Heads of State, featuring four of the most respected and admired jazz artists of our time, releases its first recording, “Search For Peace.” A band over fifty years in the making, Gary Bartz, Larry Willis, Buster Williams and Al Foster had performed together countless times in different combinations and contexts over their storied careers, but it wasn’t until September 2014 that they appeared as a quartet. The occasion that night was a tribute to McCoy Tyner, and the results were so inspired and the response so overwhelming that they knew right away they had something worth keeping.
For half a century, the eminent pianist/composer Antonio Adolfo has dedicated himself to the profound exploration of jazz in the context of the great Brazilian music tradition. He has often recently focused upon Brazil’s classic composers as well as the rich musical history and culture that have provided the landscape for one of the world’s most beguiling musical legacies. With his new disc, “Tema,” Antonio looks back upon an important part of that legacy—his own marvelous contributions, dating back to the 1960s. More than 200 of his compositions have been recorded by his own groups and others major artists—including Sergio Mendes, Stevie Wonder, Earl Klugh, Herb Alpert and others—and he has also written extensively for film and television in the past 50 years. But it’s been a while since he has chosen to focus an entire album on his own music. He decided that it was time to do so.
Also this week, trombonist Nick Finzer, whose resume includes work with Frank Wess, Lew Tabackin and Terell Stafford, unveils his second recording as a leader, “The Chase”; vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant offers up the second record in her young and amazing career, “For One to Love”; and bassist Lee Smith, the father of Christian McBride, is joined by Joe Magnarelli, Tim Warfield and others on “My Kind of Blues.”