Ten years after making his Blue Note Records debut, and following two Grammy Award-winning volumes of his critically and commercially successful rhythm-and-blues-oriented “Black Radio” albums, Robert Glasper has announced a return to his acclaimed acoustic jazz trio for his new CD, “Covered.” Along with Glasper on piano, the trio features Vicente Archer on bass and Damion Reid on drums. The ensemble, the original trio from Glasper’s first two Blue Note releases, reconvened at the legendary Capitol Studios in Hollywood in December to record in front of an intimate live audience. The material mainly consists of covers, drawing from some of the pianist’s favorite songs by Joni Mitchell, Radiohead, John Legend, and more, as well as several Glasper originals.
JD Allen’s career ascendance suggests that he’s making plenty of the right choices. The native of Detroit has been on the New York scene since 1993, when his youthful precociousness earned him a spot in Betty Carter’s acclaimed touring program for up-and-comers. TimeOut New York says he will “remind you of giants like Coltrane and Rollins but placing a special kind of premium on concision, directness and accessibility.” The Chicago Reader adds, “Allen has gravitated toward a more brooding, elliptical approach with a strong jolt of John Coltrane at his most probing.” One of the telltale symbols of his upward trajectory is the fact that his trio, with bassist Greg August and drummer Rudy Royston, has remained solid throughout his rise. Their new disc, “Graffiti,” features an entire program of Allen originals.
Also this week, pianist Jeb Patton’s arrangements on “Shades and Tones” run the gamut from trio to quartet, quintet and sextet settings; the Gary McFarland Legacy Ensemble, highlighted by vibraphonist Joe Locke, saxophonist Sharel Cassity and pianist and arranger Bruce Barth, take on a set of McFarland compositions on “Circulation: the Music of Gary McFarland”; and pianist, composer and arranger Pete Malinverni salutes eight great American cities that have persevered through challenging times on “Emerging Markets.”