Category Listening…

Concert Review…Celebrating Cecil at the Painted Bride

At the Painted Bride Saturday night (March 8th), five titans of improvised music gathered in honor of their friend, colleague, and mentor Cecil Taylor in anticipation of the pianist’s upcoming 85th birthday. The performance was the first of three concerts—billed as the “Still the New Thing” Festival—which saxophonist Bobby Zankel is curating. In his program notes […]

Album review…Mara Rosenbloom Quartet, “Songs from the Ground” (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2013)

Pianist Mara Rosenbloom suffuses artistic vision into each musical gesture—each corner and crevice—of her recent release, Songs from the Ground. The album’s cover art shows her audience in simple and poignant terms the foundation for her music—roots. More specifically, the cover art shows the roots of an orchid, photographed by childhood friend and long-time collaborator […]

Album review…Nick Finzer, “Exposition” (Outside In, 2013)

Earlier this year, trombonist Nick Finzer released his debut album, Exposition, a compelling opening statement for the beginning of his recording career and an enticing introduction to the subsequent albums that will surely follow. Featuring a cohesive group of young musicians with strong individual skills, Exposition comes together around the strength of Finzer’s compositions and […]

Album review…Charles Lloyd Quartet, “Rabo de Nube” (ECM, 2008)

[This review was originally published in Jazz Improv Magazine in 2008. -ML] In celebration of his seventieth birthday, Charles Lloyd is releasing Rabo de Nube, recorded live in Basel, Switzerland, on April 27, 2007. This album features Lloyd’s newest quartet, with Jason Moran on piano, Reuben Rogers on bass, and Eric Harland on drums. This group infuses […]

Enunciating Power and Ex…Plosive Time: Cécile McLorin Salvant’s “Woman Child” and Silence Undone

Of all the countless, captivating moments I have heard and re-heard in WomanChild, there are two that struck me right away—on my first listen to the album—and that continue to surprise me each time I hear them. I haven’t been able to let these moments go—not for the three months prior to the album release […]

An Understated, but Unwavering Groove: Lionel Loueke Trio at the Jazz Standard (September 13, 2013)

Performing compositions from his new recording, Heritage (Blue Note, 2012), Lionel Loueke and his trio are just finishing tonight a residency at the Jazz Standard. I attended the early set on Friday, September 13th, which Loueke began with “Ouidah,” singing and subvocalizing along with his guitar and its clear, ebullient tone. The tune’s groove—like the entire […]

Magnificent Regularly: Cécile McLorin Salvant Premieres “WomanChild” at 54 Below

When I arrived at 54 Below in midtown Manhattan on Tuesday night for the New York City release of Cécile McLorin Salvant’s WomanChild (Mack Avenue Records), I had already resolved not to take notes. I was just going to listen and enjoy the show. After spending the last three months listening to the album, researching […]