“Bad news, guys. Billie Joe has got laryngitis. But I’m here!” said drummer Tre Cool, taking centre stage before singing a solo rude version of “All By Myself”, thus setting the tone for an evening of nostalgic messing around.
Some musicians make fun of corny standards.
What's great about this rare new ensemble-recording by pianist/composer Tippett is the way it runs together swinging, South African influenced grooves with free-jazz freak-outs.
That alto saxophonist Konitz plays as well as he does at 82 years of age is remarkable, but that doesn't mean you want to hear this 2009 recording very often, despite the contributions of Brad Mehldau, Charlie Haden and Paul Motian. Always an eccentric soloist, Kontiz's ideas seem as fresh as ever but a lack of puff renders his tone thin and weedy.
Star saxman Joshua Redman's new band is a "collaborative" quartet (Aaron Parks, Matt Penman, Eric Harland) who cleave to a strikingly Euro-sounding aesthetic.
The great and the good of Stateside get the best out of Tyneside
Wailing, bluesy free jazz from alto saxophonist Roberts, following up her excellent debut with this Vortex recording accompanied by pianist Robert Mitchell, bassist Tom Mason and drummer Chris Vatalaro.
Tenor saxophonist Baptiste follows Let Freedom Ring!, his Martin Luther King dedication from 2003, with a more questioning reflection on "life's experience as a black man of Caribbean descent, playing jazz music in the UK".
Celebrating his 75th birthday, bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi faithfully follows in the steps of his mentor and former colleague Astor Piazzolla.
Sally Beamish knows what it's like to be right at the centre of an orchestra. As a violist she was always in the thick of things; as a composer she's there again, only inside her head.
You can't knock the sheer class of this major-label grand production matching bassist Haden's film noir-inspired quartet – one of the best groups of the past 20 years – with guest singers Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, Renée Fleming and Ruth Cameron (Haden's wife, who co-produces).
This collaboration with Tango Siempre violinist Ros Stephen and saxophonist Gilad Atzmon finds Robert Wyatt in relaxed, croonsome mood on a mixture of noirish standards and items from the Wyatt repertoire, the tone of which recalls that ancient TV commercial for Strand cigarettes reworked for the Middle East market.
Debut release for new label dedicated to archive recordings of tenor saxophonist Hayes (1935-1973), the UK's greatest-ever modern jazzman.
Saxophonist Kinch is an engaging performer with an enviable social and intellectual reach (Ellington, Madlib and Delius are his touchstones here, along with worksongs and early blues), but this third album once again falls into the "promising" category rather than delivering a truly convincing musical message.
"If I'm bitter – and I'm sure I am – I have no feelings about that bitterness really. If there's a chip on my shoulder I didn't put it up there."