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For Your Consideration: Ryan Cohan's 'The River'

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

As humans, we sometimes want to pigeonhole people into one category or another. This is something I’ve spent time talking to Ryan Cohan about, and he always mentions the ebb and flow of being an active performer and composer. Both are always a part of him with some months being heavy on playing and others heavy on composing. While Cohan is certainly the composer behind The River, his facility on piano as both soloist and accompanist becomes immediately apparent.

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For Your Consideration: Geof Bradfield's 'Melba!'

Alex Marianyi
Contributing Writer
alex.marianyi[at]gmail.com / @alexmarianyi

Kansas City Child. Central Avenue. Dizzy Gillespie. Randy Weston. Detroit / Kingston. Homecoming. This is the story of Melba Liston’s life as told by Chicago-based saxophonist and composer Geof Bradfield. Liston’s is a story not often told, but she was an extremely unique trombonist and composer with a special gift for bringing out the best in those she collaborated with. Bradfield framed this suite of music, as presented on his album Melba!, around the two big collaborations in her life.

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For Your Consideration: Joshua Redman's 'Walking Shadows'

Anthony Dean-Harris
Editor-in-Chief
anthony.deanharris@nextbop.com / @i_ADH

It's been four years since Joshua Redman has released an album as a leader, two years since the jazz collaborative James Farm's release (three years since Redman contributed in large part to Brad Mehldau's 2010 album Highway Rider, but more on that later). Clearly the desire for Redman to put out new work has been steadily growing, but patience is most certainly a virtue. All throughout Joshua Redman's new album, Walking Shadows, out today on the Nonesuch label, is the sense that this wait hasn't been arbitrary. This new album, featuring bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Brian Blade, and pianist & producer Brad Mehldau in the rhythm section, feels purposeful. The buildup to this release has been filled with acquired skills, learned tones, and strengthened bonds between contemporaries.

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Into the Labyrinth

For Your Consideration: Craig Taborn's 'Chants'
Jonathan Wertheim
Staff Writer
jon.wertheim@gmail.com

As much as I like Keith Jarrett and Colin Vallon, I always like to hear an ECM record that doesn't quite sound like ECM. It's a contemplative label - a quality exemplified by the five seconds of silence that start every disc - but it's refreshing when a group doesn't let itself fall too deeply into the ECM groove.

That's not to say we don't get our ballads on Chants, the new record from Craig Taborn, Gerald Cleaver and Thomas Morgan. "In Chant" is a beautiful one, as is "Silver Days Or Love," and they belong on ECM as much as anywhere else. But the record has a restless, forward-leaning sound that keeps the dull and sometimes slightly pretentious aesthetics of the label at bay.

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For Your Consideration: Jose James' 'No Beginning No End'

Alexander Brown
Staff Writer
alexanderparisbrown@gmail.com / @relaxandaspire
photo by Janette Beckman

There is a very good reason to listen to No Beginning No End, Jose James' latest album-- it's different and it's good.