Review: 2021 Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland AllAboutJazz.com, 21 September, 2021
Tag: Chicago jazz
I get a lot of music for my consideration, more than 450 new releases so far this year. Almost all of them are notable for something, and I’d like to give them their due. So every week, I’ll offer hot takes on the releases of the preceding seven days. it’s a great writing exercise, and a lot of fun, too.
To celebrate her 60th birthday year in 2019, pianist Satoko Fujii released an album a month. With a work ethic like that, no mere global pandemic could keep her down. “Prickly Pear Cactus” (Libra Records) is presumably her final release of 2020, though with Fujii, you never know. It’s really more of a collective effort by the Kobe, Japan-based pianist, her husband Natsuke Tamura on trumpet and New York laptop
Yeah, it’s been a minute.
Procrastination is the work-spouse of every writer and I’m inordinately friendly with mine, but that’s not what happened here. Frankly, the events of late May were so momentous that writing about music seemed not just a luxury, but almost an insult. It was a time that called for witness and for listening–and not to music, even music of urgency and substance. The silence that was tugging at my coat was the silence of the confessional or the sickroom, a place in which one could try to process the fever that this society was trying to sweat out.
I haven’t completely done that, but lately, I’ve felt another tug on my coat. It was music, reminding me that consolation, inspiration and explanation are all still out there waiting. And joy, the kind that happens when you share a world with brilliant creators.
I’ve missed some exceptional releases, and will hopefully loop back to give them the consideration they deserve, maybe in feature reviews that will post midweek, but at the moment, the best way to jump back in is to resume this Friday roundup of the week’s releases.
Debut recordings these days often take the form of calling cards designed to show off everything the leader can do. When that leader is as versatile, fluent and well trained as trombonist Javier Nero is, focus can take a back seat to exuberance. Still “Freedom“ offers an appealingly generous tasting menu that leaps out of the gate with “Double Vision,” a Blakey-an burner with Messengers alumnus Brian Lynch on top. Before its 66 minutes is up, “Freedom”