BEST OF 2019: Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini’s SETTING RAYS OF SUMMER – Mercury News

January 1, 2020Best of 2019, Press Reel

by Andrew Gilbert, Mercury News Natalie Cressman and Ian Faquini, “Setting Rays of Summer” (Cressman Music): San Francisco-reared New York trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman and Brazilian-born Berkeley guitarist/composer Ian Faquini sound more like a quartet then a duo on this ravishing set of originals songs inspired by Brazil’s omnivorously cosmopolitan popular music tradition.

BEST OF 2019: Steve Haines and the Third Floor Orchestra & Curtis Nowosad – The Ottawa Citizen

December 24, 2019Best of 2019, Press Reel

A long list of 2019’s best Canadian jazz albums, plus even more honourable mentions By Peter Hum, The Ottawa Citizen  North Carolina bassist and educator Steve Haines, an Ottawa native, released a beautiful orchestral album. Haines’ project featured the impeccable vocalist Becca Stevens singing a program that leaned heavily into Canadiana (think Gordon Lightfoot, Kim … Read More

BEST OF 2019: Glide Magazine Selects New Albums by Vivian Sessoms, Ben Flocks, Brian Lynch

December 24, 2019Best of 2019, Press Reel

by Glide Magazine  Ben Flocks – Mask of the Muse (West Cliff) – This tenor saxophonist induced similar feelings to Charlie Parker with Strings from the ‘50s. That’s a certainly lofty company and there are no strings on this album but keyboards and guitar providing a similar ambiance in a tight quintet instead. It’s marvelously dreamy, romantic, and at times … Read More

BEST OF 2019: Troy Dostert’s Best Releases of 2019 – Gabriel Zucker

December 23, 2019Best of 2019, Press Reel

By Troy Dostert, All About Jazz   Gabriel Zucker Weighting ESP-Disk With Rachel Kushner’s whirlwind novel Flamethrowers for inspiration, pianist Zucker creates a compelling, mysterious world that is as beautiful as it is elusive. Moments of bracing intensity emerge, fueled by Tyshawn Sorey‘s percussive flurries and Zucker’s powerful flourishes; but it’s the two-horn team of … Read More

BEST OF 2019: Brandee Younger by Brian Kiwanukas’s Favorite Jazz Albums of 2019 / Nextbop

December 23, 2019Best of 2019, Press Reel

By Brian Kiwanuka, Nextbop 10. Brandee Younger – Soul Awakening (Self Release) The harp is a spellbinding instrument and throughout Soul Awakening Brandee Younger is a sorceress. The harpist’s playing is never anything other than gorgeous and she has extremely strong chemistry with Ravi Coltrane (tenor saxophone), who is featured on “Soulris” and “Lover’s Prayer”. … Read More

BEST OF 2019: Brandee Younger, Ulery/Brock/Dietmeyer Wonderment, Daniel Rotem, Matt Ulery by Texture

December 23, 2019Best of 2019, Press Reel

By Ron Schepper, Textura 01. Brandee Younger: Soul Awakening (Brandee Younger) An immensely satisfying portrait of harpist Brandee Younger, Soul Awakening sounds as fresh as if it were recorded yesterday, even if it was completed six years ago. It’s somewhat of a summative portrait, too, as it checks many of the critical boxes associated with … Read More