Around the last decade of the previous century, something significant happened in jazz. Suddenly, many of the best players were no longer Americans. Actually, it was not sudden. It was a gradual flowering that achieved critical mass and could no longer be overlooked.
Ryan Truesdell: Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans
Ryan Truesdell, conductor; 35 musicians including those mentioned in text, plus: Scott Robinson, Charles Pillow, reeds; Greg Gisbert, trumpet; Marcus Rojas, tuba; Romero Lubambo, guitar; Lewis Nash, drums
ArtistShare AS0114 (CD). 2012. Ryan Truesdell, prod.; James Farber, eng. DAD. TT: 74:18
It is dreamlike when the opening track, "Punjab," begins so softly, with the tapping of a tabla. Exotic woodwinds, perhaps English horn and bassoon, murmur in the left channel, whisper in the right. It is dreamlike because Gil Evans died in 1988, yet this unfamiliar music sounds like him, and when suddenly that deep, solemn brass figure looms out of the right channel, it could only be him. More instruments enter, and more motifs, with brighter colors from alto saxophone and flute. Like all the greatest Gil Evans music, "Punjab" creates its own world of high drama and mysterious allusion. It belongs in the exalted company of such Evans masterpieces as Out of the Cool and Sketches of Spain. And it is new.
On this page in the May 2011 issue of Stereophile, Steve Guttenberg became the latest in a long line of prophets of doom who periodically announce that jazz is deceased. Guttenberg argued that "Digital audio mortally wounded recorded music's creative mojo in 1982" and was "stifling creativity in rock and jazz."
I bring glad tidings to Stereophile readers. When it comes to jazz, Guttenberg is dead wrong. The jazz art form today is rich, diverse, deep, and international.
GARY BURTON/PAT METHENY/STEVE SWALLOW/ANTONIO SÁNCHEZ: Quartet Live!
Gary Burton, vibraphone; Pat Metheny, guitar; Steve Swallow, electric bass; Antonio Sánchez, drums
Concord Jazz CJA-31303-02 (CD). 2009. Gary Burton, Pat Metheny, prods.; David Oakes, eng. DDD. TT: 79:22
JOHN ABERCROMBIE: The Third Quartet
John Abercrombie, electric & acoustic guitar; Mark Feldman, violin; Marc Johnson, bass; Joey Baron, drums
ECM 1993 (CD). 2007. Manfred Eicher, prod.; James Farber, eng. DDD. TT: 59:45
THE TIERNEY SUTTON BAND: On the Other Side
Tierney Sutton, vocals; Christian Jacob, piano; Trey Henry, Kevin Axt, bass; Ray Brinker, drums; with Jack Sheldon, trumpet, vocal
Telarc SACD-63650 (hybrid multichannel SACD/CD). 2007. Elaine Martone, prod.; Robert Friedrich, eng. DDD. TT: 60:03
ONE FOR ALL: The Lineup
Eric Alexander, tenor sax; Jim Rotondi, trumpet, flugelhorn; Steve Davis, trombone; David Hazeltine, piano, Fender Rhodes; John Webber, bass; Joe Farnsworth, drums
Sharp Nine CD 1037-2 (CD). 2006. Marc Edelman, prod.; Katherine Miller, eng. DDD. TT: 57:42
CHARLIE HADEN LIBERATION MUSIC ORCHESTRA: Not In Our Name
Charlie Haden, bass; Carla Bley, piano, arranger, conductor; Seneca Black, Michael Rodriguez, trumpet; Miguel Zenón, alto sax; Chris Cheek, Tony Malaby, tenor sax; Curtis Fowlkes, trombone; Ahnee Sharon Freeman, French horn; Joe Daley, tuba; Steve Cardenas, guitar; Matt Wilson, drums
Verve B000494902 (CD). 2005. Charlie Haden, Carla Bley, Ruth Cameron, prods.; Gerard de Haro, eng. DDD? TT: 68:55