Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

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Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Reflections/Introspection: The Music Of Thelonious Monk

Read "Reflections/Introspection: The Music Of Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki


Reflections/Introspection... follows-up guitarist Charlie Ballentine's Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan, the guitarist's tribute to another (and very different type of) iconoclastic modern composer and one of the best albums of 2018. He absolutely bounces through this double-LP (one trio, one quartet) on a merry joyride through the compositions of “the onliest Monk." “Monk has such an incredible catalogue that one of the big challenges we faced was what songs to choose and also what instrumentation ...

10

Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Reflections/Introspection: The Music Of Thelonious Monk

Read "Reflections/Introspection: The Music Of Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-based guitarist and composer Charlie Ballantine has made thematically organized albums before. Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan (Green Mind Records, 2018) featured creative versions of songs by the iconic songwriter, and Vonnegut (Green Mind Records, 2020), was made up of original Ballantine compositions inspired by the work of novelist Kurt Vonnegut. Here the inspiration is purely musical, and it is one of the pillars of modern jazz: the brilliant composer & pianist Thelonious Monk. Many of the ...

4

Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Vonnegut

Read "Vonnegut" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine took his inspiration from iconic American novelist Kurt Vonnegut for this project, the most complex set of music in his already lengthy and varied recording career. He was joined by fellow Indianapolis musicians: saxophonist Rob Dixon, saxophonist/clarinetist Amanda Gardier, pianist Mina Keohane, bassist Jesse Wittman and drummer Cassius Goens. Dixon, Gardier and Wittman have appeared on several prior Ballantine recordings, so there is a strong base of shared experience to draw upon. Kurt Vonnegut ...

5

Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Cold Coffee

Read "Cold Coffee" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-born jazz guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine has a special relationship with American music of all kinds: jazz, folk, the blues (his father was a blues guitarist, providing some of Ballantine's earliest musical memories) and contemporary rock. His previous album Life Is Brief: The Music Of Bob Dylan (Green Mind Records, 2018) made the inspiration outside of jazz clear, and previous covers had included songs by Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and the Pixies. This album--a trio with long-time band-mates bassist ...

7

Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan

Read "Life is Brief: The Music of Bob Dylan" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine has included a wide range of covers on his previous albums. Providence (Self Produced, 2016) included Leonard Cohen's modern anthem “Hallelujah" and Tom Waits' “Temptation." Where Is My Mind? (Self Produced, 2017) had the title tune from the Pixies and Sun Kil Moon's “Carissa," plus the traditional “Wayfaring Stranger." But the bulk of both programs was Ballantine's originals, so an entire album of covers (by a single songwriter) represents a significant departure.From the opening ...

10

Album Review

Charlie Ballantine: Where Is My Mind?

Read "Where Is My Mind?" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine continues on the eclectic path forged on Providence (Self Produced, 2016) on Where Is My Mind?, his third self-produced outing as a leader. Ballantine is again joined by alto saxophonist/flutist Amanda Gardier, with a new rhythm section of bassist Jessie Whittman and drummer Jay Tibbitts. In the absence of a keyboard there is even more emphasis on the guitar. It's all twangy Americana on openers “Real Things" and “Jones"--Gardier doesn't join in until the last part ...


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