The current incarnation of the Swingle Singers, just called Swingles, exemplifies why the group has survived 57 years.
Pianist Kris Davis’s Diatom Ribbons and the multi-disc set Nat King Cole’s Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-43) are among the albums that made more than one list.
There’s no doubt that the Japan-born composer/pianist/bandleader Satoro Fujii is one of the most prolific recording artists of her time.
Biographer James Kaplan was aided by the assistance of Irving Berlin’s two elder daughters, and that makes this biography particularly valuable.
The sound on these discs couldn’t be more clear or precise; the music is low-key, thoughtful, and resolutely melodious.
All three groups in this Blue Note anniversary concert were distinctly different. One was shaded with a hip hop influence, one proffered organ trio jazz-funk and one, all female, had singing as its focal point.
To hear Nat King Cole move from an anonymous member of a backing chorus to a world-class vocal soloist is well worth the time this boxed set demands.
The Bad Plus are telling stories, but the trio doesn’t seem to want to follow wherever they might lead, which narrows their music’s emotional range.
One of the strengths of Laszlo Gardony’s playing is his confident insistence on what he is doing, his impressive self-assurance.
jaimie branch knows music has to be wild and dangerous and beautiful to cut through all the distractions of our times.