Jazz Articles

Daily articles including interviews, profiles, live reviews, film reviews and more... all carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. You can find more articles by searching our website, see what's trending on our popular articles page or read articles ahead of their published dates on our future articles page.

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Album Review

Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra: Book Of Rhapsodies Vol. II

Read "Book Of Rhapsodies Vol. II" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


There have been several ensembles in the past couple of decades that delved into the novelty jazz recordings of the Thirties and Forties. In the Netherlands there have been The Beau Hunks and the Willem Breuker Kollektief and in this country there have been Don Byron's Bug Music group and Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra.The Ghost Train Orchestra's usual focus is on the “hot jazz" of the Twenties and Thirties but in 2013 they put out a CD ...

1

Album Review

Bob Merrill: Tell Me Your Troubles – Songs by Joe Bushkin, Volume 1

Read "Tell Me Your Troubles – Songs by Joe Bushkin, Volume 1" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


There are several arcs of history and experience intersecting on Bob Merrill's Tell Me Your Troubles--Songs by Joe Bushkin, Volume 1. The first is that of Joe Bushkin (1961--2004). Bushkin was a swing era pianist and composer best known for his association with trumpeter Bunny Berigan's band, guitarist Eddie Condon, Max Kaminsky, Joe Marsala, and Muggsy Spanier before World War II and Louis Armstrong, Bud Freeman, and Benny Goodman after the war. His style of composing, as evidenced on his ...

7

Album Review

Bob Merrill: Cheerin’ Up the Universe

Read "Cheerin’ Up the Universe" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Jazz as an art form is not noted for a particularly sunny disposition. Trumpeter and vocalist Bob Merrill dispenses with this prejudice in his opening original title composition of Cheerin' Up the Universe, his fourth recording. From the outset, this recital is going to be a positive, affirming musical experience sans the saccharine sentimentality projects like this often can fall into. The musicianship and imagination here are much too sharp to allow that to happen. The New ...

3

Album Review

Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra: Book Of Rhapsodies

Read "Book Of Rhapsodies" reviewed by Mark Corroto


If you were to identify the music from Book Of Rhapsodies as cartoon music and asked to name specifically which cartoons, it might be easy to guess your age. The baby-boom generations would call bandleader Brian Carpenter's music the soundtrack to Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam and might guess Carl Stalling. X-Generation would identify the soundtrack to the show Ren & Stimpy. Older folk would know Stalling adapted much of his music from originator Raymond Scott. But then, we would ...

4

Album Review

Agachiko: Agachiko: Yes!

Read "Agachiko: Yes!" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


Agachiko is a band led by Boston-based vocalist Gabrielle Agachiko, bringing together an impressive array of musicians that includes saxophonist Russ Gershon of the Either/Orchestra, and Ken Field of the Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, both distilling their amply-endowed playing down to a bare essence where all that remains is the music to support an exceptional voice and vision. Largely an acoustic ensemble, Agachiko has a malleable ability to accomplish a variety of performance ends, sounding minimal and elegant, bluesy and brazen, ...

117

Album Review

Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra: Hothouse Stomp

Read "Hothouse Stomp" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey


One of the beauties of long-lived music genres is if a current one becomes boring and the future looks, well, too futuristic, we can always go backwards, investigating earlier forms we may have not paid attention to earlier. And herein lies the value of Brian Carpenter's Hothouse Stomp: The Music of 1920 Chicago and Harlem. The music Carpenter concentrates on is big band music other than Duke Ellington and Count Basie, during the Jazz Age of F. Scott Fitzgerald and ...

114

Album Review

Either/Orchestra: Mood Music for Time Travelers

Read "Mood Music for Time Travelers" reviewed by Ian Patterson


As saxophonist/founder Russ Gershon has noted, the 25-year history of the Either/Orchestra constitutes a quarter of jazz's eventful history. The changes in this large ensemble's music in part reflect wider trends and at the same time are the results of an organic evolution as members have come and gone. In the early years, Gershon plumbed the jazz cannon for repertory in addition to composing original material. However, arrangements of songs by Bob Dylan, Bing Crosby and Robert Fripp pointed to ...


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