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INTERVIEWS

Thana Alexa: Singer And Instrument

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Music started tugging at the sleeve at the age of three for Thana Alexa, a New York based singer who began making music there as a violinist, moved to Croatia where she discovered jazz, and returned as a singer poised to sweep into a successful career. It started with the piano--kind of. Her tinkering with a toy piano so impressed her mother that she nearly started her career as a budding pianist. Instead, she gravitated to violin, at ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Vocal Jazz: 1951-1968

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These 17 years play out like the vocal jazz equivalent of the Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire. Much of the core body of work that makes up vocal jazz was recorded during this relatively short time span. These were the years that saw some of the greatest jazz singers working at the peak of their powers. In the late 1940s, American record companies stumbled upon two ideas that have since become the cornerstone of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sarah Moule: Songs From The Floating World

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Class will out, as they say. It's certainly true on this album--class bursts out of Songs From The Floating World. From Sarah Moule's sophisticated, cool, vocals and the stylish playing of the cream of British jazzers, through to Simon Wallace's music and arrangements and Fran Landesman's inimitable lyrics, everyone involved with this fine album is a class act. Moule is a leading interpreter of Landesman's songs: her understated approach heightens the impact of the lyrics and ensures that ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Vossa Jazz 2015

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VOSSA JAZZ Voss March 28 -29, 2015 Vossa Jazz, founded in 1973, an annual three-day event with a great variety of groups and acts, is a highly prestigious jazz festival in Norway. Thanks especially to its commissions and awards, it has an important national and international function. In 1983 the festival became the first in Europe to start assigning commission work. After more than 30 years the series has become an impressive list including ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

James Falzone: The Room Is

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Legend has it that Jimmy Giuffre harbored a vehement distaste for the use of percussion in his ensembles. He found drummers distracting, irritating and clamorous. By the time he recorded the classic records 1961 (ECM, 1992) and Free Fall (Columbia, 1963) he had jettisoned drummers from his piano and bass trio. It must have driven marketing executives mad. How would listeners follow the music? Who kept the time? What's with all this freedom?Exactly, what is with all this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mario Cruz: A View from the Mind's Eye

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Coming out of the shadows and finally emerging as much more than a journeyman musician, FT. Worth, Texas native Mario Cruz, makes his Armored Records debut on the impressive and visionary A View from the Mind's Eye, his first totally conceived, creatively controlled and produced musical project reflecting both real and imagined personal stories transformed into beautiful and dynamic musical statements. After joining the Rock-Fusion band Blood Sweat and Tears many years ago, Cruz moved to New York City and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tim Ferguson's Inside/Out: Hold That Thought

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Bassist Tim Ferguson's unconventional trio Inside/Out is a collaborative group that makes its recorded debut with Hold That Thought. Sandwiched between a piece by bassist Charlie Haden and another by pianist Mal Waldron this engaging mix of free improvisations and original compositions brims with a warm intimacy and intense lyricism. Haden's “Silence" opens with pianist Diane Moser' tolling keys that usher in trumpeter Rob Henke's melancholic, long notes. Henke's horn expands evocatively over Moser's somber lines and the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Process: The Process

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The Process is like a radioactive atom that centers and orbits around the futuristic power trio of bassist Bill Laswell, Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith and Jon Batiste, the latest in his family's longstanding line of New Orleans keyboard visionaries. “The original idea was to film unfamiliar musicians playing together in a room with no preconceived direction. Over time it began to transform into making a record," Laswell explains. “Beginning by exploring each other's musicianship, laying ...



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