The release of Kamasi Washington's The Epic last year marked a seismic shift in the jazz landscape and the game-changing arrival of the genre-blurring Los Angeles collective West Coast Get Down. That evolution continues with the release of Planetary Prince, the debut album by visionary pianist, keyboardist, composer and WCGD founding member Cameron Graves.
Dee Dee Bridgewater's move to France awhile back has resulted in her having a relatively low profile in jazz. This excellent live set should help restore her reputation. Whether it be a three-song Horace Silver medley, the warhorse "All of Me," Jobim's "How Insensitive," "Night in Tunisia" or the rarely performed "Strange Fruit," Bridgewater (who is backed by a French rhythm section) is in top form, singing with swing and sensitivity.
After performing a wide variety of music (much of it commercial) for 15 years, in the mid-'80s Dee Dee Bridgewater returned to jazz. The highly appealing vocalist, although still involved in theater work and other areas of music, has mostly recorded straight-ahead jazz ever since, carving out a niche for herself. This set with her regular French quartet has Bridgewater exploring and swinging some of her favorite standards.