recommendations: December 2007 Archives

Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, Jack DeJohnette, My Foolish Heart (ECM). In his notes, Jarrett writes that this recording presents his Standards Trio "at its most buoyant, swinging, melodic and dynamic." Sure does. For evidence, follow the link above and sample Jarrett summoning the spirit of Fats Waller in "Honeysuckle Rose." Lately, I've had this disc permanently inserted in my CD changer with "Straight No Chaser" on repeat. I can't seem to accumulate enough hearings of the trio's quirky collective improvisation on Monk's blues.

December 5, 2007 1:05 AM | | Comments (0)

Linda Ciofalo, Sun Set (Lucky Jazz). Matt Wilson, the drummer on the CD, suggested that I would like Ciofalo. I do. She is adventurous, but not to the point of disrespecting the material. She sings in tune, uses time play in her phrasing without losing rhythmic consistency and has a light, creamy voice that now and then drops to surprising depth. She is willing to take risks--for instance, singing with only drums or bass--and makes it clear that she enjoys what she does. Ciofalo is as convincing with a Beatles song as one by Gershwin or Rodgers. The band, John di Martino (p.), John Hart (g.), Joel Frahm (t.s.), Marcus McLaurine (b.) and Wilson (dr.), is splendid.

December 5, 2007 1:04 AM | | Comments (0)

Nat Cole, Penthouse Serenade & The Piano Style of Nat King Cole (Collectors' Choice). Nat Cole's singing made him a king of popular music. His playing influenced pianists from Bud Powell to Bill Evans and beyond. The two albums included in this reissue CD will help those who know him only as a pop star to understand why Cole is revered for his touch, harmonic ingenuity and melodic creativity. The Penthouse tracks are reminiscent of his trio days. In The Piano Style, spurred by Nelson Riddle's inspired arrangements, Cole did some of the best recorded playing of his career. Intimations of Earl Hines, Teddy Wilson and Art Tatum flash through the deceptively placid surface of his swing-to-bop sensibility.

December 5, 2007 1:03 AM | | Comments (0)

Wes Montgomery, Live in '65 (Jazz Icons). Anyone interested in guitar at the highest level will be fascinated by this DVD. If you are intrigued by the democratic, cooperative nature of jazz, you will relish the first segment. (For a complete Rifftides review of this DVD, go here.)

December 5, 2007 1:02 AM | | Comments (0)

Gene Lees, Song Lake Summer (Libros Libertad). Lees, the prolific biographer of musicians and proprietor of the invaluable Jazzletter, turns novelist with fiction about a little-remembered piece of history in the northeastern US. It is the tale of a deep and unlikely friendship that develops between two men, a love story with a surprising twist and a lyrical imagining of a time and way of life we'll never see again. Full disclosure: I wrote a blurb for the dust jacket ("Lees has the ability, reminiscent of Chekhov, to explore feelings and inner conflicts that his characters cannot define in themselves"). And I'd do it again.

December 5, 2007 1:01 AM | | Comments (0)

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the recommendations category from December 2007.

recommendations: October 2007 is the previous archive.

recommendations: January 2008 is the next archive.

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About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
Rebuilding Gulf Culture after Katrina
Richard Kessler on arts education
Douglas McLennan's blog
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
John Perreault's art diary
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
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