Articles by Glenn Astarita

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Album Review

So Sa La: Nu World Trashed

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Per the press release, saxophonist, vocalist SoSaLa (Ornette Coleman, Salif Keita) is the abbreviation of his birth name, Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi. He's a Swiss-born Iranian American and a well-known activist, educator, author and the president of Musicians for Musicians (MFM) who exhibits complete command of his saxophones during two live tracks and seven studio tracks, recorded between 2014 and 2020. As the title describes, the music draws inferences to the “Nu World" created by the Internet, and how some may ...

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Album Review

Pluto Juice: Pluto Juice

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The EWI (Electronic Wind Instrument) was popularized in the 1980s by the late sax great Michael Brecker, and allegedly is a difficult instrument to learn because the buttons are touch sensitive and its sound bank possesses the characteristics of multiple woodwind instruments. Moreover, the EWI contains a controller and a sound module and is not simply an electronic sax device. But highly regarded saxophonist Dayna Stephens seems to have surmounted any hurdles and conveys a rather all-inclusive scope on this ...

16

Album Review

Gui Duvignau: 3,5,8

Read "3,5,8" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


As a youngster, French bassist Gui Duvignau was exposed to several disparate cultures and musical forms thanks to his adventure seeking parents' relocations to Morocco, Brazil, Portugal and back to Paris before landing in Boston, MA., to attend the Berklee School of Music, and subsequently ending up in New York City. Duvignau advises that in his early musical endeavors he found rock music less challenging than jazz. Hence, on this effort with well-known jazz warriors, saxophonist Billy Drewes and drummer ...

14

Album Review

Andrea Massaria: New Needs Need New Techniques

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With his debut solo recording, abstract guitarist Andrea Massaria indulges in sleight of hand framed techniques, while executing free form tonal vignettes that bridge painting with music via nine pieces that are dedicated to, and motivated by three impressionists: Rothko, Rauschenberg, and Pollock. Here, the artist's expressive nature spawns plucking and streaming layers of controlled analog noise and asymmetrical passageways featuring Francesco Forges' multitracked voice on “RA 3." In addition, Massaria's squealing, high-pitched voicings and buzzing lower-register notes form a ...

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Album Review

Reuter / Motzer / Grohowski: Shapeshifters

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These highly respected artists turn in an impressionable assault on progressive rock, extended with avant-garde tendencies and gobs of mind-bending improv via these four instantaneous compositions as they launch the cosmic proceedings with the 22- minute oeuvre, “Dark Sparks." Here, touch guitarist Markus Reuter (Stick Men, Mark Wingfield) and guitarist Tim Motzer (David Sylvian, Bandit 65) enact brooding and sanctified themes with menacing lines and existential EFX treatments, supported by drummer Kenny Grohowski's (Simulacrum, Dapp Theory) dexterous brushwork.

14

Album Review

Samo Salamon & Friends: Almost Alone Vol 1

Read "Almost Alone Vol 1" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


To keep the train on the track during the Covid lockdowns, artists must think outside the box. Such is the case with this first volume of duets performed by renowned Slovenian guitarist Samo Salamon and European guitarists via the Internet by using web-based meeting programs and file-sharing processes. And besides performing on acoustic and electric guitars, Salamon incorporates a Moog synth on several tracks, largely used for textural backdrops. He also uses the body of his acoustic as a percussion ...

10

Album Review

UASSYN: Zacharya - Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 87

Read "Zacharya - Jazz Thing Next Generation Vol. 87" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


This young Swiss saxophone trio spawns a democratic effort where each musician stands out as a contributor throughout the rather brief (32- minutes) timeframe. Thus, no one hogs the limelight from a holistic viewpoint. Moreover, the press release states that, “Now Uassyn is taking their long overdue next step and recorded their debut album “Zacharya" for the 87th release of Jazz Thing Next Generation. Its music, which resembles an independent language--which is why the band name is also an invented ...


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