By Chaz Kangas
By Katherine Turman
By Phillip Mlynar
By Harley Oliver Brown
By Abdullah "T Kid" Saeed
By Matt Caputo
By Devon Maloney
By Chris Chafin
Assif Tsahar/Cooper-Moore/Chad Taylor
They mean Postmodern Primitives, but have the good sense to look for another term. Cooper-Moore is central: His homemade string instrumentsdiddley-bow, mouth bow, bangoadd a hillbilly twang to Harry Partch tonality, and he sings one, Ol Saint Peter, which is more campfire tale than hymn. The others are bemused, with Taylors possibly digital beats sometimes sounding like balafon, and Tsahar putting his new-thing sax on the back burner until the closer, comping and cooing on bass clarinet and pulling out the old didgeridoo. A MINUS
Fay Victor Ensemble
Cartwheels Through the Cosmos
She reminds people of Betty Carter, perhaps because so few jazz singers ever look to break new ground. Victors voice is relatively unmannered, but one trait she does share with Carter is her ability to command a band worth listening to with or without her: Guitarist Anders Nilsson is always up to something interesting, while bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Michael T.A. Thompson have a knack for showing up unheralded on good albums. The songs explore the cosmos, but the closer homes in on earth. A MINUS
David S. Ware Quartet
Reportedly the finale of the most formidable quartet since Coltranes, with stars William Parker and Matthew Shipp and a series of drummers marking epochs within the era. One more live shot to go with Live in the World. A MINUS
Chris Potter 10
Song for Anyone
Ten musicians, with flute-clarinet-bassoon among the winds, and guitar joining the violin-viola-cello-bass for strings. It seems like every jazz musician aspires to compose and arrange on a large canvas, but more often than not, ambition gets the best of them. Potter only manages drab, static backgrounds, then chews them up with his tenor sax. With chops like his, why bother? B
New Constellations: Live in Vienna [Accurate]
Jah-driven funk, severely bent but rarely broken.
The Blueprint Project
People I Like [Creative Nation Music]
The guest rhythm section takes a mischievous turn: Han Bennink.
Two Rivers [Pi]
One Iraqi, the other American, played out in mutual respect as jazz, not war.
Sonic Openings Under Pressure
Muhheankuntuk [Clean Feed]
Writhing, snaking improv lines against David Pleasants densemetriX beat, with a momentary torrent of rap.
Matt Chamberlain/Bill Frisell/Tucker Martine/Lee Townsend Floratone [Blue Note] Disembodied grooves veiled with guitar tones; future music intended as folk.
Paul Zauners Blue Brass
An Austrian trombonist and connoisseur, collecting fine songs from Africa and Afro-America and burnishing them to a fine luster.
Tango Bitter Sweet [Justin Time]
Cosmopolitan folk music, too pat for jazz, too danceable for chamber music.
Satoko Fujii Quartet
Godzilla tries to waltz, succumbs to toxic heavy metals.
Universal Syncopations II [ECM]
Funk horns and multiple drummers whitewashed by heavenly voices.