by: Hobert Taylor
Tad Britton - Cicada - (Origin Records)
Drummer/composer Britton Jeff Johnson on bass who also composes, Hans Teuber on saxes, and guitarist Peter Fogle make spacious and witty music basically from the Ornette Coleman school. Wonderfully played tunes from an ensemble that melds exceptionally well.
Anton Schwartz - Flash Mob - Antonjazz)
Tenor player Schwartz along with pianist the Amazing Taylor Eigsti, (amazing should be his first name), in a swinging five piece ensemble resurrect the spirit of hard bop, McCoy Tyner style. Eyes closed you couldn't tell this apart from a 1969 release in a taste test. They even do a Kenny Dorham cover.
John Ellis & Double-Wide - Charm - Parade Light)
Ellis on Tenor and clarinet leads this New Orleans crew (including Matt Perrine on sousahone) in this indoor variation on brass band music NOLA style. Organist Gary Versace and drummer Jason Marsalis provide soul jazz touches. Sometimes there is a touch of Nino Rota, sometimes Monk peeks around the corner, and there are a couple of tangos.
Kurt Elling - Passion World - Concord Jazz)
One of the most sensitive voices in jazz, haunted and authentic, Elling interprets songs from many cultures that have rich poetry and melodic graciousness as a common thread. I favor "Loch Tay Song", "Bonita Cuba" (check out trumpeter Arturo Sandoval), "The Tangled Road", and "Where Love Is". The record is uneven though and avoid "La Vie En Rose".