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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Cosgrove: Alternating Current

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Drummer Jeff Cosgrove certainly knows how to draw attention to himself. For his third album the DC area-based drummer enlists the services of two avant jazz icons in pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker. Just what a coup this is can be gauged from the fact that Shipp's previous sideman dates have included the legendary saxophonists David S. Ware and AACM iconoclast Roscoe Mitchell. Cosgrove has studied with masters like Andrew Cyrille and Paul Motian, and has covered the latter's tunes on Motian Sickness: For The Love Of Sarah (Self Produced, 2012). It was Cyrille who hooked him up ...

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Jeff Beck in Cologne

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Jeff Beck Group E-Werk Cologne, Germany May 29, 2014 Sometimes a man's reputation proceeds him. Such was the case tonight, where an overflow crowd of 2,000 fans arrived early, and crammed into a steamy bunker of bricks to hear Jeff Beck's wonderous wails to the electric wind. With general admission ticket prices around an 80 buck exchange rate, it was good indication of respect. The price of admission proved to be merited, about twenty licks in. Luckily for hundreds of fans, sensational sounds were the primary pleasure, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Colella/Putter Smith: Lotus Blossom

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Lotus Blossom is an absorbing date that projects plaintive beauty, reflective moods, and introspective ideals. It's a meeting of two master musicians who engage in thoughtful conversation that's quietly emotive. Pianist Jeff Colella, who's worked with everybody from vocalist Lou Rawls to arranging-composing legend Bill Holman, and bassist Putter Smith, whose credits include extensive work with pianist Alan Broadbent and a whole host of other jazz greats, weren't strangers before this recording. They'd actually been playing together, on-and-off, for two decades before they entered the studio for this session. Some successful duo dates at Vibrato--a Herb Alpert-backed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Cosgrove: Alternating Current

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Drummer Jeff Cosgrove's new CD “Alternating Current" is an endeavor built around the composition “Victoria," by the late drummer Paul Motian. Motian first came to prominence in the mid-1950s in the piano trio of Bill Evans, and later led several groups. Motian played an important role in freeing jazz drummers from strict time-keeping duties. For this date, Cosgrove brings together pianist Matthew Shipp and bassist William Parker, both long-established players on the avant-garde scene, and each with numerous releases. For this particular one, the ensemble was recorded in Klavierhaus Recital Hall in New York City in November 2013.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Van Huffel/Michael Bates/Jeff Davis: Boom Crane

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Berlin-based saxophonist, composer Peter Van Huffel is the lead voice on Boom Crane's debut outing, featuring the dynamo rhythm section of New York residents, bassist Michael Bates and drummer Jeff Davis. As one would anticipate, the saxophonist imparts his creatively focused, restless nature into the grand schema. He's a mover and shaker via his unwieldy theme- construction exercises, spiked with off-center time signatures and animated voicings, often flanked with iron-fisted chutzpah and exceptional fluency. Hence, the musicians go full steam ahead by integrating a free-form hue into these byzantine and rather unconventional jaunts. The element of surprise ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Cosgrove: Alternating Current

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The recipe for this album could be detailed as such: start with one inventive drummer, add two interconnected masters of wholly improvised music, throw a composition from Paul Motian into the pot, and let it all stir itself. Drummer Jeff Cosgrove's fascination with the music of Motian isn't a secret. As the man behind Motian Sickness, a band dedicated to shining a spotlight on Motian-as-composer, he drew attention to the late drummer's written work on The Music Of Paul Motian: For The Love Of Sarah (Self Produced, 2011). The two gentleman joining him on Alternating Current--bold-and-assured pianist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Van Huffel/Michael Bates/Jeff Davis: Boom Crane

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Pity the neighbors of the jazz trio Boom Crane. It's not that their garage band approach to music making is off-putting or offensive, it's that the ferocity of their approach is just so demanding. Saxophonist Peter Van Huffel's New York trio of Michael Bates (bass) and Jeff Davis (drums) release this, their inaugural recording, as a purely leaderless effort. Each player contributes music here, and thankfully the engineer has mixed the sound to feature this egalitarian trio. The disc opens with “More Room," the only wholly free jazz piece on the recording. That's significant because the remainder of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Hackworth: Soul To Go!

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His fifth album as leader and follow up to the critically acclaimed Night Owl (Big Bridge Music, 2011), Jeff Hackworth's Soul To Go! offers a brash new statement packed with bop, blues and soulful renditions of jazz classics. A New York-based saxophonist of note, and like many a great sax men--Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Stan Getz among others--who have called the Big Apple their home at some point in their respective careers, has the benefit of drawing from the jazz-rich environment of the city for a supporting cast of players which he does for this effort.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Denson & Joshua White: I'll Fly Away

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Jeff Denson has been alto saxophone legend Lee Konitz's bassist of choice for the past several years, and it's easy to see why on this superlative duet album of gospel music with the explosive pianist Joshua White, who, at age 28 appears ready to take the world by storm. White has almost twenty years of experience playing gospel music--obvious by the great liberties he uses to transform this music while retaining a visceral authenticity. There are three radically different versions of the title track here, but the opening take on I'll Fly Away, is a stunner. Over ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Kunkel: Meu Coracao Brasileiro

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Brazil never lets go once it's wrapped its arms around a musician. Pianist Jeff Kunkel discovered this firsthand. In 2007, Kunkel, the Coordinator of Jazz Studies at Montclair State University's Cali School of Music in New Jersey, took a sabbatical and took off to see Brazil for himself. The experience was life-changing, and he's since returned there several times to musically mingle with his newfound friends. Meu Coracao Brasileiro is the result of Kunkel's experiences with the people, places and sounds that won him over during his stay(s) in Brazil. On this album, recorded with his Brazilian ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Differential Equations: Jeff Platz / Kit Demos / Fabio Delvo / John McLellan

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Those drawn to free improvised music can attest to the appeal of the style: the constant flow of ideas and the crackling energy of instantaneous musical interactions. When an improvising band is “on," you know it. What you're hearing is the sound of others listening intently and responding in the moment. Heavily dependent on group chemistry, the success or failure of a free improvising group hinges on the ability of its members to participate in a sort of give-and-take that balances individuality with one's willingness to subsume his identity to facilitate group interaction. These processes are quite palpable on Differential ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Ballard Trio: Time's Tales

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World-class drummer Jeff Ballard (Chick Corea's New Trio, Brad Mehldau Trio) goes above and beyond the call of duty on his first album as a leader. Celebrated for his modern jazz drumming, spanning bop and the outside spectrum, he expands his wares on this eventful trio release by flawlessly engineering a consortium of high-spirited pieces. With Ballard's esteemed associates, saxophonist Miguel Zenon and guitarist Lionel Loueke, they frame the jazz idiom on Afro-Cuban, Caribbean, classical and other stylistic genre-hopping forums. Each composition poses a set of varying array of propositions, whether the trio forges a loose-groove vibe or whips up ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jeff Hamilton Trio at Arizona Musicfest

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Jeff Hamilton Trio Fairway House at Grayhawk Arizona Musicfest Scottsdale, Arizona February 13, 2014 The Jeff Hamilton Trio's performance at Arizona Musicfest was aptly and enticingly billed as “Paragon of Groove," and the combo delivered that groove from first note to last. Hamilton's precise power and nuanced sensitivity was evident throughout the two-set concert, a perfect fit with the elegance of pianist Tamir Hendelman and the rich timbre of acoustic bassist Christoph Luty. Their 13-year coalition conveys a merger of minds that think and play as one, enriched by their individual skills. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jeff Baumeister: Pretty Melodies, for people who dig that sort of thing

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Pianist Jeff Baumeister can't be accused of being enigmatic with an album title or rushing into a recording. It took him eight years to create this frankly titled follow-up to his debut--Useful Music (Wahbo Records, 2005). Baumeister's first album received some favorable reviews, but the pianist wasn't looking to tread on the same ground with his sophomore date. In fact, he went in a completely different direction, making a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn with constructive methodology and working with a completely different band. Baumeister, in another example of his forthright deportment, notes that “Useful Music was basically craft then ...



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