Jazz Articles

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8

Multiple Reviews

From An Island: Ches Smith & We All Break and Dominican Jazz Project

Read "From An Island: Ches Smith & We All Break and Dominican Jazz Project" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Haiti and the Dominican Republic both occupy the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. But the two nations could hardly be more different. Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western hemisphere; the Dominican Republic has the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central America. Haiti was occupied by France in colonial times, famously winning its independence in the only successful slave revolt in history; the Dominican Republic was occupied by Spain, winning its independence much later (which is a ...

8

Album Review

Ches Smith / We All Break: Path of Seven Colors

Read "Path of Seven Colors" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


In his group We All Break, drummer Ches Smith puts together a robust hybrid of the rhythms of Haitian Voudou music and the free- flowing impulsiveness of modern jazz. The basic music and lyrics of the songs here are based on traditional Haitian melodies. The group builds from that foundation, starting with the tangled interplay of Smith and three Haitian drummers, Daniel Brevil, Markus Schwartz, and Fanfan Jean-Guy Rene. Jazz improvisation is stirred into the mix by alto saxophonist Miguel ...

1

Radio & Podcasts

Aksel Rönning Trio, Blue Reality Quartet & Ches Smith’s We All Break

Read "Aksel Rönning Trio, Blue Reality Quartet & Ches Smith’s We All Break" reviewed by Maurice Hogue


Like Haitian-drums? Drummer Ches Smith does and he taps into the Voudo rhythm and spirit of Haiti on his new Path Of Seven Colors. Like Bob Dylan's music? The German quartet Absolutely Sweet Marie tackles nothing but; their third volume, Wherever You Roam, is just out and there are a some tunes from that featured. What about something new, like the Norwegian Trio led by saxophonist, Aksel Rönning? He shows he has chops and ideas on his new ART. There's ...

17

Album Review

Ches Smith / We All Break: Path of Seven Colors

Read "Path of Seven Colors" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


For some time, drummer/composer Ches Smith kept his interest in the Voudou music of Haiti at bay. Recognizing himself as an outsider in that world, he researched, listened, studied, and after years brought a project to fruition. Smith's group We All Break released their self-titled, self-produced debut in 2017 and received less attention than deserved. Now on Kris Davis' Pyroclastic Records, the outstanding Path of Seven Colors should produce wide recognition. Path of Seven Colors is a two-disc ...

26

Album Review

Ches Smith with Craig Taborn and Mat Maneri: The Bell

Read "The Bell" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Percussionist Ches Smith presents an album of chamber music for acoustic trio on his ECM debut as leader. Smith is often heard on drums in projects with guitarist Mary Halvorson and as a member of saxophonist Tim Berne's Snakeoil, among others. But he opens this album with the title bell, and is heard on timpani and vibraphone long before employing the drum kit. Pianist Craig Taborn is often heard on Fender Rhodes, filling in for the bass on albums like ...

22

Album Review

Ches Smith with Craig Taborn and Mat Maneri: The Bell

Read "The Bell" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Despite appearing on at least fifty recordings since 2001, Ches Smith remains the more under-recognized, yet highly in-demand, member of this newly formed trio. The drummer/percussionist and vibraphonist for Tim Berne's Snakeoil, Smith has played with John Zorn on Voices in the Wilderness (Tzadik, 2003), as well as Wadada Leo Smith, and guitarists Fred Frith and Marc Ribot. The Bell is his fifth outing as a leader, three being solo efforts and one with his recent group, These Arches, which ...

3

Album Review

Ches Smith and These Arches: Hammered

Read "Hammered" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Four progressive-jazz and improvising luminaries lend their expertise for New York City-based drummer Ches Smith's foray into a multi-purposed set, exploring and splitting the frontiers of avant-garde jazz, rock and other genres into asymmetrical components. Thus far, the artist has been in the thick of things, amassing an impressive discography, performing and recording with notables such as bassist Trevor Dunn, clarinetist Ben Goldberg and others. This album merges discordant free-form impressionism, micro-melodies, off-center jazz--and with accordionist Andrea Parkins onboard--the program ...


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