Michael Ullman

Jazz Album Review: The Vince Guaraldi Trio — “Peanuts” and Beyond

November 9, 2022
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Vince Guaraldi isn’t the heaviest of jazz pianists: he played at a time when McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans were omnipresent. But his tunes, his gently humanist approach to music, meant that he reached listeners that others couldn’t or didn’t.

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Jazz Album Review: Keith Jarrett’s “Bordeaux Concert” — A Varied Masterpiece

September 28, 2022
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Given Keith Jarrett’s current disability, this new ECM recording is an unexpected gift to his fans.

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Jazz Album Review: Enrico Rava and Fred Hersch’s Winning “The Song Is You” — Suffused With Tact and Grace

August 29, 2022
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The sound of both musicians is indelible: trumpeter Enrico Rava is warm and rounded; pianist Fred Hersch, often icy, is fetching and detailed.

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Jazz Album Review: “Hampton Hawes Four!” — Evidence of a Remarkable Talent

July 8, 2022
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Four! is one of Hampton Hawes’ most satisfying sessions, for the variety of the repertoire and the quality of the performances.

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Jazz Album Review: Steve Davis’s “Bluesthetic” — Swinging Oh-So Comfortably

July 5, 2022
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Trombonist Steve Davis says he never strays very far from the blues, and he proves it with this fine album.

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Jazz Album Review: Drummer Tony Williams’s “Play or Die” — Electrifying Eclecticism

July 2, 2022
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Play or Die brilliantly showcases what Miles Davis heard in Tony Williams’ playing: variety of sound within a restricted framework.

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Jazz Album Review: “Charles Mingus Trio” — One Kind of Masterpiece

May 2, 2022
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Even without the new takes, this Rhino reissue would be welcome: Mingus Three is to my mind one of the great trio albums.

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Jazz Album Review: Chet Baker Trio’s “Live in Paris”

April 24, 2022
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Live in Paris: The Radio France Recordings 1983-1984 is an example of solid, appealing late Chet Baker, doing what he did best with standards and the occasional original.

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Album Review: “Mingus: The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s” — A Rich Centennial Treat

April 18, 2022
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The centenary of bassist/composer Charles Mingus’ birthday is days away and I am listening to the beautifully packaged and processed and richly annotated 3 lps of Mingus’s Lost Album, recorded live at Ronnie Scott’s London club in 1972.

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Jazz Album Review: Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers — Projecting Light in a Dark World

March 24, 2022
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This cooperative music is deliberately international in instrumentation and personnel and theme, proffering its own characteristic, and often quite beautiful, mix of sounds.

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