Articles by Eugene Holley, Jr.


Album Review

Robert Glasper: Black Radio

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Depending on your age, Houston-born pianist/composer Robert Glasper is--like trumpeters Christian Scott and Ambrose Akinmusire, and bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding-either the herald of a new world a-comin' when jazz musicians will be heard on pop radio on a regular basis, or he's a throwback to the golden age of the seventies, when jazz stars, from Herbie Hancock to Donald Byrd, were played on African-American and pop stations.Blessed with a fleet-fingered, countrified approach to the piano that blends gospel, Thelonious ...


Album Review

Jack DeJohnette: Sound Travels

Read "Sound Travels" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

Drummer/pianist/composer/bandleader Jack DeJohnette turns seventy this year, and his longevity on the scene is only eclipsed by the astonishing variety of settings in which he's worked. Since emerging from his hometown Chicago, the ubiquitous drummer has played with important artists including saxophonist Charles Lloyd, trumpeter Miles Davis and pianists Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett (with whom he still works today). And then there are his wonderfully eclectic Special Edition groups--always on the cutting edge. Although anyone could hear his crisp ...


Year in Review

Eugene Holley Jr.'s Best Releases of 2011

Read "Eugene Holley Jr.'s Best Releases of 2011" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

At a time when Hispanics are the dominant minority in the United States, The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences has decided to eliminate the Latin Jazz category. This list is posted in solidarity with those who demand that the category be reinstated. Fabian Almazan Trio Possibilities (Biophilla/Palmetto) Michel Camilo Mano A Mano ...


Live Review

Wynton Marsalis: Newark, Delaware, November 2, 2011

Read "Wynton Marsalis: Newark, Delaware, November 2, 2011" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

Wynton Marsalis: The Ballad of the American ArtsBob Carpenter CenterUniversity of DelawareNewark, DelawareNovember 2, 2011 A Wynton Marsalis gig is not particularly news. But his appearance at the Bob Carpenter Center was truly newsworthy, as evidenced by the appreciative, near-capacity crowd who came out to hear his stirring fifty-minute lecture/performance. “The Ballad of the American Arts" was his intimate, yet intense presentation that encompassed arts advocacy and education, plus American political, social, ...


Album Review

Various Artists: Miles Espanol: New Sketches of Spain

Read "Miles Espanol: New Sketches of Spain" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

In the days of the so-called Young Lions jazz wave--which lasted roughly, from 1981 to 1992--instrumentalists and singers were all the rage. At the tail end of that period, South Carolina-born saxophonist Bob Belden was making waves for his comprehensive and compelling arranging chops. Over the last two decades, Belden has brilliantly re-imagined the music of Sting, Puccini, Stevie Wonder, and, most notably Miles Davis. Devotees of the Prince of Darkness also know that Belden is one of the world's ...


Album Review

Randy Weston: Blue Moses

Read "Blue Moses" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

Brooklyn-born, six-foot-seven octogenarian pianist/composer Randy Weston has literally been a larger-than-life jazz force for six decades: his percussive pianism was forged from a distinguished keyboard continuum, ranging from Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk to John Lewis; his “Little Niles" and “Hi-Fly" are well-worn jazz standards; and the pianist may well be the greatest exponent of the African roots of America's classical music. Weston lived in Morocco in the 1960s and '70s, opened a jazz club there, and was virtually a ...


Extended Analysis

Modern Jazz Quartet: The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings 1956-64

Read "Modern Jazz Quartet: The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings 1956-64" reviewed by Eugene Holley, Jr.

The Modern Jazz Quartet The Complete Atlantic Studio Recordings of The Modern Jazz Quartet 1956-64 Mosaic Records 2011 They were diverse in talent and temperament. John Lewis, the quiet and determined westerner, who told sound stories with his linear and logical blues-based pianisms; Milt “Bags" Jackson, the baggy eyed, Motor City vibraharp virtuoso; Percy Heath, the Philly bassist with deep, in-the-pocket basslines; Kenny Clarke, the bomb-dropping blacksmith of the beat from Pittsburgh; and Connie ...


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