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Tag: Diana Krall

Roll Call: January 7, 2022

It’s been a minute since I’ve done one of these, choosing to concentrate instead on previewing live music events in Northeast Ohio. With few of those on the horizon, and needing to get into a posting groove, here’s a look at some interesting new releases that dropped in the past week. Note: my review of Fred Herschs “Breath By Breath,” will be published at AllAboutJazz.com. I’ll post a link when it’s available.

Taru Alexander: Echoes of the Masters coverIn jazz, bloodlines often count for something. Drummer Taru Alexander is the son of Boston-born saxophonist Roland Alexander. Though he was never a star and didn’t record widely, the elder Alexander has played with a wide range of high-profile musicians, the kind of player who forms the essential¬† connective tissue of a vibrant scene. Alexander the younger (he’s 54) seems to be following in his father’s footsteps; All Music lists 11 sideman appearances with artists as varied as Fred Ho and Abbey Lincoln, but Echoes of the Masters” (Sunnyside Records) seems to be his debut as a leader. Like a lot of debut recordings, it’s eager to make an assertive first impression, and shows off an athletic, hard-charging band. Behind the kit, Alexander throws down in forceful, post-Tony-Williams style. Antoine Roney is the only horn, but his dry, forthright tone on tenor saxophone gives this session a gritty, cinema-verit√© edge. Rashaan Carter is mountain-strong as always, but the revelation for me is pianist James Hurt, originally from Memphis, who summons Tyneresque thunder with his left hand while spinning florid runs with his right. He’s a postbop Phineas Newborn by way of Mulgrew Miller, and full of surprises.

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Roll Call: September 3, 2021

I get a lot of new music for my consideration, 407 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, more or less, I’ll offer hot takes on the releases of the preceding seven days. The week of August 28 was so busy–15 new releases–that I spread it out over two posts, and two weeks. Now I’m effectively a week behind with more delays probably on the way as a big review of Cleveland’s Tri-C festival will occupy my time next week. For now, though, savor what was a very strong week for creative music.

Pianist Rachel Eckroth got her start playing with and writing for large jazz ensembles, but lately, the LA-based musician has added color and texture to music by genre-agnostic artists such as Rufus Wainwright, St. Vincent and KT Tunstall.

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