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Album Reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS

Raphael Malfliet Large Ensemble: LE10 18-05

Read "LE10 18-05" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On his debut album, Noumenon (Ruweh Records, 2016), Belgian-born bassist Raphael Malfliet incorporated his influences of modern classical, avant-garde, and improvised music, without deference to any particular genre. In that trio setting, Malfliet mixed textures and loose, fluctuating melodies that played as a surprisingly full sound and served to emphasize the opposing uses of silence. The composer/bassist expands to a large ensemble on LE10 18-05, sometimes employing the instruments' natural voices, but often imposing extended techniques in abstract settings.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Denny Zeitlin: Remembering Miles

Read "Remembering Miles" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Denny Zeitlin, pushing hard ahead in an extraordinary recording career that began in 1963 with a sideman job on Jeremy Steig's Flute Fever (Columbia Records), has settled artistically, fifty years on, into a pair welcoming homes: Sunnyside Records, for whom he has recorded ten superb albums, beginning with 2009's In Concert Featuring Buster Williams and Matt Wilson, and Oakland, California's Piedmont Piano Company, where he has taken up residence in recent years to present solo piano recitals focusing on ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Merry Peers: Merry Peers

Read "Merry Peers" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

The collective name under which Brad Henkel and Yoshiko Klein operate suggests that the duo's debut release is a record filled with jolly songs about inconsequential things (or that it's a tribute to the Grand Slam winning French tennis professional, Mary Pierce). Whether such intentions are deliberate or not, it takes only a few seconds of “Glad We Did" to make it clear that jollity is thin on the ground, even if some sections of these two lengthy compositions might ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Hunter & Lucy Woodward: Music! Music! Music!

Read "Music! Music! Music!" reviewed by Doug Collette

Music! Music! Music! will cement the revelatory impression guitarist Charlie Hunter and vocalist Lucy Woodward leave upon attendees of their concerts. Having repaired to the studio in November 2018, the duo maximized the spontaneity of those proceedings through the enlistment of drummer Derrek Phillips. adding a spark that further ignited the keen chemistry the pair had honed on stage. In recent years, Charlie Hunter has revealed a predilection for the blues that may very well have led to ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bruford-Borstlap: Sheer Reckless Abandon

Read "Sheer Reckless Abandon" reviewed by John Kelman

One of the great joys of music can be that of distance: coming back to a piece of music, a musician/group or a discography, even, years later to rediscover it anew. While returning to music after a break of months, years...even decades...is not always a revelation, it's likely true that, if the music was appealing the first time around, it will be just as compelling—maybe even more so—when a significant amount of time has passed since it was last experienced. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Greg Abate & The Tim Ray Trio: Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z

Read "Gratitude: Stage Door Live @ the Z" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If somehow you haven't yet heard saxophonist Greg Abate (pronounced Uh-BAH-tay), now in his seventh decade and as sharp and eloquent an orator as ever, it is high time you did. The Rhode Island native is an earnest post-bopper from the Phil Woods / Bud Shank school of straight-on swinging, and Gratitude, Abate's fourth album with the admirable Tim Ray Trio, happens upon the ensemble in blue-chip form in a lively concert recorded on the cozy stage of the Zeiterion ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Delcourt: To My Brothers

Read "To My Brothers" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

This album by bassist Alex Delcourt is a treasure of a recording, a contemporary mirror of the hard bop movement of the past. It's as if that music awakened from its sleep years later and is as fresh today as it was then. Except for seasoned valve trombonist and trumpeter John Swana, the personnel consists of younger musicians doing the rounds of local clubs in Philadelphia, developing their chops and ideas by doing gigs. This accounts for their spontaneity and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Daniel Cano: Social Music

Read "Social Music" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Interviewed by Bryant Gumbel for NBC's the Today Show in 1982, Miles Davis wrily responded “I don't like that word jazz...I think social music...all the social melodies...out in [the] air...it's not jazz anymore...that's the social music I'm talking about. You take what you want out and leave what you don't like. You know, like food." Thus Davis coined the phrase “social music" which consequently inspired the title of Daniel Cano's album. Following the serpentine intro to the title track, bassist ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Beresford Hammond: Circle Inside The Folds

Read "Circle Inside The Folds" reviewed by John Eyles

Circle Inside the Folds is the fourth album on The 52nd label featuring the duo of guitarist, pianist and vocalist Charlie Beresford with classically-trained cellist Sonia Hammond, following The Science of Snow (2014), The Lightning Bell (2016)--on which the duo were joined by Beresford's Fourth Page band mate pianist Carolyn Hume and guest vocalist Judie Tzuke--and Each Edge of the Field (2017). Where those three previous CDs came packaged in atmospheric monochrome photographs by Beresford's partner in The 52nd label, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ellen Rowe Octet: Momentum

Read "Momentum" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

At a time when women are gaining more prominence in every field, it's no surprise there are more and more all-female jazz groups popping up. This particular octet, led by pianist Ellen Rowe, takes that a step farther with a CD that delves into women's history. They have recorded a set of Rowe compositions that honor women from the worlds of politics, arts, sports and science who have inspired her. The album begins with “Ain't I A Woman," ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bonsai: Bonsai Club

Read "Bonsai Club" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Bonsai, under their previous moniker Jam Experiment, released one eponymous and extremely good, self-produced CD in 2017. In their new incarnation, they have replaced saxophonist Alexander Bone with violinist / vocalist Dominic Ingham. (To avoid ambiguity, Dominic and trombonist brother Rory—winner of Rising Star in the 2017 British Jazz Awards—will be referred to as DI and RI in this review.) Opening with “Bonsai Club," the vocals are the most noticeable aspect of the track. Efficient, but not spectacular, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Luís Lopes: Guillotine

Read "Guillotine" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Many people know the opening lines of Charles Dickens' A Tale Of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." But how many remember the author goes on to report on an age of wisdom/foolishness, an epoch of belief/incredulity, a season of light/darkness and the spring of hope/winter of despair? He certainly could be writing about recycling/climate warming, diversity/white supremacists and tolerance/religious extremists. Revolution is a suitable topic for Portuguese guitarist Luís ...


Waltz for my Childhood

The last single of Jazzy Sky, a sweet Jazz song, about childhood memories...

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