New York jazz now, on records (listen and be wowed)

City Arts did post my column of record reviews

Acrobat: Music by and for Dmitri Shostakovich, by Michael Bates (for quintet)

so please read what I wrote about Henry Cole and the Afrobeat Collective, Steve Lehman Trio, Less Magnetic (on Facebook, or view their show below), Esperanza Spalding, Michael Bates (plays Shostakovich), and Wayne Escoffrey.

Then, I urge you, check out samples of those artists online, and judge for yourselves (’cause you won’t know if I’m right otherwise).

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  1. says

    I’m glad this was posted. When I returned to writing about music (after some 30 years, back when I was in college), I had a tendency to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out. Now in some of our local media, word counts have been pared down, and it’s a challenge to write coherently about a recording in 150 or fewer words. I have saved your set of reviews as a model of concision. Thanks.

    • says

      Thanks Martin — concision in reviews, I find, is a matter of getting to the affect of the music without describing much of the details, just enough to give a small sense of the sound. Short-hand references, which I try to avoid most of the time, are essential here. In some ways these reviews are sketches, and even having written them I’m concerned about their accuracy (I don’t think I did Less Magnetic justice: Its interests include odd time signatures, layering of multiple instruments, more than “loud, fast, chopsy”). I hate to leave out the names of contributive musicians, but 18 words (first and last names of, say, six musicians + their instruments) is valuable space in a 100 word review. Tweeting is good practice.