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by Mike Jurkovic
A somber, modern/Romanticist solo piano Prologue" beautifully opens jazz scholar, historian, and accomplished pianist Lewis Porter's Beauty & Mystery, his fourth disc as a session leader. Accompanied throughout this often inspired recording by bassist John Pattitucci, sought after Grammy-winner and frequent trio companion drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and high-flying, rep-rising saxophonist Tia Fuller, Porter unleashes his vast knowledge of John Coltrane, and the multitude of jazz avenues on a frothy mix of original covers and time tested covers. ...read more
by Matthew Miller
Pianist Boris Netsvetaev's Das Hammerklavier Trio (archaic German for Grand Piano Trio) is a throwback in name only. The fleet, youthful ensemble is deeply entrenched in jazz's 21st century incarnations, embracing genre-hopping styles, global influences and a devotion to collective freedom. The group is also aptly named in that Netsvetaev's piano occupies the foreground for the vast majority of Now I Know Who Shot J.F.K., unleashing eighth-note runs and thundering fourths over the nimble, more reserved rhythmic underpinnings of bassist ...read more
by Marc Medwin
In March of 2007, Lewis Porter played at the Leeds International Jazz Research Conference, where he was the keynote speaker. The most vivid memory of the hour-long set was a version of Body and Soul that traveled the space-ways, the journey back to the head near miraculous. The version on Italian Encounter functions similarly, and it demonstrates a certain freedom that pervades this July 2006 concert recorded in Siena, Italy. The small utterances at the outset of ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Lewis Porter (piano), Furio di Castri (double-bass) and Fabrizio Sferra (drums) rehearsed for only fifty minutes before they went onstage and played in Siena, Italy on July 29, 2006. Porter says that they played like old friends. That's true. The empathy between them is remarkable and makes for a delightful concert.
The music is presented unedited and in the sequence it was played. It's a balanced program of what Porter calls the experimental and the lyrical. ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Pianist Alessandro D'Episcopo brings in the balmy air of the Mediterranean, a heady bit of Neapolitan melody, Arabian music and four tunes from one of his favorite composers, Thelonious Monk. They all sit well together and magenetise the listener on the aptly titled Meraviglioso, which translates to wonderful.
D'Episcopo's music is inventive and his playing adventurous, with ideas that bristle and throb. The Run is a percussive delight as he sets a repetitive phrase that has the ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Continental Europe has been a productive greenhouse for American jazz. France was a popular destination for American expatriate musicians and artists in the early-to-mid 20th Century and now France is repaying that favor by providing a distinctly European brand of jazz in pianist Francois Ingold's Sound Garden. Born in the Francophonic region of Switzerland, Fribourg, Ingold was broadly educated in Lausanne before returning home to complete his studies at the Conservatory of Fribourg.
Ingold is joined by French ...read more
by Matt Cibula
Who the heck is Olivier Le Goas, and why do you need to know about him, like, tout de suite?
The 39-year-old drummer, who's much better known in Europe than he is here, has studied classical music, has led trios and other groups in his native France, and has even played in New York with some of the hippest guys around.
Gravitations should serve as his coming-out party. It's full of ambitious and spiky hard bop compositions, played with what ...read more