Published since 1997
Longtime contributor to AAJ and Downbeat, Jazz Review, EjazzNews, Radio DirectX.
Modern jazz drummer Jerry Granelli and clarinetist Jeff Reilly incorporate EFX (sound sculptures) into this largely ethereal set, consisting of intricate dialogue, droning cymbal swashes, and other subtleties. Relatively quiet in scope to complement a few climactically oriented movements – this effort lacks cohesion and rings more like an impromptu studio date. If that’s the case, then so be it. Otherwise, there are some interesting passages.
Seth Misterka Presents Dynasty
Led by avant saxophonist Seth Misterka, this trio’s in-your-face approach broaches thrash rock, free jazz and hardcore pyrotechnics. The band can navigate crafty time signatures while Misterka seemingly injects every ounce of energy into his high-octane approach. Electric bassist Jennifer Deveau and drummer Edward Kasparek fuse heavy-handed rock beats with funk and jazz. Besides some of the grit and rawness, the trio also integrates memorable hooks into its variable repertoire.
Dressed In Black – A Tribute To Johnny Cash
The man in black (Johnny Cash) always transcended many of those typical, lovesick or downtrodden C&W twang stylizations. With this release, artists’ such as Robbie Fulks, Chuck Mead and many others execute personalized spins on a portion of Cash’s songbook. Moreover, you don’t have to be an ardent Cash admirer to appreciate his often stirring, and at times, penetrating lyricism. These musicians shed a renewed light on classics such as, “Folsom Prison Blues,” “I Walk the Line,” and “Cry, Cry, Cry” amid fifteen tracks in total.
Inside Out Music
Known for his venerable affiliation with progressive rock, group “YES,” guitarist Steve Howe has enjoyed a fruitful solo career. Long regarded as one of rock’s true pioneers, the guitarist’s multifarious and distinctive approach is highlighted here, on this affable release. He uses an arsenal of electric and acoustic guitars while displaying a penchant for producing tuneful themes. Synth ace Paul Sutin adds a textural edge and percussion to several tracks. While Howe charts through “New Age” type territory, amid jazzy licks and folksy themes. There are quite a few enchanting pieces dispersed throughout this attractively orchestrated set.
45 Seconds of:
This is a compilation of snippets that were selected from over approximately 500 submissions. Therefore, the artists were given 45 seconds to compose their piece while not being allowed any fade-ins or fade outs. Thus, an interesting mechanism for providing a presentation of turntablists, and proponents of avant-electronic music in general. Here, the listener is afforded an in-depth profile of musicians - whom might not be considered household names.
Napoli ventre del sud
Marco Zurzolo is a saxophonist/composer hailing from Naples, Italy who leads a large orchestra through works that are derived from whispery Mediterranean themes and jazz. The recording quality is superb, as this outing contains quite a few twists and turns. Either way, this delightful production bridges the gap between mainstream/modern jazz and romantically inclined arrangements. However, this is by no means a constrained affair consisting of mushy or overly saccharine orchestrations and nondescript balladry. Thus, Zurzolo is an interesting composer who possesses a broad musical vernacular.
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