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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julian Waterfall Pollack Trio: Waves Of Albion

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Waves Of Albion is the second album from the Julian Waterfall Pollack Trio. The musical talent and imagination displayed on the trio's debut, Infinite Playground (Junebeat Records, 2010), makes album number two an exciting prospect. The young pianist and his band mates don't disappoint. Pollack has filled the time between albums with sideman appearances with the likes of Peter Schwebs and Steve Lyman. Back in the role of bandleader and on a new label--Germany's Berthold Records--Pollack is joined once again by Noah Garabedian on bass and Evan Hughes on drums. Their working relationship on Waves Of Albion is ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Live From Old York: Julian Argüelles, Poltergeist, Dr. Feelgood & North Mississippi All-Stars

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The Julian Argüelles Quartet The University Of York October 12, 2013 Saxophonist Julian Argüelles grew up in Birmingham, spent much of his career in London and can now be found stomping around the coastal village of Belhaven in Scotland. Over the years, he's developed an ongoing relationship with The University Of York, on both the teaching and performance fronts. This gig gave Argüelles the opportunity to present his current youthfully spry cohorts, nearing the end of their tour and preparing to record a newly-composed suite. He was joined by pianist Kit Downes (now ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr: Running

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Four albums into their careers and the Wasserfuhr brothers--trumpeter Julian and pianist Roman--are still in their 20s. Running showcases their signature sound, unhurried and strong on atmosphere, as befits a pair of musicians whose first album, Remember Chet (ACT Music, 2006) paid homage to Chet Baker. It also sees them working with a new and sympathetic rhythm section, exploring the use of a string duo and featuring the work of their father, clarinetist Gerald Wasserfuhr.In keeping with the brothers' love of Baker, the opening bars of “Weary Journey" have distinct echoes of “My Funny Valentine." As a whole, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Julian Lage: Living Lage

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It's good to be Julian Lage. The former wunderkind is all grown up and living large, playing with some of the best musicians on the planet; that makes perfect sense, considering he's also one of them. The young guitarist has done his homework, paid his dues and earned his stripes, and now he's spreading his wings and flying high. In 2013 alone, Lage hit the road in duo settings with fellow guitarists, like Nels Cline and Chris Eldridge, made the rounds with vibraphonist Gary Burton's New Quartet and drummer Eric Harland's Voyager, and dropped in at the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Fred Hersch and Julian Lage: Free Flying

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This album is the latest of several recordings in which pianist Fred Hersch solos or joins forces with some highly intelligent, advanced musicians to provide jazz renditions with a sophisticated, chamber music quality. Others are Hersch's Alone at the Vanguard (Palmetto, 2011); Leaves of Grass (Palmetto, 2005)--an ensemble composition based on Walt Whitman's poems--and two additional solo albums: Fred Hersch plays Jobim (Sunnyside, 2009) and In Amsterdam: Live at the Bimhuis (Palmetto, 2006). He also collaborated with trumpeter Ralph Alessi on Only Many (Cam Jazz, 2013). On Free Flying, Hersch collaborates with guitarist Julian Lage, who, at 25, has already ...

REASSESSING

Cannonball Adderley & Milt Jackson: Things Are Getting Better

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Cannonball Adderley & Milt JacksonThings Are Getting BetterOJC1959/2013 Alto saxophonist Cannonball Adderley's 1959 Things Are Getting Better joins guitarist Wes Montgomery's So Much Guitar!, trumpeter Chet Baker's Chet Baker Plays The Best Of Lerner & Loewe (OJC/Riverside, 1959/2013) and Gerry Mulligan's Mulligan Meets Monk (OJC/Riverside, 1957/2013) in re-issue celebrating the 60th anniversary of Riverside Records. Adderley was in much demand in the late 1950s, being part of Miles Davis' great sextet that would record Milestones (Columbia, 1958), 1958 Miles (Columbia, 1958) and Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959). In ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Julian Shore: Filaments

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There is nothing wrong with mellow jazz. As long as distance can be maintained from the hackneyed, dialed-in feel of smooth jazz, it can be a refreshing change of pace from the intensity and analytical focus of a lot of modern art music, jazz or otherwise. Listening to pianist Julian Shore's Filaments, there's the sense that he set out to craft music easy on the ears without compromising any of his personal artistic values. The opening “Grey Light, Green Lily" sets the tone for the entire album, its gently chiming, misty piano harmonies, wordless vocals and Kurt Rosenwinkel's yearning guitar ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julian Vaughn: Breakthough

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Within the first 30 seconds of the stomping “On Your Feet," the lead-off track on Breakthrough, it's hard not to think, “Darned if this guy doesn't sound just like Wayman Tisdale." Hopefully Julian Vaughn will take the comparison as a compliment because his “lead bass" playing style is eerily reminiscent of Tisdale, who passed away in 2009.The publicity notes for Vaughn's third album say he “doesn't try to be any other bassist than who he is." That's nice to say but as one of the producers is Darren Rahn, who collaborated with Tisdale, it isn't a stretch to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dialogues Trio with Julian Siegel: Twinkle Twinkle

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The UK-based Dialogues Trio was formed in 2005 and is led by pianist Bruno Heinen, who sports an insightful compositional pen here on the band's debut, Twinkle Twinkle. The musicians often radiate a workingman's type process, where no dillydallying or inflated soloing escapades rule the roost. Featuring reedman Julian Siegel, lending his wares on select tracks, it's an album that yields supplementary rewards on ensuing listens. The trio blends convention with offbeat phrasings and deviations, where Heinen translucently intersperses modern classical forms into the jazz vernacular via untraditional time signatures, cool swing vamps and occasional journeys into the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr: Gravity

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Julian and Roman Wasserfuhr, trumpeter and keyboard player respectively, started their recording careers early. They recorded their debut, Remembering Chet (ACT, 2006), under the heading of Young German Jazz, when Julian was 17 years old and Roman was barely 21. Even though the brothers are still in their early and mid-20s the “Young" element of that title has gone--and rightly so, for their third album, Gravity, is a stylish recording of atmospheric, laidback jazz. The brothers' maturity shines out, manifested in the controlled command of their instruments and the absence of over-long solos or technique for its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julian Siegel Quartet: Urban Theme Park

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The Julian Siegel Quartet epitomizes some of the finest elements of jazz: creativity, virtuosity, collaboration, invention and (the often neglected) fun. As a result, Urban Theme Park, the band's second album, is a positive feast of music. Broadly speaking, this is probably best described as post-bop, but no single definition can encapsulate the breadth of vision Siegel and his fellow players bring to this collection--it's music, let's leave it at that. Reeds player Siegel has been part of British jazz for over 20 years, working with a diverse range of musicians including Joey Baron and Greg Cohen ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Julian Siegel Quartet: Urban Theme Park

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Julian Siegel Quartet Urban Theme Park Basho Music 2011 Now of an age which places him at the crossing point between Young Turk and seasoned older statesman, London reeds player Julian Siegel's progressive classicism is growing more compelling with every new album. Siegel's first Basho Music release, the helter-skelter Live At The Vortex, made with his “American trio," featuring bassist Greg Cohen and drummer Joey Baron, was a highlight of 2009. Urban Theme Park, made with pianist Liam Noble, bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo (an honorary Londoner, Calderazzo is the only American-born ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Julian Siegel Trio: Live at the Vortex

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The saxophone/bass/drums trio is a challenge both to the players and listeners, with no hiding place. Saxophonist Julian Siegel, drummer Joey Baron and bassist Greg Cohen prove that it can be creative, involving and exciting. Siegel has escaped the influence of John Coltrane, and it's possible to spend time working out his tenor influences before deciding that he is pure Siegel, with a sound that is fluid, warm and engaging. Siegel seems to enjoy the tenor; he plays it like a friend, exploring the tonalities and the timbre. The clarinet and bass clarinet bring out a harsher side, a harder ...

INTERVIEWS

Julian Joseph: Joining Jazz and Baseball

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Julian Joseph is something of a jazz master of all trades. Pianist, composer, bandleader, arranger, broadcaster and educator, Joseph is constantly busy, always working on new ideas and projects, spreading the word about music, encouraging young performers and generally promoting jazz around the world. With Shadowball Joseph has turned his attention to the relationship between jazz and baseball, bringing the two together in a major jazz opera. In 2007, Joseph composed Bridgetower, his first jazz opera. It told the story of George Bridgetower--a virtuoso violinist born in 1779 in Poland to a mother who was an ex-slave--who ...



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