Jazz Articles

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Album Review

Roxy Coss: Disparate Parts

Read "Disparate Parts" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Let's just get thing one out into the open right away: Disparate Parts has plenty of balls to spare. Saxophonist Roxy Coss' acute, teasingly biting tone and rich, no boundaries disposition to composing and jamming has placed her high in the generational echelon of new and challenging players. She willingly and unapologetically blends and blurs the lines to suit any and all missives, and the fourteen fireballs heard loud and clear on Disparate Parts broach nothing less. Commandeering ...


Album Review

André Carvalho: Lost In Translation

Read "Lost In Translation" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Bassist Andre Carvalho conceived this album around the concept of “untranslatable words"—words for concepts that have no equivalent outside of their native language. He has used this idea to create a cycle of amorphous composition, realized here by a trio of bass, guitar and saxophone with the occasional addition of trumpet. The words come from languages such as Dutch, Urdu, Japanese and Sanskrit and can describe states of mind, grand philosophical concepts or something as mundane as a mark left ...


Album Review

The Adam Larson Trio: With Love, From Chicago

Read "With Love, From Chicago" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The experience begins with the cover art, an old school black-and-white photo of Kansas City-based saxophonist Adam Larson with his hair swooped up in something of a modest 1950s pompadour, like an early Sun Records artist--Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley--sitting in the studio with his ax laid out in front of him. Except Larson's ax is not the guitar; it is the saxophone in the photo's foreground. And the Presley pompadour? It really isn't one; a ball cap pushed back on ...


Album Review

Brasuka: A Vida Com Paixão

Read "A Vida Com Paixão" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Brasuka first came together as a side project, led by keyboardist and vocalist Rosana Eckert and percussionist Ricardo Bozas, from out of a Sergio Mendes tribute band. You can still hear these roots in this full-length debut. But you can also hear where and how Brasuka's sound branches out into different styles and frameworks and yet retain the warm, inviting and bright sound of their original inspiration. Eckert's lead vocal on the title track to A Vida Com ...


Album Review

Earl MacDonald: Consecrated

Read "Consecrated" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The searching spirit that drives the work of composer and pianist Earl MacDonald is both a reflection on musical curiosity and, to a deeper extent, a statement of faith. Bringing both of those identity-shaping aspects to the fore like never before, MacDonald uses Consecrated to work toward a higher purpose. Reshaping and resetting a series of traditional hymns in sophisticated yet accessible fashion, he conveys the core values of his Christian beliefs—love, kindness, charity—with class and creative purpose.


Album Review

Jalen Baker: This is Me, This is Us

Read "This is Me, This is Us" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Joining the ranks of young vibraphonists with skills galore, Jalen Baker brings a lot to the table on his debut record, This is Me, This is Us. Like Joel Ross, Sasha Berliner and Warren Wolf—the last of whom provides liner notes for the album—Baker's ambition goes beyond instrumental virtuosity. His compositional aims are just as impressive, as he offers a string quartet to complement several of his smartly written pieces, many of which reference pressing social and political challenges.


Album Review

Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band: Soul Conversations

Read "Soul Conversations" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.'s Big Band comes out swinging on its debut recording, Soul Conversations, thundering through Michael Dease's incendiary arrangement of the Dizzy Gillespie/John Lewis flame-thrower, “Two Bass Hit." For more such heat, however, the listener must move forward to Track 5, John Coltrane's impulsive “Giant Steps," thence to Track 9 for Charles Turner III's earnest homage to “Harlem Harlem Harlem," on which he doubles as vocalist. That's not to say that everything in between is ...


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