November 2021


Joey DeFrancesco

Plays It All!

More Music, Joey DeFrancesco’s 39th album as a leader, showcases both his versatility and his virtuosity, as he offers masterful performances not only on tenor sax, but trumpet, piano, keyboard, and (of course) organ. He even shows off his vocal chops on the ballad, “And If You Please.” But while More Music may be a departure in terms of instrumentation, it’s a return to roots in terms of its sound, happily mining the soulful hard bop that has long been the bedrock of Philadelphia jazz. It helps that his new trio are all Philadelphians, and deeply invested in the local scene.

  • Marc Cary

    Life Lessons On The Go-Go

    ​The keyboardist, composer talks life, lessons and emotion with DownBeat … and his new recording Learning To Listen.

  • Michael Brecker

    A Time for Tyner …

    DownBeat runs an exclusive excerpt from Bill Milkowski’s new book, Ode to a Tenor Titan: The Life and Times and Music of Michael Brecker, where the author details the first meeting between the Brecker and one of his idols, McCoy Tyner.

  • Nate Smith

    Kinfolk 2 Takes Flight

    Drummer Nate Smith hears and plays music his way. On the second edition of his planned Kinfolk trilogy, he pays tribute to the musical family he has embraced.

Blindfold Test

Matt Wilson’s 14th leader album, Hug!, issued last year on Palmetto, upholds the 57-year drummer’s reputation as a master navigator of a broad spectrum of improvisational and compositional strategies, animated with unfailing warmth, humor, and virtuosic execution. Wilson awarded 5 stars to each selection; this was his second Blindfold Test. He was “tested” on the following tracks.

  • Ulysses Owens Big Band: “Two Bass Hit” from Soul Conversations (Outside In Music)
  • Rudy Royston: “Roadside Flowers” from Flatbed Buggy (Greenleaf)
  • Gonzalo Rubalcaba: “Silver Hollow” from Skyline (5Pasion)
  • Will Vinson-Gilad Hekselman-Antonio Sanchez: “Northbound” from Trio Grande (Whirlwind)
  • Cindy Blackman: “Circles” from Code Red (Muse)
  • Vinnie Colaiuta-Bill Cunliffe-John Patitucci: “We See” from Trio (Le Coq)
  • Dafnis Prieto Big Band: “Two For One” from Back To The Sunset (Dafnison)
  • Dan Weiss: “Elvin” from Sixteen: Drummers Suite (Pi)
  • Gerry Gibbs Thrasher Dream Trio: “4 AM” from Songs From My Father (Whaling City)
Also in this Issue
  • In Memoriam: George Wein
  • Jon Irabagon Goes Solo
  • Emma-Jean Thackray’s Yellow
  • Erroll Garner at 100
  • Altoizm Flying High
  • Jazzmeia Horn and Her Noble Force, Dear Love
  • Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, Tinctures In Time (Community Music Vol. 1)
  • Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble, …dreaming in lions…
  • Brandee Younger, Somewhere Different
  • Pro Session — Transitioning to a New Scene, by Reggie Quinerly
  • Solo — Jeff 'Tain' Watts' Drumming on 'Housed From Edward,' by Craig Buckner
  • Toolshed — Tama PE1445 Peter Erskine Jazz Snare; Yamaha DTX6 Series Electronic Drum Kits
  • Gear Box — ddrum Mercury Double Bass Drum Pedal; Amahi SD9 hand pan-drum; efNote eDrum 3X and 5X drum kits; TRX Air Series Low-Volume Cymbals; Evans limited-edition Barney Beats RealFeel Practice Pad; and, Gator Frameworks' Utlity Carts.

PLUS: Dozens of album reviews, product reviews and much more!