Acoustic Sounds

Music Reviews: Jazz

March 24th, 2023

Cécile Salvant's Mélusine magic

The greatest jazz singer of our time expands her range to French Renaissance, cabaret, and much more

By: Fred Kaplan

Cécile McLorin Salvant has reached the point in her career where she can, apparently, get away with doing whatever she wants. Dreams and Daggers and The Window solidified her status as the preeminent jazz singer of our time. Ghost Song, her debut on Nonesuch Records, cracked open all genres, covering a range enveloping Kurt Weill, Kate Bush, Harold Arlen, a 19th-century folk ballad, and a half-dozen original songs, which matched the album’s standards for wit, swing,... Read More

genre Jazz format CD

March 16th, 2023

Hill's "Dance With Death" Is A Lively Set!

why this 1968 recording, a new "Tone Poet" series release, sat on the shelf until 1980 is a mystery

By: Michael Fremer

No one knows why this Andrew Hill album recorded October 11th 1968 wasn’t released until 1980 as part of a Michael Cuscuna produced series. “Tone Poet” Joe Harley doesn’t know, nor, he told me, does Cuscuna. Harley posits a few possible reasons, none of which have anything to do with the music here, which in 1968 clearly was release-worthy. The vinyl revival/resurgence whatever you wish to call it has been a boon to artists like the late composer/performer/academic... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

March 10th, 2023

Van Morrison’s Backward Tumble Is Fully Underway

From the archives: You're best waiting for Van to get energized again

By: Tracking Angle

In commemoration of Van Morrison's new album Moving On Skiffle, we revisit a past era of Van mediocrity via our archive review of 1996's How Long Has This Been Going On?

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genre Jazz Big Band format Vinyl

March 5th, 2023

Nathan Davis Live Recordings Re-pressed by Sam Records

The 3LP 'Live In Paris' is still available and highly desirable

By: Michael Fremer

This recently re-pressed set of Nathan Davis live in Paris recordings should help create a new following for this somewhat overlooked American multi-instrumentalist, composer, and educator who turned down a Blue Note contract and an offer to join Art Blakey's group, remaining in Paris during the turbulent 1960s.

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genre Jazz Modal Jazz Post-Bop format Vinyl

March 3rd, 2023

Christian McBride's 2009 Collaborative Project Got a 2021 Limited Edition Double Vinyl Release

great sound and music

By: Michael Fremer

I got invited to a record launch party for Christian McBride's new album "Christian McBride's New Jawn Prime" held at Oswald Mills Audio's Brooklyn loft. "Conversations...." had been sitting unplayed for far too long so I figured I'd give it a spin to prep for the launch.McBride listening to his new album played back on the OMA K3 turntableI'm not sure if he'd ever heard any of his recordings reproduced on a system... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

February 28th, 2023

Jason Moran's Voyage From the Ancient to the Future

The pianist's brilliant revival-tribute to bandleader-composer James Reese Europe

By: Fred Kaplan

Jason Moran’s latest album, From the Dancehall to the Battlefield, is a staggeringly ambitious work, nothing less than a stab at reconceptualizing jazz history, hoisting a fairly obscure figure—the composer-bandleader James Reese Europe (1881-1919)—onto the pantheon of major innovators, a project that forges new links and traces a new path of the music’s evolution, with Lt. Jim Europe (as he was also known) at the—or at least a—center.

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genre Jazz format CD

February 7th, 2023

"Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus" Gets the Craft "Small Batch" One-Step Treatment

Vince Guaraldi's other classic album

By: Michael Fremer

The Brazilian Bossa Nova flower had not yet bloomed in America when in 1959 the movie "Black Orpheus" became the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prize Winner. The movie is a re-telling of the Orpheus legend set in Rio de Janeiro with the Mardis Gras as backdrop. The music was by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luis Bonfa, one of whom, Jobim, would become a household name if not in 1963 when Stan Getz released Jazz Samba, then a year later when Getz/Gilberto exploded... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl