Reviews by J Hunter
Okay, the holidays are over, so it’s time to get back on the horse. “Jazz2K: The Radio Show” returns to the airwaves & computer streaming on 91.1 WSPN from 6-9pm tonight (Tuesday, January 7), and here are five pieces of goodness you’re going to hear as we wind our way through the first weeks of 2014:
Uberjam Deux (Decca/emArcy)
Forget the rules about sequels that we got from “Scream II”: The real first rule about sequels is that they usually suck – lookin’ at you, “Die Hard (insert Roman numeral here).” Happily, Scofield follows the lead of “Aliens” and “The Two Towers,” making this sequel to the guitarist’s 2002 Verve release Uberjam both a logical extension from the original and a kickass good time! True, Scofield’s never really been away from this style, what with his presence on the Jam Band festival scene and his brilliant collaborations with Medeski Martin & Wood. Even so, having crunchy morsels like “Boogie Stupid” and “Al Green Song” definitely warms things up on a really cold day.
ARCHIE SHEPP & THE ATTICA BLUES ORCHESTRA
I Hear the Sound (Archieball)
This isn’t a sequel as much as it is a visit to hallowed, blood-soaked ground Shepp dug out in 1972. The saxman’s original Attica Blues was both a searing indictment of the prison system’s inherent brutality and a celebration of the rebellion launched by inmates who’d finally reached their boiling point. Although Shepp revived his opus with a full orchestra (complete with Cecile McLorin Savant on background vocals), the power of Shepp’s compositions still shines through on this live date. Ambrose Akinmusire’s laser-guided trumpet solo on “The Cry Of My People” aims right for the heart, and the pain is as strong as the swing in “Goodbye Sweet Pops.”