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.


Sheila Jordan: Comes Love: Lost Session 1960

Read "Comes Love: Lost Session 1960" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Sheila Jordan falls into that unique category of vocalist whose voice, once heard, is unlikely to be mistaken for anyone else. Now at ninety-two, she continues to perform regularly, if not frequently, most recently in August 2021 at Jazz In The Park in Peekskill New York. This release entitled Comes Love: Lost Session 1960 was recorded on June 19, 1960 at Olmsted Sound Studios NYC for Chatam Records backed by unidentified accompanists. Ms. Jordan was thirty-one at the time of ...


Apartment House: John Cage Number Pieces

Read "John Cage Number Pieces" reviewed by John Eyles

Even though it is only based on two of the label's previous releases—Wandelweiser und so weiter (2012) and Morton Feldman Piano (2019)— the reputation of Another Timbre box sets is enviably high. The music they contain, their sound quality, information, artwork and packaging all contribute to the fact that these albums are highly rated and sell like hot cakes. Like its predecessors, John Cage Number Pieces does not cast its net too wide or spread itself too thin. As its ...


Dave Zinno Unisphere: Fetish

Read "Fetish" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Dave Zinno's New York-based Unisphere is a quintet/sometime sextet that is rhythmically sound, melodically smooth and anchored by his assertive bass lines. The group employs a splendid two-horn front line (tenor saxophonist Mike Tucker, trumpeter Eric Benny Bloom) and adds a third, trombonist/arranger Rafael Rocha, on the freewheeling closer, “Meu Fraco e Cafe Forte" (in English, “My Weakness Is Strong Coffee") but Rocha doesn't solo. The quintet morphs to sextet on five other numbers wherein keyboardist Leo Genovese joins the ...


Stéphane Payen, Ingrid Laubrock, Chris Tordini, Tom Rainey: All Set

Read "All Set" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The contrasts heard on All Set are both its center and its strength. The music, contributed by saxophonists Stéphane Payen (straight alto saxophone) and Ingrid Laubrock (tenor saxophone) is inspired by Milton Babbitt's third stream serial composition “All Set" which was performed in 1957. While that piece was through- composed, these nine compositions stand out for the quartet's ability to balance composition with improvisation. This quartet finds the long-time partners Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey collaborating with ...


Graham Dechter: Major Influence

Read "Major Influence" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

What do you get when you combine a million-dollar feel, sterling technique, clear-eared chording, warm and sophisticated single-note lines and impeccable taste? Graham Dechter, of course. As a longtime member of The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and first-call sideman for the West Coast elite, Dechter has earned his place on the scene. And with his first two albums—Right On Time (Capri, 2009) and Takin' It There (Capri, 2012)—he made an extremely convincing case out front. Not surprisingly, this third date merely ...


Alisa Amador: Narratives

Read "Narratives" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Artists frequently discover something about themselves during the process of creation, and Boston-based musician Alisa Amador is no exception. In her case, the songwriting process allows her to investigate her thoughts and feelings until she discovers what the song will be about. With Narratives, she opens up and allows listeners to come into her inner world and experience her joy, vulnerability and strength. Amador was born into a musical family, and pursuing music was never really a choice. ...


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