Tiny Reviews: Lol Coxhill, James Carter Organ Trio, Cataclycm Box, Ilona Kudina, & Johannes Enders

Featuring Tiny Reviews of Lol Coxhill The Rock on the Hill, James Carter Organ Trio At the Crossroads, Cataclysm Box Mechanical Pieces, Ilona Kudina Quintet Nothing But Illusion, and the Johannes Enders Trio Mondgovel.

Let’s begin…


Lol Coxhill, Barre Phillips, JT Bates – The Rock On the Hill

Here’s one for the free jazz fans. A live free jazz performance with sax legend Lol Coxhill, Barre Phillps on Bass, and JT Bates on drums.  Recorded at a performance at the Theatre Dunois in Paris, France nearly thirty years after their previous performance there, this trio shows themselves to be in top form.  Coxhill, a vet of the European improvised music scene, has a uniquely conversational style of sax voicing… a style which alternates between convivial and abrasive, sometimes mumbling to himself under his breath and sometimes shouting right into the ear of the listener.  Coxhill is one of those music treasures who are compelled to play a style of music that’ll never attract a mass audience, but who shines just as bright in front of a smaller audience.

I couldn’t find any embeddable audio, but here’s a video from the performance. Obviously the sound on the album will be better, but I just thought this was such a neat video that I decided to include it.

Released on the L’autre Distribution label.  Jazz from the UK scene.

Available on eMusic.


James Carter Organ Trio – At the Crossroads

Yes, technically, they can probably get away with calling this a Trio album.  Sax virtuoso James Carter is joined by Gerald Gibbs on organ, and Leonard King Jr. on drums. But, really, it’s less a trio outing and more a tour of Detroit’s jazz scene. Joining the (Detroit) trio are other Detroit jazz musicians, adding vocals, guitar, trumpet, and trombone to the mix for an excellent set of blues. Unless you’re fortunate to spend your winters protected from the sun by the shade of palm trees, then this wonderful set of organ trio tunes is perfect for fighting off the cold. Just a great album, and highly recommended.

Your album personnel:  James Carter (saxophones), Leonard King Jr. (drums), and Gerard Gibbs (organ), with guests (appearing on various tracks): Miche Braden (vocals), Brandon Ross (guitar), Bruce Edwards (guitar), Keyon Harrold (trumpet), Vincent Chandler (trombone), and Eli Fountain (tambourines).

Released on Emarcy Records.  Jazz from the Detroit scene.

Available on eMusic.


Cataclysm Box – Mechanical Pieces

Well, this is a promising bit of excitement.  Cataclysm Box is a French quartet of sax, guitar, bass, and drums, it seems to stray close to the indie-rock jazz fusion of Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors, toying with oddly configured melodies on sax, backed by rock riffs sometimes grungy sometimes Fripp-ian, and a jazz-time rhythm structure that keeps things centered even when the tunes get out on the fringes. I find this album really striking, both in terms of its tunefulness and also for its experimentalism. No doubt I’ll mention this album the next time I construct a Jazz for Indie Rock Listeners list. Very nice.

Your album personnel:  Jean Gros (guitar), Maxime Berton (saxophones), Jerome Arrighi (bass), and Martin Wangermee (drums).

Released on the Art & Music Diffusion label.  Jazz from the Paris scene.

You can stream music from the album on their site.

Available on eMusic.


Ilona Kudina Quintet – Nothing But Illusion

For a variety of reasons not worth rehashing, jazz flute has an unpopular reputation attached to it. Not only is this reputation unfair and misguided, 2011 provided a whole bunch of evidence that flautist led jazz groups are a rich vein of quality listening. Add Ilona Kudina’s latest effort to that list. Backed by a quality team, including jazz vet Billy Hart on drums, Kudina presents a series of bop tunes that both swing and mesmerize. Bypassing the exaggerated breathiness typical of some jazz flute, Ilona lays back and lets the flute do the work. Nice stuff here.

Your album personnel:  Ilona Kudina (flute), Billy Hart (drums), Greg Hopkins (trumpet), Vardan Ovsepian (piano), and Akili Jamal Haynes (bass)

This album is Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Boston scene.

Available on eMusic.


Johannes Enders Trio – Mondgovel

New release from tenor sax player Johannes Enders, who seems to be continually displaying some profound growth in his sound with each subsequent recording. This trio date really highlights the confidence in his play, developing into a real jazz vet. I’ve liked previous recordings just fine, but I gotta say that Mondgovel is really noteworthy (to my ears) in his development. If you’re looking for a recording which showcases tenor sax, especially with a European jazz flavor, just hit the download button on the link below.

Your album personnel:  Johannes Enders (tenor sax), Ed Howard (bass), and Sebastian Merk (drums).

Released on the JazzWerkstatt Records label.  Jazz from the Leipzig, Germany scene.

Available on eMusic.


That’s it for today’s article, and the last of the Tiny Reviews from this batch.


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 eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2012  eMusic.com, 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.