Tag Archives: Reviews

Nature Evolves toward the Beautiful: The Maria Schneider Orchestra at the Jazz Standard (November 28, 2014)

Every year the Maria Schneider Orchestra takes up residency at the Jazz Standard. This year they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary with an engagement that continues through November 30, 2014. I joined them on Friday, November 28th, for the 10pm set. The Orchestra began with “Dance You Monster to My Soft Song” from Evanescence, Schneider’s 1994 […]

Listening with Sympathetic Eyes: Sara Serpa and Ran Blake Live at the Kitano (June 6, 2014)

How appropriate that the Thursday night performance at the Kitano by Sara Serpa and Ran Blake began with “The Short Life of Barbara Monk”: the duo—still basking in the glow of their most recent and highly successful record Aurora—performed this Blake original as the first of many short vignettes, all characterized by subtle musicality and understated but unceasing […]

A belated happy 1st birthday to TRoS & the best 2013 jazz albums I (haven’t yet) heard

Such is the life of full-time professor who blogs part-time: lesson plans, class prep, and grading always come before new posts (the numerous half-drafted entries notwithstanding). I have been so immersed in grant applications, freelance academic writing, but most especially my majors-level jazz theory & improv course that I even forgot to mark the one-year […]

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 […]

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 […]

Album review…Kelly Powers, “The Kelly Powers Project” (self-produced, 2012)

Writing personalized music for a close-knit ensemble of friends, pianist Kelly Nagata Powers draws inspiration from a diverse range of musical influences on her second album, The Kelly Powers Project, demonstrating facility and prowess across multiple musical genres. Featuring intelligent, chromatic, hard-bop compositions, Powers’s album contains a highly varied set of her originals, rounded out […]