Available at Amazon: CD | MP3

Tiny Reviews: Laurent Coq/Miguel Zenon, Michael Pedecin, Sean Noonan, Szilard Mezei, & Fischermanns Orchestra

November 8, 2012

Tiny Reviews, featuring:  Laurent Coq & Miguel Zenon Rayuela, Michael Pedicin Live at the Loft, Sean Noonan A Gambler’s Hand, Szilard Mezei Szabad Quintet Singing Elephant, and Fischermanns Orchestra Conducting Sessions.



Laurent Coq & Miguel Zenon – Rayuela

Based on the literary work Rayuela by Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar, Laurent Coq and Miguel Zenon have created a beautifully textured album.  Their approach to translating the novel into music ranges from thematic interpretations of the book’s subject matter to literal notations based on the letters composing story character names.  I’m always a sucker for clever premises like this, but this is an album so finely constructed that one could be oblivious to compositional schemes and inspirations, and not risk sacrificing the tiniest bit of enjoyment.

Your album personnel:  Laurent Coq (piano), Miguel Zenon (alto sax), Dana Leong (cello, trombone), and Dan Weiss (drums, tablas, percussion).

This is one of those albums that sounds so much bigger than the personnel credits would make one assume.  The richness of sounds gives the illusory impression of an outfit larger than a quartet.  Sweeping melodies, cloudbursts of rhythms, a flair from the dramatic, and a cohesiveness like woven silk.

While Coq’s piano and Zenon’s sax are the driving forces behind this recording, enough can’t be said about the integral contribution of Leong and Weiss.  Leong’s sections on cello (like on “La Maga”) elevate the song to a new plateau, and Weiss’s use of tabla (like on album opener “Talita”) bring a sonic tactility to the music that’s an indispensable element of the album’s rich texture.

Released on the Sunnyside Records label.

Available at eMusic.  Available at Amazon: CD | MP3


Michael Pedicin – Live at the Loft

Tenor sax vet Michael Pedicin has been making quality jazz under the radar for a little while now.  He’s back with another recording, bringing in a quintet for a live date that features only ballads.  Most he stays true to form on, though a few nice up-tempo surprises.  A special treat is his version of Coltrane’s “Africa,” which gets a nice bit of swing into it.

Your album personnel:  Michael Pedicin (tenor sax), Jim Ridl (piano), Johnnie Valentino (guitar), Andy Lalasis (bass), and Bob Shomo (drums).

Released on the Jazz Hut Records label.

Available at eMusic.


Sean Noonan – A Gambler’s Hand

Drummer Sean Noonan’s music takes a storytelling approach.  Noonan likes building a narrative for his music.  Definitely the case here, a suite of compositions for drums and string quartet.  Very much a Third Stream recording, mixing in classical and jazz… heavier on the former in this instance.  Really one of those albums that moves beyond the concept of genre.  Some breathtaking moments on strings, like the “I Feel the Clouds,” but also plenty of bluster and drama to keep the heart racing.  Something different, for sure.

Your album personnel:  Sean Noonan (drum set, percussion), Tom Swafford (violin), Patti Kilroy (violin), Leanne Darling (viola), and David West (cello).

Released on the Songlines Records label.

Available at eMusic.


Szilard Mezei Szabad Quintet – Singing Elephant

Violist and composer Szilard Mezei continues to find the balancing act between compositional form and improvisational approach.  This time he leads a quintet in a set of modern avant-garde music.  Sometimes the tunes have a pleasant drift, other times they announce themselves with audacity.  Fans of Harris Eisenstadt’s work might want to spend some time here.  Second mention of Mezei on the site; the other time for his vocal ensemble.

Your album personnel:  Szilard Mezei (viola), Hunor G. Szabo (drums), Peter Bede (tenor sax), Adam Meggyes (trumpet, cornet), and Erno Hock (double bass).

Released on the NotTwo Records label.

Available at eMusic.


Fischermanns Orchestra – Conducting Sessions

The Fischermanns Orchestra is a big band that’s way more avant-garde than anything your parents used to dance to in the ballrooms.  Squaks and skronks aplenty throughout the compositions, though even with the dissonant noises, there are times when forms become apparent.  Neat album, definitely not your everyday thing.

Your album personnel:  Samuel Blätter (synth, trumpet, conductor), Bodo Maier (trumpet), Daniela Künzli (alto sax), Lino Blöchlinger (alto sax, sopranino sax, electronics), Nathanael Bosshard (tenor sax), Philipp Z’Rotz (bass clarinet, clarinet, conductor), Simon Petermann (trombone), Juan Sebastian Rozo (euphonium), Ivan Estermann (tuba), Jan Trösch (guitar, conductor), Martina Berther (electric bass), Philippe Zeltner (percussion), Emanuel Künzi (percussion), Reto Eisenring (snare drum), and Thomas Reist (bass drum).

Released on the Unit Records label.

Available at eMusic.



The Zenon/Coq review is original to Bird is the Worm, but portions of the other reviews were originally used in my Jazz Picks weekly article for eMusic, so here’s some language protecting their rights to that reprinted material as the one to hire me to write about new jazz arrivals to their site…

New Arrivals Jazz Picks,“ reprints courtesy of, Inc.
© 2012, Inc.

As always, my sincere thanks to eMusic for the gig.  Cheers.

Tiny Reviews: The Cookers, Sing Sing Penelope, Passarim & Caito Marcondes, Troyka, & Benjamin Schaefer Trio

October 4, 2012

Tiny Reviews, featuring:  The Cookers Believe, Sing Sing Penelope This Is the Music Vol. 1, Benjamin Schaefer Trio Leaves Like Snow, Passarim & Caito Marcondes Festanca, and Troyka Moxxy.



The Cookers – Believe

Pretty accurate to call this a jazz supergroup.  All the members of this ensemble have been a vital part of the jazz landscape for decades, and based on their collaborative album Believe, that ain’t gonna change anytime in the near future.

Their third album as the Cookers ensemble, and it has all the pure jazz buoyancy, swing, and musicianship that symbolize so much of what is great about Jazz.

Your album personnel:  Billy Harper (tenor sax), Eddie Henderson (trumpet), David Weiss (trumpet), Craig Handy (alto sax), George Cables (piano), Cecil McBee (bass), and Billy Hart (drums).

The album consists of compositions culled from the songbooks of the ensemble members (with the exception of Wayne Shorter’s “Free For All”), and signifies the ensemble’s attitude toward a group effort.  This a group that plays as one, doesn’t step on each others toes, no displays of greed for the spotlight.

Though the various members of the group made their marks on different points of the jazz timeline, this is music that should appeal to all of us who never can get enough of that joyful hard bop of the 60s.  A modern bop throwback to the sound of saxes and horns raised up to the skies, piano that slices across clouds like birds, bass that gurgles cheerfully like the streams below, and drums that tremble and scatter like fresh earth.

Released on the Motema Records label.

Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artists and label.

Available at eMusic.  Available at Amazon: CD | MP3


Other Albums of Note:


Sing Sing Penelope – This Is the Music Vol. 1

Avant-garde with some nice drone, post-rock, and world jazz flavors.  A heavy infusion of woodwinds and brass instruments, buffered by electronics and tabla.  Sing Sing Penelope is difficult to classify, easy to like.  Yet more evidence of the thriving jazz scene coming out of Poland.  Really a very cool album.

Your album personnel:  Wojciech Jachna (trumpet), Aleksander Kamiński (soprano sax), Tomasz Glazik (tenor sax, bass clarinet), Daniel Mackiewicz (rhodes, tabla, percussion), Patryk Węcławek (bass), and Rafał Gorzycki (drums)

You can stream an album song at the ensemble’s site.

The album is Self-Produced.  Available at eMusic.


Benjamin Schaefer Trio – Leaves Like Snow

Nice little piano session from this German trio.  No fireworks, just sure and steady.  Two feet in modern jazz piano trio sound, minus the electronics and effects.  Melodies that lead to introspection, rhythms a gentle patter and shuffle.  After a spin at expanding the trio into a septet, they’re back to a trio.

Your album personnel:  Benjamin Schaefer (piano), Robert Landfermann (double bass), and Marcus Rieck (drums).

Released on the Double Moon Records label.  Available at eMusic.


Passarim & Caito Marcondes – Festanca

Fascinating mix of percussion, trombone, and string quartet.  Latin, gypsy swing, world avant-garde and more.  Its difficulty to classify is counteracted by its listenability and all around joyfulness.  Great example of the ensemble’s whimsical experimentalism and accessibility is its rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”  Beautiful recording.

Your album personnel:  Caito Marcondes (percussion), Sebastien Semal (trombone), Michel Pieters (violin), Pierre Heneaux (violin), Laurence Genevois (viola), and Caroline Stevens (cello).

Released on the Home Records label.  Available at eMusic.


Troyka – Moxxy

Rock-jazz fusion album from a trio of solid UK jazz musicians.  Rocks more than it grooves, but does plenty of both.  Lots of tinkering with melodies, music as science experiment.  Could’ve just as easily been filed under post-rock.  Troyka provides plenty of music hear to keep the ear interested.  Cool version of song “Chaplin,” a Montague composition, which he also performs as part of the Threads Orchestra.

Your album personnel:  Chris Montague (guitars and loops), Kit Downes (organ) and Joshua Blackmore (drums).

Released on the Edition Records label.  Available at eMusic.



The Cookers review is original to Bird is the Worm.  However, a portions of the other reviews were originally used in my Jazz Picks weekly article for eMusic, so here’s some language protecting their rights to that reprinted material as the one to hire me to write about new jazz arrivals to their site…

New Arrivals Jazz Picks,“ and “New Arrivals Jazz Picks,” reprints courtesy of, Inc.
© 2012, Inc.

As always, my sincere thanks to eMusic for the gig.  Cheers.

Tiny Reviews: Alexander Hawkins, Wayne Escoffery, Marcus Lewis, & Odd Trio

June 1, 2012

Tiny Reviews, featuring:  Alexander Hawkins All There Ever Out, Wayne Escoffery The Only Son of One, Marcus Lewis Facing East, and Odd Trio Let’s Build a Myth Together.


Well, okay, I think this’ll be the start of a nice stretch of Tiny Reviews, which I desperately need to get caught up on.  I’ve got a new system/format, which I think will let me allocate my time out a bit more efficiently than before.  Originally, most of the Tiny Reviews were taken from my eMusic Jazz Picks, and altered only slightly (if at all) from what I originally wrote, plus, obviously, tons of linking, album covers, and embedded audio when available.  I’m getting to where I’m just using maybe a sentence of my original comments as a seed, then writing something entirely new… which is good, since I’ve had a month of extra listening time for many of these albums, which gives for an enhanced perspective.

Anyways, the next few posts will reflect what a strong couple of weeks it had been.  Let’s begin…


Alexander Hawkins Ensemble – All There, Ever Out

Pianist Alexander Hawkins is emerging as a strong voice in the jazz avant-garde world. Most intriguingly, as Hawkins’ sound has developed, it has become more accessible as it also grows more confident.  A lovely example of this is third track “Owl (Friendly),” a melodic piece of dissonance that follows two freer pieces, and which seems perfectly in place in the flow of the album.  Another great example is “Ahab,” which begins as a simmering buzz but explodes into a rollicking tavern song able to match the customers drink for drink.  Challenging, yes, but an album that seems willing and content to meet the listener halfway.

Your album personnel:  Alexander Hawkins (piano), Otto Fischer (electric guitar), Hannah Marshall (cello), Dominic Lash (double bass), Javier Carmona (drums, percussion) and Orphy Robinson (marimba).

Released on the Babel Label.  Jazz from the UK.

You can stream the entire album on Hawkins’ bandcamp page.

Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist and label.

Available on eMusic.


Wayne Escoffery – The Only Son of One

Interesting release by Wayne Escoffery, who doubles up on tenor and soprano sax.  Lots of emotion in these tunes, and more likely to engage the heart than the head.  Shimmery effects on many of the tunes that give them a fusion-like edge.  However, the ferocity from Escoffery’s saxes washes over it, leaving it just as it’s meant to be… a minor effect.  According to the Sunnyside site, Escoffery’s rough childhood was the inspiration for this album.  If this is true, then it goes a long way to explaining the weighty feel to this album.  There is a kind of axis of the innocence and cruelty of childhood thing going on here.  Complex and solid music.

Your album personnel:  Wayne Escoffery (tenor, soprano sax), Orrin Evans (Fender Rhodes, piano), Adam Holzman (keyboards), Hans Glawischnig, Ricky Rodrigues (bass), and Jason Brown (drums).

Released on the Sunnyside Records label.  Jazz from NYC.

You can stream the entire album on the Escoffery’s bandcamp page.

Available on eMusic.


Marcus Lewis – Facing East

Nice debut EP for the trombonist Marcus Lewis.  Among other collaborations, a former member of Janelle Monae’s ArchOrchestra.  Some recognizable names from the new gen jazz set in this octet.  Nothing groundbreaking, just a solid set of tunes that swing and burn.  Straight-ahead, dynamic, and cheerful.  A track like “Inner Swagger” is my kind of sit-back-and-enjoy kind of jazz.  Plus, you gotta appreciate it when a trombonist gets out front with some lyricism; there’s an inherent richness in a trombone that knows how to carry a conversation that’s tough not to like.

Your album personnel:  Marcus Lewis (trombone), Logan Richardson (alto sax), Adam Larson (tenor sax), Sam Harris (piano), Aidan Carroll (bass), Tommy Crane (drums), Pablo Masis (trumpet), and guest: Andrea Lewis (vocals).

Released on the Sharp 11 Records label, which appears to be Lewis’s own label.

You can stream the entire album on Lewis’s bandcamp page.

Available on eMusic.


Odd Trio – Birth of the Minotaur

So, you know how some albums gets described as cinematic or soundtrack-like… well, the Odd Trio guys are the soundtrack.  Trio of sax, guitar, and drums.  Probably have a lot of Zorn albums on their shelves, based on the way they slip between genres without missing a beat.  Some jazz, some rock, some surf, some Twin Peaks, some fusion of all of the above and more.  Really quite a fun album.  Not a requirement to actually like jazz to enjoy this music.  I sort of just want to stream the whole damn album, but I kept it to one track, a quiet interlude of a tune.  Bonus points for song title that references Blade Runner.

Your album personnel:  Brian Smith (guitar, vox), Marc Gilley (saxophone), and Todd Mueller (drums).

The album is Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Athens, GA scene.

Stream the entire album on their bandcamp page.

Available on eMusic.


Other albums of interest:


Igor Matkovic – Sonic Motion

Trumpet-led quartet.  Plenty of electronic effects to appeal to the Nils-Petter Molvaer set.  Trumpet, piano, drums, and bass.  Good music for a rainy day.

Dahl, Andersen, & Christensen – Space is the Place

Pianist Carsten Dahl trios up ECM vets Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen.  Sometimes introspective, but often displays that it has sharp claws, too.

Log Ladies – Let’s Build a Myth Together

Guitar trio that appears to be influenced by Bill Frisell’s voodoo jazz sound, though at times it strays into fusion territory.  Some guest instruments and spoken word.



That’s it for today’s article.  This is the first set of Tiny Reviews from this batch.  There’ll probably be three more sets from the batch, but we’ll have to see.  Several of the albums I’ll probably be doing stand-alone reviews of, depending on how much time I have.  Most of the above only vaguely resemble what I wrote for eMusic, and that’s happening more and more.  But in any event…

…Here’s some language to protect eMusic’s rights as the one to hire me originally to scour through the jazz new arrivals and write about the ones I like:

New Arrivals Jazz Picks“, courtesy of, Inc.
© 2012, Inc.

My thanks to eMusic for the freelance writing gig, the opportunity to use it in this blog, and the editorial freedom to help spread the word about cool new jazz being recorded today.

Tiny Reviews: Hans Glawischnig, Ben Wendel, & Goldberg/Avital/Jackson

May 9, 2012

Tiny Reviews, featuring:  Hans Glawischnig Jahira, Ben Wendel Frame, and Aaron Goldberg, Omer Avital, & Ali Jackson Jr. Yes!.


Notably, among the three albums reviewed today, is that they’re all released on the Sunnyside label.  Sunnyside Records released a slew of strong albums near the end of 2011 and then into 2012.  And, like labels sometimes do, they release several at a time.  I decided to bunch these three together because… well, now that I write this, I can’t really recall the exact inspiration for the idea, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Perhaps we should just begin…


Hans Glawischnig – Jahira

Fascinating trio date with bassist Hans Glawischnig, drummer Eric Doob, and Samir Zarif on soprano & tenor sax.  Glawischnig sticks to acoustic bass and gets a wonderful tone on it.  Zarif’s tone has a celebratory swing to it.  Doob takes an ebb and flow approach to the rhythm, providing some dynamic moments, especially on cymbals.  While Glawischnig’s background in Latin jazz (via work for Paquito D’Rivera, Miguel Zenon, and Ray Barretto) informs some of the compositions, much of the album’s sound seems to spring more from the African influenced jazz a la Pharoah Sanders earlier Impulse date or Abdullah Ibrahim’s post-millenial recordings.

However, a tune like “Crow Point” aptly demonstrates that Glawischnig has his own unique vision to follow.  At times, his basslines could feel right at home in a modern jazz indie-rock fusion a la Kneebody, even while the composition overall speaks more to an avant-garde jazz piece; a compelling mix of cold steel and fiery groove.

Some ballads and slow-tempo tunes are thrown into the mix to great effect.  This is a group that knows how to instill a supreme serenity over a song, of making grand statements with simple phrases, of creating the sense of something big without having to talk it up incessantly.  Master strokes.

Released on the Sunnyside Records label.  Jazz from NYC.

You can stream the entire album on the label’s bandcamp page.

Available on eMusic.


Ben Wendel – Frame

With his group Kneebody, Ben Wendel fused the modern Indie rock sound with jazz into a perpetual ignition of music fuel.  The result was a series of Fringes of Jazz albums that moved its feet too quick to determine which side of the Jazz Dividing Line they rested upon.  Ultimately, it was great music, which tends to make music territory discussions a bit irrelevant.  On his new release, he brings in Kneebody bandmates, but adds a larger ensemble that includes jazz great pianist Gerald Cleaver for a series of a tunes that fall squarely in the (modern) jazz family.

Your album personnel:  Ben Wendel (saxophones, bassoon & melodica), Gerald Clayton, Tigran Hamasyan (piano), Adam Benjamin (piano & Fender Rhodes), Nir Felder (guitar), Ben Street (bass), and Nate Wood (drums).

There is a relentlessness to this album.  Not in the avant-garde free jazz exhaustive sense, but a rhythmic attack that keeps one on their toes, even as reflected through the expressions of melody.  I say this by way of describing the album, but also as advice that with an album like this, sometimes the subtler details take some repeat listening to flesh out.  Or said differently, it’s easy to allow oneself to get swept away by the waves, but it’s important to remember that it’s also nice to dive beneath them and take a look at what’s darting beneath the water’s surface.

Three different pianists collaborated with Wendel on the album.  And while there is nothing generic about their contributions, it is impressive that the shifts in personnel don’t detract from the album’s cohesiveness.

Final two tracks, “Leaving” and “Julia” end the album on a very strong note.  “Leaving” has a dramatic bent and a furious groove, even as it palpitates a sense of the melancholy.  “Julia” twists and turns in a gentle breeze, light as a feather but with the occasional sharp change in direction; a wistfulness even in peace.

Released on the Sunnyside Records label.  Jazz from NYC.

You can stream the entire album (and purchase it) on the Sunnyside bandcamp page.

Available on eMusic.


Aaron Goldberg, Omer Avital, & Ali Jackson Jr. – Yes!

Pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Omer Avital, and drummer Ali Jackson Jr. have been performing together for decades, but this is their first collaboration on a studio recording.  A live set of a wonderful mix of covers and originals that both swing and sway. Cover of Abdullah Ibrahim’s “Maraba Blue” and the Avital original “Homeland” are highlights on an album filled with them.  Three musicians with modern voices developed from jazz traditions.

Goldberg has recently stood out on his duo album with fellow pianist Guillermo Klein Bienestan, but has plenty of recorded music under his belt.  Omer Avital recently released Suite of the East, and, in my opinion, is the finest bassist and composer on the scene.  Jackson Jr. is mostly closely associated with Wynton Marsalis, though his reach extends further out than that.

This is primarily a straight-ahead jazz album that should appeal to fans across many jazz sub-genres.  Three great jazz artists just putting their heads down and making jazz music.  Outstanding.

Released on the Sunnyside Records label.

You can stream the entire album on the label’s bandcamp page.

Available on eMusic.



That’s it for today’s article.  This was a set of Tiny Reviews from a batch of new arrivals a couple months back, and I really wanted to spend more time expanding on my original thoughts in the eMusic article, so I’m just getting to them now.  They kinda resemble the original pieces I wrote for eMusic, but not really.  In any event…

Here’s some language to protect eMusic’s rights as the one to hire me originally to scour through the jazz new arrivals and write about the ones I like:

New Arrivals Jazz Picks“, courtesy of, Inc.
© 2012, Inc.

My thanks to eMusic for the freelance writing gig, the opportunity to use it in this blog, and the editorial freedom to help spread the word about cool new jazz being recorded today.