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Reeds and Deeds: Cookin'

Read "Reeds and Deeds: Cookin'" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Chances are that if you're reading these notes right now you're more than a bit familiar with the talents of tenor saxophonists Eric Alexander and Grant Stewart and might even have picked up Wailin' (Criss 1258), their first effort together leading a quintet billed as Reeds and Deeds. As such, it would probably be redundant to go into detailed biographical sketches of each of these men. Suffice it to say that Alexander just might be one of the most recorded ...


Joel Weiskopf: New Beginning

Read "Joel Weiskopf: New Beginning" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

For better or worse, it seems that any artistic endeavor that involves the true expression of raw human experience and emotion is destined to have appeal to only a small and select audience. This dilemma becomes even more daunting for the artist in today's technology-laden society where electronic communication has taken the place of face-to-face conversation. Where the musician or painter seeks to express himself by exposing passion in its natural form, so many in today's society function at a ...


Tim Warfield: One For Shirley

Read "Tim Warfield: One For Shirley" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Jimmy Smith and Larry Young have continually set the benchmark for creative endeavors involving jazz and the Hammond B-3 organ, Smith being acknowledged for bringing the technical virtuosity of be-bop to the instrument and Young for expanding the vernacular based on the forward-thinking implications of John Coltrane. Somewhere in between these two, a colorful range of styles proliferated throughout the '50s and '60s, from the cocktail jazz of Milt Buckner to the soulful grooves of “Big" John Patton. But it ...


John Swana: Philly Gumbo Vol.2

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo Vol.2" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

It seems like a lot of up and coming trumpeters these days go for the bop stylings of Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw as their main influence. Far fewer look to players like Art Farmer or Kenny Wheeler for inspiration. That's what has made watching the development of Philadelphia trumpet man John Swana so fascinating over the years. While he has the chops needed to communicate in the high-octane language of be-bop, his tone and use of space suggest that ...


Martin Budde: Back Burner

Read "Martin Budde: Back Burner" reviewed by Andrew Luthringer

In the ever-evolving crucible of progressive jazz guitar, younger players often face a formidable challenge: forging a distinctive approach amidst the echoes of legends. The roles and methodologies that define modern electric jazz have multiplied exponentially in recent decades, but Martin Budde, a guitarist of floating, effortless fluidity and solid foundational control, navigates this landscape with the confident stride of a searcher who's found something he wants to communicate. On Back Burner, his second solo album, he shares the riches ...


John Swana: Philly Gumbo

Read "John Swana: Philly Gumbo" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

It seems like a case of the big fish swimming in a small pond. So while Philadelphia native John Swana currently chooses to make his home in the city of Brotherly Love, it's clearly evident that this world-class musician could succeed easily in the Big Apple, the undisputed center of jazz activity in America. Taking up the trumpet at the age of 11, Swana was hooked on jazz after one spin of a Dizzy Gillespie record. Lucky enough to get ...


One For All: Blueslike

Read "One For All: Blueslike" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

As the timeworn adage goes, sometimes the best things come from situations where one is asked to function in less than ideal circumstances. When you have little time to analyze things and go with pure instincts, there's an air of veracity and spontaneity to the results that is seldom arrived at by any other means. Although the hard bop collective One For Allhas forged a shared identity through regular gigs and a growing catalog of recordings for several labels, including ...


One For All: Live at Smoke Vol.1

Read "One For All: Live at Smoke Vol.1" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Aside from the musical fireworks that make the enclosed sides noteworthy, there are additional factors that mark Live at Smoke as a major event. For one thing, this “on location" recording is one of the rare live dates to grace the Criss Cross catalog. Furthermore, it serves as a perfect summation up to this point of One For All's musical fortunes as heard in the same venue that fostered the ensemble's very formation. Back in the mid-'80s, drummer Joe Farnsworth, ...


Yuri Honing: North Sea Jazz Legendary Concerts

Read "Yuri Honing: North Sea Jazz Legendary Concerts" reviewed by Ian Patterson

It's fitting that saxophonist, composer and quiet visionary Yuri Honing should be acknowledged as one of the pivotal voices in the history of the Netherland's world-renowned North Sea Jazz festival, described in 1990 by Jazz Times as “the best jazz festival in the world." Honing's first appearance at the NSJF's was in 1995, where he performed with pianist {Michiel Bortslap}}'s sextet. Since then, he has played all but three of the last 18 editions, reflecting his status alongside pianist Misha ...


Raul De Souza: Colors

Read "Raul De Souza: Colors" reviewed by Arnaldo DeSouteiro

Raul De Souza's life can be seen as a one-of-a-kind story. Indeed, it would make a perfect novel or film script. It may not be as big a tragedy as 'Round Midnight or Bird, but it has drama, love, adventure, and great music. Picture this: a poor child grows up in Brazil working as a weaver and practicing trombone in conversations with a buffalo in the jungle, dreaming of someday becoming an internationally famous jazzman. Suddenly, this dream ...

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