Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground

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Saxophonist Noah Preminger got this backwards. His latest release, Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground should have preceded the 2015 recording Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar. Same quartet of trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass, and drummer Ian Froman. Same theme, the Delta Blues. The reverse order observation is a historical one. Where John Coltrane would record an album of shortish compositions, then take them to the Village Vanguard to expand them to album length tracks, Preminger ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Terrence McManus & John Hebert: Saints and Sinners

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Here's an album that was recorded in 2010 and released in 2015. Hence, It's better late than never, especially since this duo production by rising star experimental guitarist Terrence McManus and all-universe jazz session bassist and leader, John Hebert tease our imaginations via these nine contrasting works. The duo's creative improvisational sparks and acute call and response mechanisms tender deft expressionism from start to finish. They pose a challenging sequence of circumstances that spawn an abundance of mind-bending gambits.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Offpiste Gurus: In Case Of Fire

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And now, as they say, for something completely different. In Case Of Fire is “Scandinavian Indie-Pop Jazz" for want of any other label, by the group Offpiste Gurus (vocalist/poet/songwriter Trinelise Væring, reedman Fredrik Lundin, bassist Thomas Vang and drummer/percussionist Jeppe Gram). “Offpiste" literally means skiing purposefully on ungroomed trails, that is off the beaten path, and an extended meaning of broadly doing the unexpected. How this applies here is that the album, which consists of eleven tracks all ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground

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The Delta Blues, spawned from the callous conditions on Mississippi plantations and farmlands, is an artistic manifestation that creativity can overcome, survive, and thrive, amidst overwhelming situations. These sparse, rural blues, which came out of the fields so long ago, continue to influence contemporary musicians seeking a raw form of expression. Count saxophonist Noah Preminger among those who have gone back to these roots, his Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground, is a re-invigoration process based on primordial ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Noah Preminger: Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar

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The first thing that should be said about tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger's Pivot: Live At The 55 Bar is the extremely exciting you-are-there feeling of the recording. Recording engineer Jimmy Katz has managed to capture the sound and visceral feel of a jazz quartet in full cry with no net. Many jazz listeners can remember a performance when eveything clicked and the magic happened--where the audience was as much in the groove as the players were with no space existing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bathysphere: Bathysphere

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Driff Records labelmates, pianist Pandelis Karayorgis and reedman Jorrit Dijkstra assembled this impressive lineup with the intentions of keeping the “individual musicians in mind." The group moniker relates to a deep-sea submersible apparatus that draws a parallel to the ensemble's deep dive musical exploits. The band imparts a translucent region of sound via asymmetrical elements of modern mainstream and avant-garde framed expressionism. One of the reoccurring highlights pertain to the artists' inner-workings and mechanics in concert with ballsy horns charts; ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Henry Kaiser/Steve Parker/Damon Smith/Chris Cogburn: Nearly Extinct

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The title of this improvising free jazz quartet's release Nearly Extinct, is a reference to the current state of instant composing. The cover lists various players (Albert Ayler, Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane), Bands (ICP Orchestra, SME, AMM, AACM, ISKRA 1903), and refers to differing scenes from San Francisco to London and Wuppertal. That title is certainly a misnomer. If we think of it in terms of popular music, free jazz or free improvisation was a stillborn child back ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gary Lucas' "Fleischerei": Music From Max Fleischer Cartoons

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The hip kids knew what to look for in those Saturday morning cartoons. It was the early Warner Brothers' animations and the black-and-white Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons. Insider jokes, stabs at the government and popular figures, and sexual innuendo were commonplace, even if we didn't quite get the meanings. Each were politically incorrect, before there was such a thing as political correctness. You knew you were onto something, and in retrospect the music was the key that unlocked that ...


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