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"If you ain't got it in you, you can't blow it out."
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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Matthew Shipp: Piano Sutras

Matthew Shipp caught ears when he was playing with saxophonist David S. Ware and bassist William Parker, but it soon became clear that this pianist—who will turn 53 this year—was wholly his own man. He formed a great trio, he became the curator of a recording series, he experimented with electronics, he dove back into jazz standards and he developed into a wholly original player in the solo piano history of jazz. He is one of the few jazz musicians of the new millennium to generate ink suggesting that jazz was developing an appeal among rock fans.

What do you want this guy to do next?

Rumors that he might retire turned out to be false. And, in fact, his latest release—a stunning solo piano recital—may just be a classic, the kind of record we talk about and play for each other decades later. Piano Sutras is a glorious, generous, fully mature expression of creativity that could only have come from one artist. It is as good and adventurous as jazz is going to sound in 2013.

These 13 tracks (two, “Giant Steps” and “Nefertiti”, were not written by Shipp) are relatively brief and focused pianistic essays. They cover a wide stylistic range, but each is driven by a logic or strong sense of sequence. They don’t typically sound like standard jazz—there no “tune”, variations on the tune, return to the tune sequence—but neither are they “free jazz” in any meaningful sense. Shipp, in this collection, has refined a style that allows composition and improvisation to work seamlessly as partners, seemingly indistinguishable. Could this be some kind of “modern classical music”? I guess so, except that Shipp remains a jazz player at his core: emphasizing the surging rhythms and blues sensibility that remain the core of great original American music, whatever name you want to give it.

“Cosmic Shuffle” is not alone in Shipp’s recent music in being driven by a core swing rhythm, his left hand “walking” like an upright bass in places but never restricted to that feeling. The whole piece is as swung as hard any Count Basie performance, but it swings beyond the usual rules of structure and convention, taking detours into moments of contemplation before heading back into free-wheeling call-and-response patterns that would make Jimmie Lunceford smile. Or check out (the related?) “Cosmic Dust”, which uses surges and shifts in tempo every few bars to create a feeling of manic momentum. The daring squiggles—what a previous generation might have called licks or riffs—that he generates in these tunes seems free of cliché but also tonal within his own system. That is, “Cosmic Dust” is really as accessible to the untutored ear as a solo by, say, Chick Corea, as long as you’re not looking for the usual Tin Pan Alley harmonic patterns that jazz piano relied on until Cecil Taylor and other like-minded pianists declared otherwise. Shipp works that vein with a sense of structured classicism.

Some of this work has a dramatic foreboding. “Uncreated Light” begins with alternation between dark low clusters and pretty high chords. Shipp lets his left-hand figures ring with overtones, the sustain suggesting music beyond what you can hear. A spiraling theme then emerges in his delicate right hand between the thunderous statements from below. It’s easy to imagine this music accompanying a scene of danger imposing on innocence from a suspense movie, perhaps.

Other songs here are as light as air. “Angelic Brain Cell” is like a post-modern minuet—a light dance piece that flitters and skips and suggests the spark of movement and intelligence in every note. Patterns of repetition arise and vanish, Licks turn into variation, unison lines grow quickly out of phase and then transform into counterpoint. It is an astonishing, ingenious performance.

Read the entire review here: Matthew Shipp: Piano Sutras

Monday, September 16, 2013

Kenny Garrett: Pushing the World Away

Kenny Garrett is a workhorse jazz musician—a guy who has made plenty of recordings, who has a killer working band, and who gives his all in every show. Much of his work is brilliant. He has made long strings of records that have investigated different corners of the music with intelligence and searching discovery.

But in a long career, there have been stretches of relaxation also where he played too many easy blues licks or seemed to be recording songs that were designed simply to be “funky” pop songs that hardly tested his band or his talent. Those years with the aging Miles Davis taught him some bad habits as well as some brilliance.

Pushing the World Away is Good Garrett—and following up on a really wonderful 2012 record called Seeds from the Underground that was a flat-out cooker, this is a great sign.

I’d guess it’s not coincidence that the title of this disc contains “world” and “pushing”, as these songs cover lots of territory and move gracefully away from the pure swing feel that characterized so much of Garrett’s last disc. Garrett has long been playing pianist Benito Gonzalez, so the sweet Latin groove of “Chuco’s Mambo” is a natural, with percussionist Rudy Bird locking in with drummer Marcus Baylor to create a lovely feeling of dance and movement. And “J’ouvert” is a hopping and staccato calypso tune that is, naturally, an homage to Sonny Rollins in his “St. Thomas” mode but with a richer bed of percussion giving it float and ensemble interplay.

One of the most ambitious tunes here is the title track which builds on a rolling groove played by drummer Mark Whitfield, Jr. and piles a sinuous soprano saxophone melody atop a throaty chant that punctuates the arrangement. Garrett’s solo shifts into a sunny key over a vamp reminiscent of Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things”, but the pianist Vernell Brown muddies the harmonies so that things keep moving into stranger and more interesting territory. Garrett takes plenty of harmonic liberty, and the piece veers into the edge of the avant-garde. This tune is followed by “Homma San”, which uses a sprinkling of Latin percussion and a lovely wordless vocal as the etched shadow of Garrett’s melody on alto—a tune that is so lovely that nearly takes your breath away after the broiling intensity of “Pushing the World Away”.

This is a record that, indeed, pushes outward in many directions. It’s unusual, for example, to hear the leader performing on piano, but that’s him, fingers against keys, on his tribute to pianist and producer Donald Brown (who played with Garrett when both were in Art Blakey’s band), “Brother Brown”. And how lovely is it that Garrett has written out an accompaniment for violin, viola, and cello on this track? Very.

Much of the music here, however, has all the more typical Garrett virtues: swing, drive, and fire. “A Side Order of Hijiki” surges in a vintage post-bop vein, with Gonzalez playing like an up-to-date Tyner or Hancock around the edges of the melody and Baylor and his bass partner Corcoron Holt alternating between Latin syncopation and straight-ahead, four-on-the-floor uptempo walking. “Alpha Man” moves fast and slick as well, setting the melody as a tricky rhythmic counterpoint, but keeping the things moving on a very quick pulse played on the ride cymbal. “Rotation”, the closer, is a modern blues that would be a perfect tune on any jazz bandstand you can imagine, meat and potatoes and a heap of joy.

Read the entire review here: Kenny Garrett: Pushing the World Away

Friday, September 13, 2013

Bill Frisell: Big Sur

At this point in the career of guitarist Bill Frisell, there’s not much point in continuing to talk about his music as “jazz”—or as “Americana” . . . or really as anything for that matter. Frisell has cornered the market on something wholly his own: an instrumental form that uses elements of different genres to create cinematic soundscapes that lope or slither, walk or skitter like a great character making his way across a movie screen.

Big Sur is an outing for the leader’s “858 Quartet”, which is Frisell plus Jenny Scheinman on violin, Eyvind Kang on viola, and Hank Roberts’ cello, plus the drummer Rudy Royston. Frisell wrote this music (19 somewhat connected short tunes) on a commission while staying on a ranch at Big Sur, inspired by classic California coastline. The sound is mostly open and pleasing, and maybe sometimes just a little too nice—a little boring—in the way that beauty sometimes can be.

So, to be sure, this is mostly very “pretty” music, and that may be its glory and its problem. Although there is plenty of folky edge here—a kind of funky sweetness that suggests authenticity—most of the music on Big Sur is consonant, mid-tempo stuff. It’s soulful, like, dig “Highway 1”, with Jenny Sheinman’s violin bending notes and the strings generally playing syncopated patterns over a two-chord groove. Or how about the delightful but lightweight “We All Love Neil Young”, a duet between Frisell and Kang that is a charming minute and a half of skipping guitar and pure melody? Nice stuff.

But very nearly each of these little portraits leans on a certain kind of easy, loping vibe—a dreamy melodicism that comes with all the right kind of “authentic” American/folk affectations. It’s interesting and cool—but I admire this music more than I like it. The tunes feel a bit like museum exhibits. You might say that this music presents you with a bit of a guilt trip: Hey, man, you really should dig this, whether it’s terrific or not, just because it sounds so “real”.

Read the entire review here: Bill Frisell: Big Sur

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

JAZZ TODAY: Later, Marian McPartland

On Tuesday, 20 August 2013, we lost pianist and radio host Marian McPartland. Marian (as everyone called her during her more than four decades in radio) was the best ambassador and educator in jazz history. The music will miss her more than it knows.

Jazz and Radio—a Critical Connection

Radio has been critically important to jazz. All contemporary music, prior to the last ten years or so, has had radio to thank for the way that folks discovered its joys. Jazz, pop, rock ‘n’ roll, soul. For jazz, however, radio was particularly important. During radio’s pre-television heyday, jazz was the star, with Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington among many others surging to public consciousness from dance halls all across the US and into living rooms and parties.

Later, urban jazz DJs promoted and ushered in new jazz styles—most notably bebop, which ascended significantly based on the support of folks like Symphony Sid or Mort Fega. And when jazz became harder to discover in the pop culture landscape of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the word still spread through great jazz stations on public radio in New York, in Chicago, on the West Coast, all over.

Starting in 1964, Pacifica Radio’s WBAI in New York started letting a British jazz pianist from Great Britain—the 46 year-old Marian McPartland—interview guest musicians on the air. In 1978, Marion started the show on National Public Radio that would make her more famous than her own music: Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. She kept recording episodes well into 2010, when she was 92 years old.

The effect of this incredible body of work—hundreds of episodes with rare repeat guests—is tough to explain or calculate. But the magic of radio is the thing. When you listened to Piano Jazz, you felt that you were in a room with two real, regular folks—Marian and her guest—who just happened to be talking about one of the most elusive things that exists in the arts: that quicksilver known as jazz improvisation. Because it was radio, you could imagine sitting three feet away from these two folks, maybe sharing the edge of a piano bench with Chick Corea or Ray Charles. You were in on the secrets. It was full-on intimacy.

There was never a radio show that made you feel closer to the divine than this one.

Read the entire column here: Later, Marian McPartland

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Bassist Stephan Crump, from Pop to Avant-Garde and Back Again

I’ve written before about the singer Jen Chapin, whose style and approach is a perfect example of how “jazz” and “pop” remain in a beautiful dialogue even though Chapin doesn’t sing jazz standards or otherwise hold herself as a “jazz” artist. (“Playing Pop in the Jazz/Soul Shadow”)

Aside from being a fine songwriter and outstanding pop singer, Chapin (the daughter of Harry Chapin, yup) is also married to Stephan Crump, the stylistically catholic jazz bass player. Chapin most commonly performs with Crump—along with guitarists Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman, which group is otherwise known as Crump’s Rosetta Trio. But Crump is best known as a member of Vijay Iyer’s brilliant jazz trio and for other jazz playing that strays wildly beyond the conventional.

All this is on my mind because Chapin has an irresistible new recording, Reckoning, featuring Crump, Fox, and Ellman as well as a few other folks. It’s yet another example of how smart, contemporary pop can still be soulful and laced with jazz feeling without being “jazz”. And the Rosetta Trio also has a lovely new disc, Thwirl, a stunning essay in chamber jazz that moves from delicate to earthy. And Crump has a new duet recording with guitarist Mary Halvorson called Super Eight that is equally wondrous but that sits at the edge of jazz that is opposite from pop music: fully improvised music without hooks, verse/chorus structure, or anything resembling pop appeal.

All three of these recordings are outstanding. Central to all three is a jazz musician whose refusal to honor boundaries is a badge of honor. Arguably it’s what’s best about today’s jazz musician.

Jen Chapin’s Reckoning

The first sound you hear on the new, terrific, Chapin record is that of Crump’s bass playing a singing groove along with finger snaps and a syncopated drum pattern. The hip rise and fall of the bass melody is a perfect counterpoint to Chapin’s soulful and bluesy verse melody. It’s no surprise, then, that Chapin and Crump have recorded together as just a duet act.

But the appeal of “It’s All Right” goes beyond these two strongest elements. There are Chapin’s words, which provide telling details of difficult life being shared by a couple that is, still, resolved to make it. And it’s all wrapped in a concise arrangement by Crump—a few tastefully deployed strings, sprinkles of percussion, precise interplay between the guitars of Fox and Ellman. The lift of the strings on the chorus isn’t sugary but poignant. It’s wonderful storytelling that works because all the elements work together.

For me, “Let It Show” (a joyful piece of advice for a child, previously recorded by Chapin but not this well) ought to be a hit song—hooky, thrilling, beautiful. And it’s recorded and arranged with perfection: starting with simply strummed acoustic guitar, then layering in bass, guitars, Farfisa organ and Wurlitzer electric piano, even a little touch of glockenspiel. The following song, “Don’t Talk” is equally snappy—a faux reggae song that uses touches of clavinet, a brief little flute line and even a very brief bass “solo” for Crump that appears twice and naturally in the arrangement. That Chapin folds in a sumptuous release that eases of the reggae backbeat and evens out alike a ballad for a half-minute is just gravy.

Not everything on Reckoning is pure pop pleasure, though. “Spare Love (Not Fair)” begins with a duel guitar line that winds in an arcing shape before Chapin joins in counterpoint, all before the band groove sets in. It’s hard not to hear a tune like this as harking back to the kind of complex arrangements that bands like Steely Dan made standard in the ‘70s but that may be out of style in the “indie” atmosphere of the 21st century. But Chapin and Crump aren’t afraid to lay in some harp on this tune. And it works.

The closer on this ambitious record is called “Gospel”, a song that imagines a better world being possible. Again, the arrangement builds from simplicity (an off-center drum and bass groove that allows Chapin to sing a simple blues melody) to great complexity, with a significant harmonized chorus, a piece of spoken-word recitation, Hammond organ and celeste, and then a sensuous trumpet solo from Ambrose Akinmusire on the long out-chorus.

And those are just some of the stand-out tunes on Reckoning—a pop record that means to be, and is, much more than just some catchy licks and some passion. In fact, if you listen without enough attention on the first pass, Chapin’s work might seem “merely” pleasant. But just a little care and attention to the lyrics and arrangements suggests that Crump and Chapin have created a surefire gem: the kind of carefully-crafted and sophisticated pop that used to be associated with Paul Simon. Yeah, it’s that good.

So, a jazz bass player is making brilliant pop records—like Jaco Pastorius used to to with Joni Mitchell. But is his own jazz playing much to hear?

The Rosetta Trio’s Thwirl

It very much is.

The heart of Chapin’s band on Reckoning is actually Crump’s band. Or, rather, one of his bands. Crump’s acoustic bass along with guitarists Jamie Fox and Liberty Ellman make up The Rosetta Trio. As the heart of a group playing a jazzy pop for Chapin, these guys bring elegance and groove to songs that might have been played without soul. In two earlier records, this band has created an identity as an instrumental jazz trio that deserves a wider hearing.

Thwirl is the trio’s new record (out in September), and I think it is their best—impressionistic at times, but also soulful and singing, interlocking like a beautiful puzzle and also playful and witty. Crump play several different roles in this band—groovemaker on a playful 5/4 tune like “He Runs Circles” or a loping slow soul exercise like “Still Stolid”; primarily melodist on something like “Conversate (Talking-Wise)” or arco balladmaster on start of “Ending” or on the hypnotic middle section of “Whiteout”; or free improvising master on “Palimpsestic”, which begins as a pointilistic exploration and builds into a funky set melody that is irresistible.

Crump’s bandmates here are complimentary—almost to a fault but somewhat surprisingly. Ellman is known for his work in Henry Threadgill’s Zooid band and his association with Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, and Steve Lehman. Fox’s resume sets him up as a much more conventional player—he was lead guitarist for Blood, Seat & Tears and played with Joan Baez, organist Brother Jack McDuff, and Dr. John. But as bandmates, Fox and Ellman weave a brilliant and seamless cloth of chords, melodies, effects, and textures. I don’t find it easy to tell them apart. The title track, for example, is a polyrhythmic workout, with the guitarists plucking in a percussive maze that evolves into a circular melody that trades from one player to the other. It’s a joy to hear the interplay and selflessness as one statement leads to another.

All the tunes but one were written by Crump, and they show a stylistic diversity that is the equal of, say, bassist Dave Holland. In fact, Holland is the player who might be Crump’s artistic predecessor: someone just as home playing melodically, playing in a pop frame, or roaming free with little harmonic structure. Both have a pungent sound, rich in bottom while still capable of rising up to grab the music’s spotlight.

Thwirl is a truly satisfying record because, like so much of Holland’s work, it is catchy and appealing without ever seeming like it has “sold out” to ease or simplicity. That is to say: though it is perfectly “serious” jazz, it isn’t afraid to appeal a listener’s sense of pop pleasure. Which makes sense if you know that Crump is also a key force in Chapin’s sound.

But, it turns out, he can cut loose, wildly loose, too.

Secret Keeper’s Super Eight

Crump’s duet project with guitarist Halvorson is called “Secret Keeper”, which is a wonderfully suggestive title for a collaboration that is intimate, revealing, and cagey all at once.

Read the entirety of the column here: Bassist Stephan Crump, from Pop to Avant-Garde and Back Again

Everything Old Is New Again: Reimagined Jazz Standards

Getting jaded is the natural province of getting old, of thinking you’ve heard and seen it all before, of believing that whatever is created tomorrow by a bunch of kids has little chance of improving on generations of greatness that came before.

But then something comes along that knocks you out and cheers your heart, that sounds utterly new even while it stands on the shoulders of things you love. And, yeah, it was made by young people you’ve never heard of. And the third time you listen to it, it’s better than the first time. And the fifth time it’s better still.

That’s what happened to me when I heard the brilliant, astonishing new collection of reimagined jazz standards by singer Kristin Slipp and pianist Dov Manski.

A Jaded Critic Gets What He Needs: A Thousand Julys

Dov Manski and Kristin Slipp grew up not far from each other in Maine, and they both wound up at the New England Conservatory at the same time. “Even before college, I had heard about Dov—he was a high school jazz prodigy,” she chuckles. “I knew who he was. When we got to college, a couple of us were from Maine and we felt comfortable together. We were friends even before we started playing together.”

Slipp and Manski started exploring a duo approach to playing jazz, finding that “it was really freeing—there was so much space and so many possibilities,” explains Slipp. It’s hard to imagine that a couple of music students were already working on a project that would create the most daring and intelligent set of jazz standards I have heard in at least 20 years.

But that is exactly the case. Manski and Slipp’s new recording, A Thousand Julys is brilliant and fresh, an utterly original expansion of the tradition that reaches beyond jazz by using the jazz repertoire to express individual emotions.

After listening to these 11 standard tunes a dozen times each, savoring both the emotional directness and the abstraction of the playing, both the clarity and the craft in the singing, I searched for contact information for these incredible young musicians and asked them to grant me a joint interview to tell me how they had made this minor masterpiece.

“The standard repertoire has been done a million times, but we both felt there is so much still to be done,” says Slipp, who adds that there is a particular challenge in “standing out from the pack” as a female jazz singer working with the standard repertoire.

But A Thousand Julys stands far out from the pack as the most thrilling record I’ve heard in 2013.

Playing Beyond Clichés

The solution that Manski and Slipp have developed is not a formula, but it’s based around a couple of key ideas. Most clearly, these versions of old warhorses like “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “You Go to My Head” are cliché-free. To my ear, Manski’s accompaniment steers clear of the standard harmonizations and morphs into different styles beyond what we normally think of as “jazz”. His “I Get Along Without You Very Well” has a “hurdy-gurdy” quality, for example, while his “You Go to My Head” combines a Herbie Hancock left-hand bassline with bi-tonal dissonance in the upper register of the right hand.

“On that tune,” Manski explains, “I wanted to outline the basic structure of the chords in the left hand, using sixths and tenths from stride piano, and then go against he harmonic grain with these bitonal intervals with the right hand. That was the idea, but I didn’t write out specific chords or voicings although this was clearly influenced by classical music. Charles Ives has been a big influence on me.”

The instrumental arrangements, then, don’t run away from tradition as much as they pursue Manski’s interests beyond more traditional jazz. “I wasn’t avoiding anything consciously,” says Manski, “but in this duo it is always okay to play the way I play. I never stray purposely from playing, say, a II-V-I harmony—but the guide is just that I’m only going to play what feels true to myself.”

This freedom, of course, comes from hard work. Both Manski and Slipp are true students of the music. “I do research to understand the song and how it has been played before,” explains Manski. “I study how singers have sung it, how orchestras have played it, the history of the song. From doing the research, I gain the confidence to let go and play naturally.”

Kristin agreed. “We have both absorbed very different versions of the song and have let them marinate. We use that as a guide. And then let it go completely. It’s not a big labored process.”

“Of course,” Manski adds “I listen to Kristin and how she sings each song.”

Singing Both Inside and Outside the Jazz Tradition

Slipp’s singing can be deceptively simple when you first hear it. She often starts her renditions of songs in an unadorned manner, not only avoiding unnecessary melodic embellishments but also singing with a tone and timbre that is notably plain or even “spoken”, with limited vibrato and a sensibility that comes from rock or folk singing.

Read the entire column here: Everything Old Is New Again: Reimagined Jazz Standards

Dave Holland: Prism

In the early 1970s, if you were listening to instrumental music played by electric guitar, electric keyboards, and very busy drums, all executing tricky business and intricate patterns that would explode into fireworks of improvising, you were a fusion fan. “Fusion” was a kind of jazz-rock music that blossomed brilliantly for only a few years (Chick Corea’s Return to Forever, Larry Coryell’s Eleventh House, John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchetra, Tony Williams’ Lifetime, and the band Weather Report, for example) only to quickly flame out. This “plugged in” jazz seemed to come from Miles Davis’ experiments in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, but it didn’t take long for it to become lame instrumental funk, so-called “smooth jazz”, indulgence in various forms.

But, at its best, it was marvelous.

And acoustic jazz bassist Dave Holland—who played on some of those great Miles records that birthed the stuff but never really had a “fusion band”, per se—has now created the coolest fusion record I’ve heard in decades.

This new quartet is fronted by guitarist Kevin Eubanks, who played with Holland long ago (before his Tonight Show gig) and keyboard wizard Craig Taborn. The drummer, dazzling, is frequent collaborator Eric Harland. It’s a wonderfully balanced group, likely because the leader stays fully back of the pack, serving up great compositions but rarely crowding his players for sonic prominence. The result is a huge smear of sound and joy: exuberance, subtlety (yeah, even in fusion), beauty, fire.

It’s a great record.

Part of what makes Prism sound specifically like “fusion” is the preponderance of tunes that do not “swing” in the usual sense but are instead built on tricky riffs that interlock with a groove that is heavy on backbeat. The opener, Eubanks’ “The Watcher”, begins with a funky line from the left hand of Taborn’s Fender Rhodes electric piano, and then Eubanks doubles it before he climbs on top with a distorted but very simple melody. The sound is thick with fuzz and buzz from both Eubanks and Taborn. All of it would make for a satisfying track, but then a tricky and precise bridge section comes along for pleasing relief. Taborn’s solo is the standout here: mathematical and intriguing as it moves and reverses, surges forward and doubles-back on itself.

This lack of traditional swing flows across tunes in many tempos and styles. “The Color of Iris” is a ballad (also by Eubanks) featuring the guitarist’s mellower tone, but it is set over a bass groove that doubles Dave Holland’s huge low notes with the left hand of the acoustic piano, each note coming as a syncopated surprise, with Eric Harland controlling the flow with his cymbals. Holland’s lovely, minor-key “The Empty Chair” has Harland playing a funky triple-meter groove beneath a dirty pentatonic melody from Eubanks—essentially a soul tune built around a clear movement in the bass line. Taborn’s “The True Meaning of Determination” also doubles acoustic bass and acoustic piano with a series of rising/falling two-note phrases that interlock perfectly with a very unpredictable melody played by unison guitar and right-hand piano.

On all these tunes, the “degree of difficulty” is very high (a fusion trademark), but the execution rises even higher. “Evolution” is chock-a-block with stop-start movement that each player rides across with ease. The guitar and piano solos on “Determination” are pure virtuosity: Eubanks flies with power and fluency and then Taborn takes the opposite tactic, punching in a mad, stilted set of high-low jabs that resolve into a lava rush of rhythms and repetitions. “Spirals” is another Taborn tune built around a complex set of jigsaw pieces: piano parts, bass lines, guitar licks, drum fills. It is all played with nonchalant ease, and then Eubanks and Taborn spin astonishing improvised lines atop it all (And, how great is it to hear Eubanks, Mr. TV Sidekick, playing note-for-note and with daring authority alongside a critical darling like Taborn? They’re both brilliant).

Read the entire PopMatters review here: Dave Holland: Prism