By Jena Ardell
By Brian McManus
By Chaz Kangas
By Sound of the City
By Peter Gerstenzang
By Katherine Turman
By Chris Kornelis
By Brian McManus
The title translates as "stroll": a leisurely walk through pleasant surroundings, but with a contemplative distance. For Rubalcaba this means back in time to his Cuban roots, and sideways through the maze of modern jazz. With his New Cuban Quartet the dominant voice is saxophonist Luis Felipe Lamoglia, who owes more to Coltrane than to the Caribbean. But the pace and variety come from the rugged Afro-Cuban terrain that keeps the stroll interesting. A MINUS
Baila! Gitano Baila!
Roberto Juan Rodriguez learned klezmer as a Cuban expatriate in Miami, working bar mitzvahs and Yiddish theaters. His synthesis of Jewish melody and Cuban percussion dreams of roots that never were, yet it is convincing enough that one can imagine generations of conversos gathering in private to keep the ancient secrets of their culture alive. This sequel to El Danzon de Moises is less surprising but broader and happier, with touches of tango and gypsy dance. A MINUS
The delta from Spaceways Inc. to Tripleplay is the replacement of Hamid Drake with Curt Newton, but switching bassist Nate McBride from electric to acoustic shifts the feel from funk to blues. Both moves make the band more intimate, and Ken Vandermark responds with some of his most thoughtful chamber jazz. Even if it was made up on the fly, which it largely was. A MINUS
The difference between this and 2Gether, the duo Vaché and Bill Charlap cut for Nagel Heyer in 2000, is the difference between a fine Danish modernist antique and an overstuffed easy chair. With bass and drums, Charlap eases back, and Vaché settles into his comfort zone. Now that he's too old to be called a young fogey anymore, maybe the notion that his genteel swing is retro should also be retired. A MINUS
Additional Consumer News
Free jazz as postmodern cool, an ether of saxes, bass, cello, beats, and voice where all that is solid melts into air.
Live at Glenn Miller Café
Jon Lindblom's punk-jazz guitar, with horns piled on because they're loud.
A real-time mix of guitar noise and Mats's bull elephant contrabass sax, with Kim Gordon confessing her lack of fashion sense.
PAAL NILSSEN-LOVE/KEN VANDERMARK
Dual Pleasure 2
Leftovers from last year's Dual Pleasureabstract clarinet, avant-honk, drums.
Mats Gustafsson's heavier metal power trio undoes your new wave faves, then plays Brötzmann to relax.
In Praise of Dreams
Sax with strings, only Garbarek's such an ascetic he allows himself just one viola and a dash of percussion.
Less a throwback to the organ-guitar soul jazz of the '60s than an update, ready to cross over but not to beg.
SATOKO FUJII TRIO
THE GREAT JAZZ TRIO
Someday My Prince Will Come
Last chance to hear something new from Elvin Jones.
STEVE SWALLOW/OHAD TALMOR SEXTET
L'Histoire du Clochard: The Bum's Tale
In the Name of Love
Dud of the Month
CHICK COREA ELEKTRIC BAND
To the Stars
The problem with fusion wasn't that good jazz was cheapened by crass rock and roll. The problem was that so many fusioneers were suckers for bad rock. Here Corea reconvenes his 1986-93 Elektric Band to power through a suite of pieces based on the L. Ron Hubbard sci-fi novel, and you can guess the rest: vintage space opera that Pink Floyd or Hawkwind wouldn't have played on acid, soundtrack melodramatics without visual cues, and a fresh coat of Jelly Roll's Famous Latin Tinge. C