Matthew Kassel


If Bono Were a Cantor

By Matthew Kassel

If Bono Were a Cantor
Hillel Tigay has come a long way since his days when he performed as Dr. Dreidel. His new album ‘Judeo’ draws on sounds from Peter Gabriel, U2, and the Beach Boys.Read More


Latin Rhythms for Tired Feet

By Matthew Kassel

Latin Rhythms for Tired Feet
On Friday afternoon I walked from my home in the Gowanus section of Brooklyn to 34th Street in Manhattan. From there I caught a train uptown to Symphony Space to see Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, with assorted guests, blend Latin rhythms with Jewish melodies.Read More


Fred Hersch Focuses at the Vanguard

By Matthew Kassel

Fred Hersch Focuses at the Vanguard
Inside the Village Vanguard in Manhattan’s West Village, photographs of legendary jazz musicians line the dark-green walls. Stage left, above a portrait of a stolid John Coltrane, hangs a shot of the pianist Fred Hersch playing a song, his eyes closed, an intense yet peaceful aura about him.Read More


Big Bands Are Back, Baby!

By Matthew Kassel

Big Bands Are Back, Baby!
Big bands have been making some of the most interesting and pleasurable music in jazz today. If you haven’t heard of them already, these groups are worth your attention: John Hollenbeck’s Large Ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Orrin Evans’s Captain Black Big Band and Maria Schneider’s Jazz Orchestra.Read More


From Jewish Folk to Jazz Piano

By Matthew Kassel

From Jewish Folk to Jazz Piano
The pianist Joe Alterman is only 23 years old, but on his new album, “Give Me The Simple Life,” he’s managed to round up an impressive array of jazz veterans to play by his side. Houston Person, the soulful tenor saxophonist, joins in on four tracks while bassist James Cammack and drummer Herlin Riley — who both play in Ahmad Jamal’s stellar trio — accompany Alterman throughout.Read More



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