The Latest Music We Like

Lizz Wright – Grace

(Concord) Singer Lizz Wright is back with another sterling effort. Grace finds the Georgia-born singer teaming with producer Joe Henry to weave together an effort with a decidedly bluesy, gospel Southern flavor. The 10-song set is highlighted by compositions by Ray Charles, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Allen Toussaint, Bob Dylan, K.D. Lang and Frank… Continue Reading

Michael Pedicin – As It Should Be: Ballads 2

(Groundblue) Composer/saxophonist Michael Pedicin continues his consistent track record focusing on ballads, add this one to that collection. As It Should Be: Ballads 2 focuses almost entirely on the compositions of guitarists Johnnie Valentino, who also plays on and co-produced the recording. The tunes have a great touch of the familiar heard in popular ballad… Continue Reading

3 Divas

(Diva Jazz Orchestra) 3 Divas is the outstanding trio and album of three tremendously talented musicians. Pianist Jackie Warren, bassist Amy Shook and drummer Sherrie Maricle comprise this fantastic unit. In addition to their individual mastery, there’s an evident chemistry in their performance that is simply superb. To add to this, the arrangements of the… Continue Reading

Mike Longo Trio – Only Time Will Tell

(Consolidated Artists Productions) Pianist Mike Longo’s latest is one of his finest recordings to date. Only Time Will Tell offers a substantial glimpse at Longo’s versatility and virtuosity. The production covers an array of musical moods, from toe-tapping swing to contemplative ballads. The trio, which is anchored by Paul West bass and Lewis Nash on… Continue Reading

Troy Roberts – Tales & Tones

(Inner Circle Music) Tales & Tones is the impressive latest recording from saxophonist Troy Roberts. Roberts is adroit in an array of musical moods here with an engaging tone that shines through on every tune, whether it’s a ballad or a swing feel. The mostly original compositions on the effort are outstanding, as are the… Continue Reading

Jared Sims – Change of Address

(Ropeadope) Change of Address is the fifth recording as a leader from baritone saxophonist Jared Sims. The production is an outstanding display of Sims’ versatility, on a recording that leans in the funk-organ groove direction. The saxophonist is the pulse of the recording, playing with both, power and tremendous dexterity on the large horn. Engaging… Continue Reading

Steve Khan – Backlog

(Tone Center) Backlog is guitarist Steve Khan’s fifth recording since his return from a decade-long absence and a real pleasure to hear. The production filters the work of some of jazz’s great players through Latin-rhythm and percussive rhythms. The body-moving grooves are derived from compositions by Thelonious Monk, Greg Osby, Bobby Hutcherson Stevie Wonder and… Continue Reading

Sidney Jacobs – First Man

(Baby Chubs Records) Vocalist Sidney Jacobs brings a contemporary flair to an approach that has a connection to the great vocal improvisers of our time. First Man, his second recorded outing, is an eclectic showcase for his talents as a singer, composer and producer. There’s a compelling freshness to his approach, with a nice mix… Continue Reading

Virgina Schenck – Aminata Moseka: An Abbey Lincoln Tribute

(Airborne Ecstasy) Singer Virginia Schenck’s latest is a wonderful homage to the great Abbey Lincoln.  Aminata Moseka: An Abbey Lincoln Tribute avoids the attempt at evoking the spirit of Abbey’s approach, but instead presents her compositions from a different perspective with a new voice. Clever arrangements and Schenck’s own way into a song lend themselves… Continue Reading

The Greg Hatza Organization – Diggin Up My Roots

(Record Label) Organist Greg Hatza’s latest is a fantastic tribute to the music he grew up hearing as a child in Reading, PA. Diggin Up My Roots is Hatza’s take on some classic r&b and blues he heard on a jukebox in the restaurant owned by his father. The band does the classics by the… Continue Reading