Jazz Consumer Guide (19):

This is the surplus file for Jazz Consumer Guide #19. These are short reviews of records that for one reason or another have been dropped from active consideration while working on this column. These reviews will be published in the blog when the column comes out.

I only have so much space for each Jazz Consumer Guide column: normally it works out to a little less than 1500 words, which if I write compactly comes out to about 30 albums. On the other hand, I consider 7-10 times that many albums each column cycle. Jazz Prospecting counts 230 albums this round, down from a record 293 last time. Then there were the records prospected and left over from the previous cycle: in this case, 117 albums, not counting the two dozen or so I had already written up. Reducing 300-some albums down to 30 means discarding the overwhelming majority: anything bad unless it's notable enough to be a dud, everything run-of-the-mill, some things I just can't think of anything to write about. This round, of 230 prospects 132 went straight into the surplus file with no further comment. Still, that left many more records than I could use, so I wind up having to cut a lot of pretty good records. I often do the latter at the end of the cycle: after I've used what I can now, and usually have a pretty hefty overstock planned for next time (or the time after), I can go through the rest and ask myself what the odds are that I can ever get around to a given album. If the answer is slim to none, I add it to the surplus file -- preferably, writing a little consolation note. Last time I pretty much skipped this stage, so the surplus was very thin and the carryover was excessive. This time I did the opposite: I spent most of two weeks going back over the records I had kept under consideration, played them again, and then forced myself to either write a Jazz CG review -- mostly one-line Honorable Mentions -- or a surplus file note. The surplus files are in some ways the lucky ones: they get a note posted now, whereas the others will likely wait 3-6 months before they show up in a Jazz Consumer Guide.

Meanwhile, here are the surplus file notes on the most notable albums that got axed at this stage:

Rabih Abou-Khalil: Em Português (2007 [2008], Enja): The Lebanese oud player wrote the music here, then turned the lyrics over to various Portuguese, creating a sonic strife that doesn't really belong to either end of the Mediterranean, especially given how dramatically the lyrics are declaimed by Ricard Ribeiro. I would have preferred more instrumental space. The core group is exceptional, especially Jarrod Cagwin with his frame drums. B+(**)

Howard Alden and Ken Peplowski's Pow Wow (2006 [2008], Arbors): Duets, Alden on guitar, Peplowski on tenor sax or clarinet. The lack of any help keeps the album from swinging hard, leaving you with thoughtful, intricate interplay. I had a cluster of Kenny Davern albums -- an old Soprano Summit, a more recent meeting with Peplowski -- and thought his might fit nicely, but had trouble finding it. A little weaker album, but picks up toward the end. B+(**)

Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark: Goofy June Bug (2007 [2008], Wig): Nothing from Vandermark in this Jazz CG. I'd have to check to see whether that's ever happened before. I think so -- offhand, #17 looks free, #16 too, #10, #9, #6, #4 -- more often than I thought, but he's been in more than two-thirds of the columns, even with my tendency to clump related releases. I got to thinking about this because this record is the only KV in my current work queue -- probably why it sounded better than I remembered from when I first played it a year ago. Makes me wonder if I've just fallen off the list(s) -- more likely than that KV has slowed down. Indeed, checking his website and Seth Tisue's discography, I found the following more/less recent (2006 and later) releases that I haven't heard: V/Kessler/McBride/Joode/Flaten: Collected Fiction (OkkaDisk); CODE: Play the Music of Ornette Coleman & Eric Dolphy (Cracked Anegg); Atomic/School Days: Distil (OkkaDisk); Fire Room: Broken Music (Atavistic); The Thing with KV: Immediate Sound (Smalltown Superjazz); Chicago Tentet: At Molde 2007 (OkkaDisk); Free Fall: The Point in a Line (Smalltown Supersound); Sonore: Only the Devil Has No Dreams (Jazzwerkstatt); KV/Pandelis Karayorgis: Foreground Music (OkkaDisk); KV/Paal Nilssen-Love: Seven (Smalltown Supersound); FME: Montage (OkkaDisk); V 5: Four Sides to the Story (Not Two, 2LP); Free Fall: Amsterdam Funk (Smalltown Supersound); also a DVD called Musician (Facets Video) -- I remember some press on it, but didn't pursue it. I need to track at least some of those down. As for this record, it gets rough when both tenors lock horns, but much of this settles into the clarinet range -- Baars is also credited with shakuhachi -- which is friendlier but less striking. B+(**)

Diego Barber: Calima (2008 [2009], Sunnyside): Spanish guitarist, backed by the Mark Turner/Larry Grenadier/Jeff Ballard trio otherwise known as Fly -- tempting to call them Spanish Fly. Guitarist, like others recently, is more into pacing than lines, so maybe the idea of emulating horn lines is dropping aside. Besides, he has Turner on 6 of 8 cuts, playing better than he did on his own recent Fly album. B+(**)

Nik Bärtsch: Piano Solo (2002 [2006], Ronin Rhythm); Nik Bärtsch's Ronin: Live (2002 [2006], Ronin Rhythm); Nik Bärtsch's Mobile: Aer (2003 [2006], Ronin Rhythm): Background study for me after two real good ECM albums. The column should have a review of Rea which quickly runs down the rest of the backlog. These three are all superb, at least if you're into this sort of thing -- Holon reminded Christgau of Terry Riley minimalism, and that's even more true here, even if they're almost all acoustic. Bärtsch dubs the series "Ritual Groove Music." That's pretty much all it is, and pretty much enough. All: A-

Nik Bärtsch's Mobile: Ritual Groove Music (2000-01 [2006], Ronin Rhythm): The first in the series, more varied than the others, which also means more hit-and-miss. B+(***)

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin: Randori (2001 [2006], Ronin Rhythm): The least interesting of the "Ritual Groove Music" series, marking the group transition from Mobile to Ronin, originally reflecting a change in the instrumentation -- dropped the bass clarinet/sax, but the name didn't change back when the horn reappeared. Has some good cuts even if record is a bit uneven. B+(**)

Carla Bley and Her Remarkable Big Band: Appearing Nightly (2006 [2008], Watt): The back cover notes that the album features Gary Valente, Lew Soloff, Andy Sheppard and Wolfgang Pushnig, and indeed she does a good job of setting up solo spots; the soloists return the favor by adding much needed grit. Still, this seem more like an album of spots than of longer movements. B+(***)

Chris Byars: Jazz Pictures at an Exhibition of Himalayan Art (2007 [2008], Smalls): A neo-bop tenor saxophonist I've been impressed by on several past records, slipping his Photos in Black, White and Gray into 2007's top ten list -- the sort of player whose ups and downs I should follow regularly, at least if I had the space. He gets fancier this time, adding trombone, oboe/English horn, and switching off to alto and soprano sax, not to mention flute. Can't say I approve of any of this -- well, except for John Mosca's trombone, can't complaint about that -- but he remains a first rate tenor saxophonist. B+(**)

Ralph Carney/Robert Creeley: Really!! (2007, Paris): Tuning into Creeley's poetry, Robert Christgau -- lit major that he is -- elevated this to his Consumer Guide A-list. I had it rated slightly below Carney's other poetry-plus-music exercise, Ira Cohen's The Stauffenberg Cycle, which has a little more countryish music and more idiosyncratic politics. The music here is relatively understated, which isn't to say inappropriate. Takes more effort to focus on the words, but their reading helps. B+(***) [advance]

Rebecca Cline/Hilary Noble: Enclave Diaspora (2007-08 [2008], Enclave Jazz): Got into trouble reviewing their first album for suggesting that a "couple of Yanks" had such a fresh take on Afro-Cuban jazz, as if Latinos weren't up to the task. (That Noble comes from Switzerland added to the flack.) Actually, the part I found most amusing was referring to a pair of Boston-based musicians as Yanks, but I'm a lifelong New York Yankees fan who spent nearly two decades living in the Boston area, so that's just me. This is the same album, more varied (or maybe more scattered), less edgy. Saxophonist Noble got top billing on an album dominated by pianist Cline last time; this time the names and impacts are reversed. None of that is unusual in a second album, but the slip is minor and they're working on interesting things. B+(**)

Marc Copland: Another Place (2007 [2008], Pirouet): A mainstream/postbop pianist who's been turning out well-regarded albums like clockwork since 1990, he's ultimately a victim of my reticence to write about piano, and his own production. This I figure as the best of five recent HM-worthy albums, counting Tim Hagans' Alone Together and three volumes of New York Sessions. The secret weapon here is John Abercrombie's guitar, so sinuously intertwined with the piano. B+(***)

Paulo Curado: The Bird, the Breeze, and Mr. Filiano (2006 [2008], Clean Feed): A simple recipe for a good free improv album: take an alto saxophonist like Curado, add a drummer -- in this case Bruno Pedroso -- and hire Ken Filiano to fill the bass slot. Filiano shows up on a dozen or so records each year, and they're all good. He's sort of the Harry Dean Stanton of jazz. One advantage here is that Curado's smart enough to give Filiano a lot of space. B+(**)

Ramón Díaz: Unblocking (2007 [2008], Fresh Sound New Talent): I'm less certain this time that he's the Spanish Art Blakey: the hard bop has evolved from his previous (A-listed) Diàleg in postboppy directions, and the drummer (who wrote most of the pieces here) doesn't play all that loud. Still runs a first-rate quintet, with two guys I recognize from elsewhere (saxophonist Jeppe Rasmussen, pianist José Alberto Medina) and a trumpet player (Idafe Pérez) I'm sure we'll hear more from. B+(***)

Mathias Eick: The Door (2007 [2008], ECM): Norwegian trumpeter, has been an asset on several others' albums -- Lars Danielsson's Tarantella is the most recent and probably the best. Turns in an eloquently understated album here with Jon Balke on piano -- the sort of thing that ECM loves to release, that's more than pleasant to listen to, but which doesn't raise your pulse notably. B+(**)

Eliane Elias: Something for You: Sings & Plays Bill Evans (2007 [2008], Blue Note): Well, as his 1958 album asserted, Everybody Digs Bill Evans. It's harder to say why. I can't say as I know myself, although I credit him with half a dozen or so A-list albums from 1959's Portrait in Jazz through 1978's Getting Sentimental, so I guess I dig him too. Elias can trace a connection through her bassist husband Marc Johnson, who played with Evans late in his career, and who provides a bit of unreleased Evans to cap off the set. Elias plays confident, credible piano, as always, and her pale, plain vocals fit the music well, whatever it means. B+(***)

Eliane Elias: Bossa Nova Stories (2008 [2009], Blue Note): Might as well punt here too, although this makes two good albums in a row since she returned to Blue Note. The reason here is that this one doesn't compare favorably to her 1997 Sings Jobim, which notably -- she's normally much more assured as a pianist than as a singer -- vastly improved on her 1990 Plays Jobim. It also pales in comparison to the Brazilian pieces in Diana Krall's Quiet Nights. Aside from those obvious reference points, it's nice survey of the Brazilian pop of her youth, with a little Gershwin and Wonder thrown in for no obvious reason. B+(***)

Bill Frisell: East West (2003-04 [2005], Nonesuch, 2CD): Two live trio sets, one from New York, the other from Oakland. I've complained for years about not getting Frisell's albums, and finally complained loud enough, got this and Bill Frisell/Ron Carter/Paul Motian along with History, Mystery. The latter is a near pick hit, and this is nearly as good. If I had space I'd include it, or at least slip it in at the top of the Honorable Mentions list. As good a place as any to get a feel for how he actually plays, relatively removed from the conceptualizing that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. A-

Fulminate Trio (2007 [2008], Generate): Guitar-bass-drums trio, where the guitarist is Anders Nilsson, relatively sedate compared to elsewhere, suggesting that drummer Michael Evans is hemming him in. Tasty nonethless. The bassist is Ken Filiano, whom you should know about by now. B+(**)

Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin' (2008, Hyena): A pianist young enough he's still not quite convinced that he isn't going to make a pop breakthrough while keeping his jazz cred intact: he keeps leading out the funk, then tries to hook you on something clever. Sometimes it works; often his New Volcanoes octet just powers their way through, for better or worse. B+(*)

The Joe Gilman Trio: View So Tender: Wonder Revisited Volume Two (2007, Capri): Always seemed like Stevie Wonder was a solid prospect for the jazz standards songbook, but the first one who got to him was Najee, a major turnoff, and Wonder's own take on "St. Louis Blues" on Herbie Hancock's Gershwin's World was pretty dismaying (not to mention disconnected). Haven't heard Gilman's Vol. 1, which picks more obvious songs, or his Brubeck tributes. This sounds like pretty solid piano jazz, with a little extra rhythmic bounce. B+(**)

Al Green: Lay It Down (2008, Blue Note): Good record by any standards but his own 1971-75. Still, I only kept this in play because it's on a famous jazz label. But when you think of the widely scattered range of jazz niche vocalists, he wouldn't be off the map. His control, timing, and nuance are more than competitive, and his voice is off the charts. Each year I struggle to think of any male jazz singers I like -- looking back at my database, the only ones I've A-listed since Jimmy Rushing's last record in 1971 were Bob Dorough and Maurice Hines, one shot each -- so it's tempting to jot down Al Green or Van Morrison, singers as great in our era as Armstrong, Crosby, Sinatra, and Rushing were in theirs. A-

Charlie Haden Family & Friends: Rambling Boy (2008, Decca): Only one instrumental, with Pat Metheny, a choice cut here. Everything else has a vocal, either some guest working as a friend, a Haden daughter either solo or grouped as the Haden Triplets, or (most provisionally) the great bassist himself -- once caught at age 2, the other considerably older. The sort of album one can get mushy over, which may be why I didn't. I'd have preferred more Hadens and fewer guests. B+(**)

Scott Hamilton & Friends: Across the Tracks (2008, Concord): The "and friends" gambit is usually cover for sneaking a lot of scattered guest stars in to prop up a wobbly leader, but this is just a sax-organ-guitar-drums quartet, with Doug James (who he?) adding baritone sax on two cuts. The best known sideman here is guitarist Duke Robillard, who built his rep on the blues circuit. Gene Ludwig and Chuck Riggs are folks you know if you know folks like them, but most likely you don't. Hamilton's done organ albums before, but aside from Organic Duke they don't showcase him especially well. This one seems utterly average, which doesn't keep "Blue Turning Grey Over You" from sounding flat-out gorgeous. B+(**)

Brian Harnetty: American Winter (2007, Atavistic): Put this on the list because the label mostly releases jazz, and kept it on the list because it's utterly enchanting. Bits of radio news and advertisements, story, song, a little fiddle, mostly from the New Deal era. Evidently Harnetty has done a lot of this sort of thing, but this is the only one I've heard. In a space crunch, I can't really justify slipping this in, but it deserves notice. A-

Gene Harris Quartet: Live in London (1996 [2008], Resonance): A lively piano-guitar quartet, touching on Monk, Ellington, and Garner, with an original called "Blues Closer." Harris is a pretty fair Oscar Peterson clone. Jim Mullen is the guitarist. Everyone stretches out. B+(***)

Frank Hewitt: Out of the Clear Black Sky (2000 [2008], Smalls): Fifth posthumous album from a bebop pianist who died recordless in 2002, but impressed Luke Kaven so much he launched a label to bring Hewitt some respect. A trio, about par for the series. Not a lot of flash, witty inside stuff, plumbed for ideas rather than atmosphere; mostly covers, the more familiar the more intriguing. B+(***)

Lauren Hooker: Right Where I Belong (2006 [2007], Musical Legends): Impressive debut album from a jazz singer who's been around, with a voice combining '50s cool, a knack for scat, and a dash of Sheila Jordan. Writes a little, especially adding new lyrics to jazz instrumentals -- Mingus, Monk, Waller, Waldron, Shorter. B+(***)

Darrell Katz/Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra: The Same Thing (2006 [2008], Cadence Jazz): The Willie Dixon title blues is a bit off the shallow end, but stretched out to 14:25 the band manages to twist it into surprising shapes. Three texts by Paula Tatarunis challenge the orchestra even further into some form of bizarre art theatre. Not something I'm inclined to like, but well enough done it's something worth listening to. B+(**)

Jon-Erik Kellso: Blue Roof Blues (2007, Arbors): A couple of years old now, a record I should have done earlier but somehow never got to. Subtitled "A Love Letter to New Orleans," a luscious slice of genteel trad jazz, with the leader's trumpet complemented by Evan Christopher's clarinet, the ever-dependable Matt Munisteri strumming in the background. A one-liner never seemed to quite do it justice, but it breaks so little ground, or breaks it so gently, that I wasn't tempted to promote it to the A-list. B+(***)

Ralph Lalama Quartet: Energy Fields (2008, Mighty Quinn): Good mainstream tenor saxophonist. Doesn't get many shots at recording -- this is his first since 1999. Seems like someone who could use a break. John Hart's guitar is another plus here. B+(**)

Brad Mehldau Trio: Live (2006 [2008], Nonesuch, 2CD): Mehldau recorded give volumes under The Art of the Trio rubric, which impressed me at the time but I can't say as I ever spent much time with them -- Vol. 5 is on a shelf somewhere still unrated. I fell further behind when he moved to Nonesuch, which for some reason didn't send me his records. I finally griped, and got this and the earlier House on Hill for my troubles. Both are fine trio recordings: not a lot to choose between them -- the studio a little more pristine, the live a lot longer. I still don't have a take on Mehldau: clearly a major talent, able to make almost anything he does sound right, and do it with none of the idiosyncrasies that distinguish virtually every other major talent. B+(***)

Paul Motian Trio 2000 + Two: Live at the Village Vanguard Vol. II (2006 [2008], Winter & Winter): Had Vol. I in my active file well over a year until this bumped up against it. The two are equivalent, interchangeable, more of the same. Motian is too disruptive to thoroughly enjoy, but there's a lot of talent here -- Chris Potter is the front man and Greg Osby is part of the "+ Two" -- and it's interesting how they try to make this difficult music work. B+(**)

Rosa Passos: Romance (2008, Telarc): Brazilian singer, makes me wonder if the words are up to selling the slyly understated music, but not knowing that I kept coming up short on my own words. B+(***)

The Michael Pedicin Quintet: Everything Starts Now . . . (2007 [2008], Jazz Hut): A Philadelphia group of underrated players -- guitarist Johnnie Valentino and pianist Mick Rossi have caught my ear before -- led by an otherwise unknown second generation tenor saxophonist. His father led a Bill Haley-like band in the 1950s, but Jr. favors the swing-influenced mainstream grooves of the same period. B+(***)

Dave Pietro: The Chakra Suite (2007 [2008], Challenge): The sort of thing that's superficially impressive but hard to nail down. Percussionist Todd Isler draws on Brazilian and Indian sources. Saxophonist Pietro has more Brazilian experience. Guitarist Rez Abbasi hails from Pakistan. Pianist Gary Versace also doubles on accordion. Broader than postbop; not conceptual enough to nail down a specific world interest. B+(***)

Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog: Party Intellectuals (2007 [2008], Pi): Jazz guitarist with sundry tastes, turning in fake Afro-Cuban with Los Cubanos Postizos and various fusion projects. This one is more of an art rock record, with a lot of moves but no consistent feel, just scattered ideas more tossed around than developed. B+(***)

Jason Rigby: The Sage (2008, Fresh Sound New Talent): Bop quintet, although everyone here is beyond that, with Mike Holober's Fender Rhodes loosening everyone up. Rigby is an impressive tenor saxophonist, less so on soprano. Had this a bit higher earlier, but the flute special drags it down somewhat. B+(**)

Barbara Rosene and Her New Yorkers: It Was Only a Sun Shower (2007, Stomp Off): A bright, cheerful singer specializing in pop tunes from the 1920s and 1930s -- has a couple of previous tribute albums to Ruth Etting and Annette Hanshaw. A trad jazz band with some names -- Mike Hashim is my favorite. Nothing not to like. B+(**)

Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Avatar (2007 [2008], Blue Note): This works when the complex rhythms that threaten to throw everything out of joint spread the horns and piano out into surprising configurations. But it works less often than 2004's Paseo, partly because the quartet there had fewer moving parts than the quintet here. Maybe also because this more often settles for conventional postbop harmonies. But it's remarkable when it breaks loose. B+(**)

Felipe Salles: South American Suite (2006 [2007], Curare): Brazilian suite, anyway: it's a big place with a lot of diversity, not that I can guarantee he didn't smuggle something in from across the border. Does those suite things, including massing flutes, but here and there suggests something as grand as his theme. B+(**)

Helen Schneider: Dream a Little Dream (2008 [2009], Edel): Cabaret singer -- even if everything it standard fare in English, she moved to Germany to be closer to her market. The songs are classic, the band impeccable, the singer lays a bit too much frosting on, but you only notice well into the act. B+(**)

Trygve Seim/Frode Haltli: Yeraz (2007 [2008], ECM): Saxophone/accordion duets, with Seim favoring soprano over his usually more primary tenor. Seim is an interesting player, worth keeping an ear out for. Music is mostly Armenian, with G.I. Gurdjieff looming large, although the Bob Marley tune is the one you'll recognize. B+(**)

Sha's Banryu: Chessboxing Volume One (2007 [2008], Ronin Rhythm): A spinoff from Nik Bärtsch's manga minimalism, led by Ronin's alto sax/bass clarinet player, with surrogate Mik Keusen on piano fitting Bärtsch's role to a tee. The real spin, however, comes from vocalist Isa Wiss, a bit too intrusive on the opening vocal, but her soft scat blends in nicely elsewhere. B+(***)

Avery Sharpe: Legends & Mentors: The Music of McCoy Tyner, Archie Shepp and Yusef Latef (2007 [2008], JKNM): Bassist, constructs a neat career resume posed as a tribute to his major bandleaders. Writes one piece for each, followed up with two covers apiece. He's probably closest to Tyner, but manages to draw connections to the others. John Blake's violin is an interesting addition to Joe Ford's sax/flute (Lateef, ya know), and Onaje Allan Gumbs is a Tyner wannabe from way back. B+(**)

Shot x Shot: Let Nature Square (2007 [2008], High Two): Two-sax quartet, more free than not, sound terrific when they're on, but this is a tad less consistent than their debut, some of which can be attributed to second album growth pangs. B+(**)

Spoon 3: Seductive Sabotage (2007 [2008], Evil Rabbit): A very interesting Dutch pianist, Albert van Veenendaal, who specialized in prepared piano; his frequent sidekick, bassist Meinrad Kneer; and an American expat vocalist, Jodi Gilbert, with an arch Euro-soprano voice and an odd sense of humor. Each has charms, and works in a little mischief. B+(**)

Michael Jefry Stevens Trio: For Andrew (1996 [2008], Konnex): Veteran pianist, has mostly recorded for avant labels -- often hiding behind bassist Joe Fonda's name -- but cites more mainstream models: Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, above all Andrew Hill. An old tape, dusted off and dressed up as a tribute to Hill, who would no doubt be pleased, while most of us wonder what the connection is. B+(***)

Sumi Tonooka Trio: Long Ago Today (2004 [2008], ARC): One of those smart, sassy postbop piano trios that keep slipping through the cracks because I can't think of anything useful or clever to say about them. By a Philadelphia pianist who's struggled for recognition, and no doubt could use the press. Deserves it, too. Cf. the chapter on her in Francis Davis's In the Moment. B+(***)

Frank Vignola: Vignola Plays Gershwin (2006 [2007], No obscurities, just pure classics, recast for guitar -- two, actually, with Corey Christiansen joining in. Joe Ascione is on board too -- this could be a Frank and Joe Show record but Joel Dorn wasn't around to round up guest vocalists. B+(***)

The Wee Trio: Capitol Diner Vol. 1 (2007 [2008], Bionic): Vibes-bass-drums trio, has a rather small sound but moves smartly within its limits. It would be nice to have space for more albums like this, but without name players -- James Westfall is the vibraphonist, with bassist Dan Loomis sharing the writing, and Jared Schonig handling the drums -- they tend to be the first to slip through the cracks. B+(***)

Paul West/Mark Brown: Words & Music (2007 [2008], OA2): Two singer-songwriters from Seattle, both play piano, each has a solo writing credit or two, but most of the songs are co-credited -- West first, seems to be the senior partner, and maybe the first-call lyricist. They more/less fit the Mose Allison model: sly singers, relying on wit; not as jazzy, with no allusions to old-fashioned hip. B+(**)

Jessica Williams: Songs for a New Century (2008, Origin): Solo piano, always a marginal undertaking, by a very good pianist with a few rhythmic surprises, used rather sparsely here. B+(**)

Eri Yamamoto Trio: Redwoods (2008, AUM Fidelity): The pianist up front on William Parker's excellent piano trio, Luc's Lantern, issued two good but less stimulating records last year: a set of duets called Duologue and this more conventional, more consistent piano trio. Rhythm section isn't up to Parker and Hamid Drake, and the compositions are less elemental. B+(**)

Alon Yavnai: Travel Notes (2008, ObliqSound): Piano trio, well ordered, nothing flashy, nothing much stands out other than Omer Avital's oud on one cut, but it's all very likable. B+(***) [advance]

Libby York: Here With You (2007 [2008], Libby York Music): Standards singer, picks good songs, does them justice with good musicians, nothing remotely original or all that distinctive, but until she slows it down a bit too much with "But Beautiful" this is first rate, with guitar from Howard Alden and Russell Malone, and cornet and a duet from Warren Vaché. B+(***)

Other Drops

Also dropping the following. Don't have anything to add to what was previously said in the prospecting notes (for this or some previous Jazz CG cycle).

  • Steve Adams Trio: Surface Tension (2000 [2009], Clean Feed) B+(**)
  • Jeff Albert Quartet: Similar in the Opposite Way (2008, Fora Sound) B+(*)
  • Clifton Anderson: Decade (2007 [2009], Doxy/Emarcy) B+(**)
  • The Leonisa Ardizzone Quintet: The Scent of Bitter Almonds (2008 [2009], Ardijenn Music) B+(*)
  • Dave Bennett: Dave Bennett Celebrates 100 Years of Benny (2008 [2009], Arbors) B
  • Massimo Biolcati: Persona (2008, Obliqsound) B
  • Bipolar: Euphrates, Me Jane (2009, CDBaby) B
  • Blah Blah 666: It's Only Life! (2007-08 [2008], Barnyard) B
  • Ron Blake: Shayari (2007 [2008], Mack Avenue) B+(**)
  • Matt Blostein/Vinnie Sperrazza: Ursa Minor (2006 [2007], Envoi) B+(*)
  • Brothers of the Southland (2009, Zoho Roots) B
  • Ray Bryant: In the Back Room (2004-08 [2008], Evening Star) B+(**)
  • The John Bunch Trio: Plays the Music of Irving Berlin (Except One) B+(**) (2008, Arbors):
  • Frank Carlberg: The American Dream (2007 [2009], Red Piano) B+(*)
  • Steve Carter Group: Cosmopolis (2008, CDBaby) B
  • Dan Cavanagh's Jazz Emporium Big Band: Pulse (2008, OA2) B+(*)
  • Brian Charette: Missing Floor (2008, Dim Mak) B+(**)
  • Fay Claassen: Red, Hot & Blue: The Music of Cole Porter (2007 [2008], Challenge) B
  • Clayton Bros.: Brother to Brother (2008, ArtistShare) B+(*)
  • Gerald Cleaver/William Parker/Craig Taborn: Farmers by Nature (2008 [2009], AUM Fidelity) B+(*)
  • Nels Cline: Coward (2008 [2009], Cryptogramophone) B
  • Ravi Coltrane: Blending Times (2006-07 [2009], Savoy Jazz) B+(**)
  • Marc Copland: New York Trio Recordings, Vol. 2: Voices (2006 [2007], Pirouet) B+(***)
  • Marc Copland: New York Trio Recordings, Vol. 3: Night Whispers (2008 [2009], Pirouet) B+(*)
  • Matt Criscuolo: Melancholia (2008 [2009], M) B-
  • Theo Croker: In the Tradition (2008 [2009], Arbors) B+(*)
  • Sunny Crownover: Introducing Sunny and Her Joy Boys (2009, Stony Plain) B+(*)
  • Joey DeFrancesco: Joey D! (2008, High Note) B+(**)
  • Sarah DeLeo: I'm in Heaven Tonight (2008 [2009], Sweet Sassy) B
  • KJ Denhert: Dal Vivo a Umbria Jazz (2008, Motema Music) B-
  • Greg Diamond: Dançando Com Ale (2007 [2008], Chasm) B+(*)
  • Paul Dunmall Sun Quartet: Ancient and Future Airs (2008 [2009], Clean Feed) B+(*)
  • Steve Elson: Mott & Broome (2008 [2009], Lips & Fingers Music) B+(*)
  • John Escreet: Consequences (2008, Positone) B+(*)
  • Ethnic Heritage Ensemble: Mama's House Live: 35th Anniversary Project (2006 [2009], Katalyst Entertainment/City Hall) B+(**)
  • The Flatlands Collective: Maatjes (2008, Clean Feed) B+(**)
  • Fly: Sky & Country (2008 [2009], ECM) B+(*)
  • Dave Frank: Turning It Loose! (2007-08 [2008], Jazzheads) B
  • Carol Fredette: Everything in Time (2008 [2009], Soundbrush) B
  • Bill Frisell/Ron Carter/Paul Motian (2005 [2006], Nonesuch) B+(**)
  • Melody Gardot: Worrisome Heart (2005-06 [2008], Verve) B+(*)
  • Adam Glasser: Free at First (2009, Sunnyside) B
  • Benny Golson: New Time, New 'Tet (2008 [2009], Concord) B+(*)
  • Tim Green & Trio Cambia: Change of Seasons (2008, OA2) B+(*)
  • George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band: Pourqoi Pas? Why Not? (2007 [2009], TCB) B+(*)
  • Russell Gunn: Love Stories (2008, High Note) B
  • Gypsy Schaeffer: New Album (2008 [2009], PeaceTime) B+(*)
  • Tim Hagans: Alone Together (2007 [2008], Pirouet) B+(***)
  • Tom Harrell: Prana Dance (2008 [2009], High Note) B+(*)
  • Lisa Hearns: I Got It Bad & That Ain't Good (2006 [2008], [no label]) B+(*)
  • Alex Heitlinger: The Daily Life of Uncle Roger (2007 [2009], [no label]) B
  • Bill Henderson: Beautiful Memory: Bill Henderson Live at the Vic (2007 [2009], Ahuh) B
  • Nicole Henry: The Very Thought of You (2008, Banister) B+(*)
  • The Matthew Herbert Big Band: There's Me and There's You (2008, !K7) B
  • Nicole Herzog Septet: Time Will Tell (2007 [2009], TCB) B
  • Hiromi's Sonicbloom: Beyond Standard (2008, Telarc) B+(**)
  • Red Holloway: Go Red Go! (2008 [2009], Delmark) B+(**)
  • Mike Holober & the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Quake (2008 [2009], Sunnyside) B+(*)
  • Al Hood: Just a Little Taste: Al Hood Plays the Writing of Dave Hanson (2008 [2009], CDBaby) B
  • Fernando Huergo: Provinciano (2006 [2008], Sunnyside) B+(*)
  • Julia Hülsmann Trio: The End of a Summer (2008, ECM) B+(**)
  • Iron City: Put the Flavor on It (2008 [2009], Carlo Music) B-
  • Jazz Arts Trio: Tribute (2008, JRI) B+(*)
  • Eddie Daniels and Roger Kellaway: A Duet of One: Live at the Bakery (2005 [2009], IPO) B+(*)
  • Randy Klein: Piano Improvisations: The Flowing (2008, Jazzheads) B+(**)
  • The Klobas/Kesecker Ensemble: No Gravity (2007 [2008], KKEnsemble) B+(**)
  • Joachim Kühn & Michael Wollny: Piano Works IX: Live at Schloss Elmau (2008 [2009], ACT) B+(*)
  • Steeve Laffont/Gino Roman/Yorgui Loeffler/Chriss Campion: Latchès (2008, Sunnyside) B
  • Helge Lien Trio: Hello Troll (2008, Ozella) B+(**)
  • Jessica Lurie Ensemble: Shop of Wild Dreams (2008 [2009], Zipa! Music) B+(**)
  • Frank Macchia: Saxolollapalooza (2008 [2009], Cacophony) B
  • Ben Markley: Second Introduction (2008 [2009], OA2) B
  • Martin & Haynes: Freedman (2008, Barnyard) B
  • Brian McCree: Changes in the Wind (2005-06 [2009], Accurate) B+(**)
  • The Eddie Metz Jr. Trio: Bridging the Gap (2008 [2009], Arbors) B
  • Hendrik Meurkens: Samba to Go! (2008 [2009], Zoho) B-
  • Bob Mintzer Big Band: Swing Out (2007 [2008], MCG Jazz) B-
  • Larry Ochs/ROVA Special Sextet/Orkestrova: The Mirror World (2005 [2007], Metalanguage, 2CD) B+(*)
  • Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing Trio: Live in New York (2004 [2009], OMAC) B
  • John O'Gallagher Trio: Dirty Hands (2007 [2008], Clean Feed) B+(**)
  • Miles Okazaki: Generations (2008 [2009], Sunnyside) B
  • Linda Presgrave: Inspiration (2008 [2009], Metropolitan) B+(**)
  • Enrico Rava: New York Days (2008 [2009], ECM) B+(*)
  • Scott Reeves Quintet: Shape Shifter: Live at Cecil's (2008 [2009], Miles High) B+(*)
  • Greg Reitan: Some Other Time (2008 [2009], Sunnyside) B+(**)
  • Claudio Roditi: Brazilliance X4 (2008 [2009], Resonance) B+(**)
  • Bob Rodriguez: Portraits (1994 [2009], Art of Life) B
  • Meryl Romer: So Sure (2008 [2009], Lady Pearl Music) B+(**)
  • Saltman Knowles: Return of the Composer (2008 [2009], Pacific Coast Jazz) B-
  • Antti Sarpila Quartet: We'd Like New York . . . in June! (2008 [2009], Arbors) B+(**)
  • The Matt Savage Trio: Hot Ticket: Live in Boston (2008, Savage) B-
  • Radam Schwartz: Blues Citizens (2006 [2009], Savant) B+(*)
  • Frank Senior: Listening in the Dark (2007 [2008], Smalls) B+(**)
  • Shakers n' Bakers: YfZ (Yearning for Zion) (2008, Little (i) Music) B+(**)
  • Kendra Shank Quartet: Mosaic (2008 [2009], Challenge) B
  • Liam Sillery: Outskirts (2007 [2009], OA2) B+(**)
  • Greg Skaff: East Harlem Skyline (2007 [2009], Zoho) B+(*)
  • The Skein: Andrea Parkins and Jessica Constable: Cities and Eyes (2004 [2009], Henceforth) C+
  • Martial Solal: Live at the Village Vanguard: I Can't Give You Anything but Love (2007 [2009], CAM Jazz) B+(*)
  • Peter Sommer: Crossroads (2006 [2008], Capri) B
  • Sound Assembly: Edge of the Mind (2005 [2009], Beauport Jazz) B+(*)
  • John Stowell: Solitary Tales (2008 [2009], Origin) B+(**)
  • Tierney Sutton Band: Desire (2008 [2009], Telarc) B+(*)
  • Martin Taylor: Double Standards (2008, The Guitar Label) B+(**)
  • Viktoria Tolstoy: My Russian Soul (2008, ACT) B-
  • Trinity: Breaking the Mold (2006 [2009], Clean Feed) B+(*)
  • Gianluigi Trovesi: All'Opera: Profumo di Violetta (2006 [2009], ECM) B+(*)
  • Donald Vega: Tomorrows (2008 [2009], Imagery) B+(*)
  • Jonathan Voltzok: More to Come (2008, Kol Yo) B+(**)
  • Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet: Infinity (2008, Patois) B
  • Ben Wendel: Simple Song (2007 [2009], Sunnyside) B
  • Bill Wimmer: Project Omaha (2008 [2009], Wimjazz) B+(*)
  • Denny Zeitlin Trio: In Concert (2001-06 [2009], Sunnyside) B+(**)

The following appeared (or soon will) in Recycled Goods:

  • Ruby Braff: For the Last Time (2002 [2008], Arbors, 2CD) B+(*)
  • Garvin Bushell: One Steady Roll (1982 [2009], Delmark) B+(*)
  • Ira Cohen/Music by Ralph Carney: The Stauffenberg Cycle (2007, Paris) B+(***)
  • Robert Creeley/Music by Ralph Carney: Really!! (2007, Paris) B+(***)
  • Miles Davis: Kind of Blue (Legacy Edition) (1958-60 [2009], Columbia/Legacy, 2CD) A-
  • Delmark: 55 Years of Jazz (1944-2007 [2008], Delmark, CD+DVD) B+(*)
  • Early Trane: The John Coltrane Songbook [The Composer Collection Volume 2] (1999-2006 [2008], High Note) B+(*)
  • Yoshie Fruchter: Pitom (2008, Tzadik) B-
  • Then and Now: The Definitive Herbie Hancock (1964-2008 [2008], Verve) B
  • Fareed Haque + the Flat Earth Ensemble: Flat Planet (2009, Owl Studios) B+(**)
  • Israel: Naranjas Sobre la Nieve (2007 [2009], Sunnyside) C+
  • Keith Jarrett/Gary Peacock/Jack DeJohnette: Yesterdays (2001 [2009], ECM) B+(**)
  • Pirouet Jazz Compilation, Vol. I: The Best Is Yet to Come (1992-2008 [2009], Pirouet) B+(*)
  • Putumayo Presents: Women of Jazz (1998-2008 [2008], Putumayo World Music) B+(*)
  • Samba Meets Boogie Woogie (2008, Adventure Music) B+(*)
  • Harry Shearer: Songs of the Bushmen (2008, Courgette) B+(***)
  • Savina Yannatou & Primavera en Salonico: Songs of an Other (2007 [2008], ECM) B+(*)
  • Joe Zawinul & the Zawinul Syndicate: 75 (2007 [2009], Heads Up, 2CD) B+(**)

The following were briefly sampled from download sources (e.g., Rhapsody). They may be revisited if/when I get real copies.