Steely Dan UHQR Series

Music Reviews: Jazz

January 24th, 2023

How Best to Hear Patricia Barber's "Clique!"

some Tracking Angle readers might be surprised

By: Michael Fremer

Patricia Barber albums take up a lot of shelf space real estate here. Over the years her many albums have been issued and reissued on vinyl with every reissue sounding better than the previous one, though of course Jim Anderson recorded all of them digitally. Nightclub was recorded to 3348 multi-track and mixed through a Neve analog desk to both digital and analog mix down masters. Anderson said in an email that "....we've always run digital and analogue on... Read More

genre Jazz Vocal Jazz format CD/SACD

January 23rd, 2023

Frank Kimbrough's Turning Point

A revealing remix of the jazz pianist-composer's pivotal albums

By: Fred Kaplan

Frank Kimbrough, who died in December 2020 at the age of 64, was one of the great undersung jazz pianists of our time and an only-belatedly-appreciated composer of much talent as well. (Soon after his death, Newvelle Records assembled 67 musicians, in various ensembles, to play 58 of his pieces, many of which had the ring of standards. The resulting download-only album, "Kimbrough," was one of the best jazz albums of 2021.) Now Palmetto Records, his main... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

January 17th, 2023

Marta Sanchez's Spanish American Triumph

The pianist-composer's jazz quintet wonder work

By: Fred Kaplan

The pianist-composer Marta Sanchez has lived and actively worked in New York since moving here from Madrid in 2011; but, despite four albums as a leader and wide respect from fellow artists, she’s not nearly as well-known as she should be.Her latest album, SAAM (Spanish American Art Museum), on Whirlwind Recordings, available as a CD and as three sides of vinyl (2 LPs, one of them blank on one side), is a stellar display of her talents. She leads a standard jazz... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

January 3rd, 2023

Le Dernier Message De Lester Young (The Last Message Of Lester Young)

Sam Records reissues the last Lester Young album with bonus 10 inch LP

By: Joseph W. Washek

In April 1958, Lester Young moved into the Hotel Alvin, a seedy hotel at the corner of Broadway and Fifty-Second street in New York City, which, because it was cheap, was home to many musicians. Lester owned a house on Long Island in which his wife and two children lived but the Alvin was directly across the street from Birdland, and that was where Lester wanted to be.Lester wasn’t playing at Birdland or any of the other major clubs in Manhattan. His chronic... Read More

genre Jazz format Vinyl

December 26th, 2022

The Aural Equivalent of Watching The Blue Angels Air Show

Uptempo Pepper and Baker in their prime leave a vapor trail

By: Michael Fremer

Despite the inherent lightness and breeze of "West Coast" jazz, this set recorded Halloween day 1956 is simultaneously cool and blazing hot, with Art Pepper and Chet Baker at their youthful peak navigating a set of intricately written and charted tunes, five of the seven by Jimmy Heath, hence the album's title, plus two by Pepper.If you're of a certain age, some of the uptempo vibe here will remind you of 50s and 60s era television show theme songs... Read More

genre Jazz Cool Jazz format Vinyl

December 26th, 2022

Is That Jazz? Lil B’s ‘Afrikantis’

The most fascinating avant-garde jazz album in recent times

By: Malachi Lui

Anyone who predicted this is either a time traveler or is clinically insane (probably both). It’s December 2022, everyone’s “best albums of 2022” lists are out, and Lil B has dropped a jazz album.That’s right: Lil B The Based God, the rapper and motivational speaker who’s perhaps the most detrimentally prolific artist of our time (did anyone actually listen to all eight volumes of his 855 Song Based Freestyle Mixtape?), has made what can loosely be considered a jazz... Read More