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Jazz Masters

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Jack DeJohnette, Made in Chicago (ECM, $18.98) – Pianist Muhal Richard Abrams was one of the co-founders of the Chicago-based Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (A.A.C.M.), which stressed original compositions and collaborations. For a live date at the 2013 Chicago Jazz Festival, A.A.C.M. member drummer Jack DeJohnnette brought together some of the leading members of the Association, including Mr. Abrams, and saxophonist/flutists Roscoe Mitchell and Henry Threadgill (Larry Gray is the bassist). The breadth and variety of the compositions exemplifies the continuing innovations of these masters.

The New York Times had an extensive article on the A.A.C.M. (celebrating 50 years this year) and Made in Chicago last Sunday.

Myra Melford, Snowy Egret (Yellowbird Records, $15.98) – Pianist Myra Melford studied with Henry Threadgill, and has played with A.A.C.M. stalwarts like Leroy Jenkins and Joseph Jarman. Ms Melford has assembled many groups throughout her career; she released an excellent solo album in 2013, Life Carries Me This Way, and she now premieres her new ensemble, Snowy Egret. It includes Ron Miles, cornet, Liberty Ellman, guitar, Stomu Takeishi, bass, and Tyshawn Sorey, drums. The music is expansive and varied, going from meditative to edgy and assertive, interweaving the three solo instruments.

Albert “Tootie” Heath, Philadelphia Beat (Sunnyside, $16.98) – The third trio release from drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath, pianist Ethan Iverson, and bassist Ben Street. The standards include “Con Alma,” “Bag’s Groove,” “Speak Low,” and Monk’s “Bye-Ya.”



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Tallis Scholars, Tintinnabuli: Arvo Pärt (Gimell, $19.98) – The Tallis Scholars—chamber choral group—was started by Peter Phillips in 1973, and are pre-eminent in the field of  Renaissance and Baroque sacred  music. The group has also recorded a few modern composers, such as John Tavener, and they’ve now devoted a CD to Arvo Pärt. The album’s title comes from the Latin word for bell, and is Pärt’s own description of his compositional style, using a key note and simple triads, and weaving melodies. Pärt’s sacred works in the collection include Magnificat, Triodion, and I Am the True Vine.

Schumann: Violin Concerto &  Piano Trio No. 3 (Harmonia Mundi, $18.98) –  The first of a projected trilogy of recordings featuring violinist Isabelle Faust, pianist Alexander Melnikov, and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras.  The recording pairs two late works: the Piano Trio No. 3, and  the Violin Concerto, where Ms Faust is in the company of the Freiburger  Barockorchester, conducted by Pablo Heras Casado.


Label Spotlight: Soul Jazz Records

Soul Jazz Records is a British label which specializes in wonderful compilations and historical re-issues. They are especially strong in their selection of Brazilian, Caribbean, Jazz and Funk. Each slip-cased set includes profuse notes and photos. Here are a selection:
Bossa Nova: Bossa Nova and the Rise of Brazilian Music in the 1960s ($23.99)
Tropicalia: A Brazilian Revolution in Sound ($22.99)
Bossa Jazz: The Birth of Hard Bossa, Samba Jazz and the Evolution of Brazilian Fusion 1962-73 ($23.99)
New Orleans Soul: 1960 – 1976 ($22.99)
New Orleans Funk ($20.99)
Gipsy Rhumba: The Original Rhythm of Gipsy Rhumba in Spain 1965-1974 ($22.98)
Studio One Dub ($20.99)
Studio One Jump Up – The Birth of a Sound: Jump Up, Jamaican R&B, Jazz and Early Ska ($23.99)
Calypso: Musical Poetry in the Caribbean 1955-69 ($23.99)

Both of the CD sets below also have companion books, published separately.
Black Fire! New Spirits! – Radical and Revolutionary Jazz in the USA 1957 - 1982 ($23.99)
90 Degrees of Shade: Hot Jump-Up Island Sounds from the Caribbean ($23.99)