Articles by Troy Collins

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Year in Review

Troy Collins' Best Releases of 2017

Read "Troy Collins' Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by Troy Collins


Considering the quantity of recordings released in a year's time, attempting to compile a comprehensive end of the year list mentioning every first-rate session would be difficult at best. The ten titles listed below represent a fertile cross-section of some of the most compelling modern jazz heard in 2017. William Parker Quartets Meditation/Resurrection (AUM Fidelity) The common thread running through both sets of this diverse double-album is the camaraderie William Parker enjoys with ...

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Album Review

Vinnie Sperrazza Apocryphal: Hide Ye Idols

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Forward-thinking drummer Vinnie Sperrazza has proven to be an exceptionally creative and magnanimous bandleader; Hide Ye Idols expands well beyond the imaginative inroads made on Apocryphal, his impressive 2014 debut for Loyal Label. Conveying a distinctive group sound, the original lineup featured on his first album--alto saxophonist Loren Stillman, guitarist Brandon Seabrook, and bassist Eivind Opsvik--returns, now a touring unit with a namesake evoking its origins. Produced by Paris Monster's Geoff Kraly and mastered by Kneebody's Nate Wood, this modernistic ...

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Album Review

Mike Reed: Flesh & Bone

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Years in the making, Flesh & Bone was inspired by a racist incident Chicago-based drummer Mike Reed experienced in 2009. While on a European tour, Reed and his band, People, Places & Things, were caught in a neo-Nazi rally in the Czech Republic. Reed's ensemble--half black, half white--had been deliberately deceived into boarding a train bound for the small town of Prerov, where an anti-Gypsy protest was in the process of erupting into a full-blown skinhead riot. Fortunately, for Reed ...

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Album Review

Joe Fiedler: Like, Strange

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Change can occasionally be necessary for artistic growth. For over a decade, trombonist Joe Fiedler has led a stripped-down bass and drums trio, as documented on Plays The Music of Albert Mangelsdorff (Clean Feed, 2005), The Crab (Clean Feed, 2007), Sacred Chrome Orb (Yellow Sound, 2011), and I'm In (Multiphonics, 2015). Seeking a greater range of color and texture in his music, Fielder recruited vanguard saxophonist Jeff Lederer and multifaceted guitarist Pete McCann to join his current working trio with ...

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Album Review

Eivind Opsvik: Overseas V

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Norwegian-born bassist Eivind Opsvik has been a mainstay of the Downtown scene since his relocation to New York over two decades ago. Starting in 2003, he began issuing a series of sequentially numbered instrumental albums under the banner Overseas, which have featured some of Gotham's finest musicians. Bolstered by the improvisational mettle of his longstanding bandmates, Opsvik's accessible tunes draw melodic, harmonic and rhythmic inspiration from popular music, rather than traditional jazz.Overseas V incrementally ups the ante from ...

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Album Review

Matthew Shipp Trio: Piano Song

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Matthew Shipp has long been considered one of the leading pianists of his generation. Collaborating with artists from wide ranging genres over the past three decades, Shipp has maintained a distinctively singular vision with an immediately recognizable sound. Publicized as Shipp's final release for Thirsty Ear, Piano Song follows in the footsteps of The Conduct of Jazz, his 2015 trio recording for the revered label, although he is slated to remain curator of the imprint's ground-breaking “Blue Series."

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Year in Review

Troy Collins' Best Releases of 2016

Read "Troy Collins' Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Troy Collins


Compiling end of the year lists is never easy. Considering the quantity of recordings released in a year's time, attempting to compose a list mentioning every first-rate session would be difficult at best. These ten albums represent a fertile cross-section of some of the most compelling modern jazz issued in 2016. Many of the records listed here feature sophisticated new developments in composition and improvisation from revered masters, ranging from post-war innovators to contemporary stylists. The remainder highlight the virtually ...


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