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INTERVIEWS

David Lyttle: Facing All The Music

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In times when independent musicians have to function as one-person business enterprises most musicians show more than one face. David Lyttle, drummer par excellence from Waringstown, Northern Ireland, wears more faces than most. Musician, songwriter, record label owner, producer, interviewer and talent scout--Lyttle has built a solid reputation in multiple fields in a relatively short span of time. Perhaps best known as a jazz drummer in the early years of his professional career, Lyttle has increasingly pushed himself ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Curtis Nowosad: Dialectics

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While it may be tempting to simply call Dialectics a straight-ahead session, Kevin Sun's liner notes set the record straight: According to Sun, “neo-hard bop" is a more accurate term for this music. What's most important to note, however, is that the music is pretty irresistible, regardless of what you call it. On the sophomore album from Curtis Nowosad, the drummer delivers an invigorating program of music with a killer quintet born out of the Winnipeg native's ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jakob Bro: Gefion

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Gefion, Danish guitarist Jakob Bro's ECM-debut as leader, is a fascinating reinvention of melodicism. His music leads listeners deep into the rich resonances emerging from brilliantly simple melodic motifs imbued with seductive atmospheres. Like Möbius strips his music's lines wind seemingly endlessly. Its evocative melodic nuclei very often reach the lower limits of dynamics, thereby opening up spaces in which the individual voices selflessly unfold in wave-like movements. It yields sounds of elegant ease, expressive depth, and solid perseverance.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tigran Hamasyan: Mockroot

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A rising star, pianist Tigran Hamasyan's releases have been fueled by his Armenian heritage and prodigious skills rooted in jazz and classic music training though not limited by either discipline. His debut on Nonesuch Mockroot continues to showcase his many interests which combine voice, electronica, folk and contemporary influences. Where 2014's stunning Shadow Theater (Sunnyside Records) featured an extended band, choral section, and rigorous production, Mockroot is no less captivating; Hamasyan in a trio setting with drummer ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Ted Howe Jazz Orchestra: Pinnacle

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Big bands come at the listener from a variety of angles these days, some more aslant than others. On Pinnnacle, Los Angeles-based composer / arranger / pianist Ted Howe covers all the bases, navigating his thirteen-piece orchestra through styles ranging from swing to funk, Latin to tone poem, often with classical undertones. Howe gives credit for his eclectic approach to the late Herb Pomeroy, with whom he studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and afterward by late-night ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Lyttle: Faces

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The thirty-second cello sortie that kicks off Faces is an arresting opening statement that dashes any preconceptions about what to expect from David Lyttle's third outing as leader. While the acoustic True Story (Lyte Records, 2007) and Questions (Lyte Records, 2010)--the latter a swinging collaboration with guitar wunderkind Andreas Varady--helped establish Lyttle's credentials as a first-rate jazz drummer, Interlude (Lyte Records, 2012) revamped the template by adding hip-hop and soul to the mix. Faces proclaims an even bolder skewing of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Luzia von Wyl Ensemble: Frost

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The age-old debate, regarding the pros and cons of melding classical music with other genres will live on. And of course, the oil and water analogies will be discussed as many hybrid encounters may seem contrived, evidenced by hard-rock guitar solos wailing above syrupy strings arrangements or abstract scenarios where free-jazz soloists merge chamber music and so on. But classically trained Swiss pianist, composer Luzia von Wyl resides on a higher plane with this masterful program, combining hornists, strings and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nate Radley: Morphoses

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There are guitarists out there who seek to burn an impression of their work into ears and minds, and there are others who manage to make an impression simply by being themselves. Nate Radley falls into the second category. His music isn't forceful, but it still manages to make an impact. On Morphoses, Radley shifts between, and occasionally fuses, low-key modern jazz and Americana language(s). There's a number that references Merle Travis ("Travis"); there are pieces that ...



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