Category: Music

metal-and-wood

New Music Without Borders

Genres and categories are cool when you’re trying to sell something. But some of our most compelling musical artists don’t pay attention to the imperatives of the marketplace. They make what they make, and the grand bazaar of culture must sort out where to file the “product.” Ian Faquini (guitar) and Paula Santoro (voice), native Brazilians, explore the traditional...

all-the-dreams

Sara Serpa & Andre Matos: All the Dreams

The Portuguese duo of Sara Serpa (vocals) and Andre Matos (guitar), make music that invites a torrent of adjectives: ethereal, shimmering, poetic, hypnotic, and, yes, dreamy. Imagine if J.S. Bach and Joao Gilberto collaborated — while tripping on opium. “All the Dreams” is an album that invites repeated listening. (Our household has enjoyed the record...

1954

Ricardo Grilli: 1954

The Brazilian-born, New York-based guitarist Ricardo Grilli’s new album, 1954, is a kind of inter-stellar journey through the cosmos. With our without a high concept to cohere the tracks, 1954 is one the best jazz records we’ve heard this year. Featuring cats like Aaron Parks (piano), Joe Martin (bass) and the magnificent drummer Eric Harland, you know the...

oddsong

Oddsong: “Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks”

Esteemed jazz composer Darrell Katz has a new ensemble called “Oddsong,” which is how many first-time listeners might describe every track on “Jailhouse Doc with Holes in Her Socks.” No drums. No bass. No piano. Instead, a chamber music melange of strings, saxophones, marimba and voice (the elegant Rebecca Shrimpton). Most of the arrangements are...

patriotism-in-question

The Anthem and American Patriotism

For proud Americans who might question this author’s patriotism, let us reassure you that this micro-essay is being written while standing. When it comes to our national anthem, we don’t fool around. Unlike certain professional athletes, we understand the powerful symbolism in standing for a song about a symbol (a flag, “The Star-Spangled Banner”), a...

verde

Francisco Pais: Verde

Guitarist Francisco Pais comes from a small town in Portugal where every shade of green seems to burst forth from the land. On his new album “Verde,” numerous threads from guitar history comprise the compositions, weaving an aural quilt of engaging sounds. You hear shades of Hendrix, Waters, Clapton — and all the jazz titans...

albumreview_naftulesdream.widea

Naftule’s Dream, “Blood”

Klezmer. Jazz. Acid rock. Dixieland. Got the picture? Better question: got the sound? “Blood,” the new CD by the progressive Klezmer band Naftule’s Dream, is a delicious jambalaya of musical ingredients that sounds distinctly like, well, Naftule’s Dream. The group’s instrumentation might be the key to their sound: clarinet, cornet, guitar, drums, accordion and, crucially, tuba....

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Ehud Asherie’s “Shuffle Along”

The Israeli-born, New York-based pianist Ehud Asherie is a mainstay of the mainstream modern jazz scene, a collaborator with some of the most respected musicians alive. His new solo recording, “Shuffle Along,” however, looks back — to 1921, when Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s all-Black Broadway musical premiered. Improvising on the show’s chewy melodies —...

honor thy fathers

Honor Thy Fathers

The pianist Laurence Hobgood, celebrated for decades as one of the world’s finest accompanist of singers, currently is stepping out into the light, leading his own trio. Of superstars. On drums, Kendrick Scott. On bass, John Pattitucci. Their album, “Honor Thy Fathers,” dedicated to the musical titans who inspired Hobgood’s virtuosity, contains several cover songs,...

ernie

Harmonizing Every Thread

Five jazz musicians walk into the living room of our house, the music room. They’re getting ready for a gig the following night at an area college. A concert. They each bring their own vibration to the rehearsal, their individual tone. Some cats are lighter and some are darker than others. Some project calm and...