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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Giovanni di Domenico - Alexandra Grimal: Chergui

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These duets by like-minded improvisers, Giovanni di Domenico (piano) and Alexandra Grimal (saxophones) were recorded over two-nights at a Paris theater, radiating classical recital hall-like sonic characteristics. Overall, these two-discs spotlight the artists' symmetrical encounters and intuitive dialogues, spanning core improvisational aspects, nouveau classical applications and jazzy choruses. Nonetheless, the musicians dig deep while interrogating each other's spur of the moment thoughts and supplying a collection of glistening contrasts, whether sublime or when they raise the energy level.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Baboian: Curiosity

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Guitarist Alex Baboian's debut Curiosity is an intimate, contemplative and supremely lyrical work that draws from his various influences to create a cohesive whole. Admixed with seven Baboian originals are a classic Beatles song, a 1950s pop standard and a modern electronic tune; here stripped down to its melodic core. All ten are delivered with the same understated elegance and slow simmering passion. His “Mulatu" explores ethio-jazz flavored grooves with the spicy sound of a two-reed frontline. Clarinetist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex García’s AfroMantra: This Side of Mestizaje

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From the word go, this tight band shows its mettle with upbeat lyricism as evidenced in the opener “Believe." A Chick Corea Return to Forever era influence is apparent with “11:11 Spirit," Fender Rhodes to the fore. The title track clearly displays what a drum-led group sounds like, Alex Garcia's intelligent and incisive percussion beating a path for the others to follow. The irresistible theme of “Azul Infinito" burns into the memory banks just as ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Belhaj's Crescent City Quartet: Sugar Blues

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Trad jazz isn't trending on Twitter or climbing the charts, but that doesn't mean it's completely irrelevant in today's musical landscape. There's still a segment of people, both on the delivering and listening ends, who enjoy the way multiple horns can snake around one another in a polyphonic dance of joy, supported and driven by guitar and bass below. Many of these people find themselves drawn to New Orleans, where the music first took firm shape, and that's where the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Mendham And his Orchestra: Whistling In The Dark

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Can a recreation of an original replicate it? The short, quick answer is NO!, especially for popular and improvised music. However, the longer, more thoughtful, answer is YES!, especially this music from the twenties and thirties as performed by leader Alex Mendham and his Orchestra. Whistling In The Dark is that rare creation where everyone involved has taken extraordinary measures, from recording techniques used, to the use of original arrangements to bring to the listener something approaching the feeling of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Pinto & All India Permit: All India Permit

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The recipient of a Fulbright / Nehru Scholarship, guitarist and composer Alex Pinto chose to study and teach for a year at the Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music (SAM) in Tamil Nadu, India. The Seattle native quickly made his way into the burgeoning Indian jazz scene, gathering New Delhi-based drummer Tarun Balani and bassist Abhinav Khokhar to form a potent and limber trio. Their new EP, titled All India Permit fuses jazz-based rhythmic aesthetics with compositional concepts derived from Carnatic music. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alexander Hawkins: Song Singular

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Pianist Alexander Hawkins shines brightly in the firmament of the UK jazz scene. Already his resume is impressive. As well as leading his own ensemble, he features as part of outstanding collectives like the transatlantic Convergence Quartet with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Harris Eisenstadt, and Decoy with fellow countrymen bassist John Edwards and drummer Steve Noble. In addition he's shared the bandstand with the likes of saxophonists Evan Parker, Joe McPhee and Marshall Allen. Richly gifted Hawkins is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alexander McCabe / Paul Odeh: This Is Not A Pipe

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The title is, presumably, a nod to “Ceci, C'est Ne Pas Une Pipe," the phrase which Rene Magritte wrote on his famous painting La Trahison Des Images. The painting wasn't, of course, a pipe, just a painting of a pipe. This Is Not A Pipe isn't a pipe either--it isn't even a painting of a pipe. So what is it? Alto saxophonist Alexander McCabe and pianist Paul Odeh have the answer--it's a recording of eight tunes, three standards and five ...



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