Multiple Reviews


Gordon Grdina: Intuitive Idiosyncrasy

Read "Gordon Grdina: Intuitive Idiosyncrasy" reviewed by Doug Collette

Prolific as is Gordon Grdina, he never falls prey to pointless repetition. When the Canadian multi-instrumentalist/composer/bandleader does deign to return to familiar realms, it's with a purpose, so he and his collaborators all bring fresh viewpoints and open minds in order to nurture that spirit of the moment air of continuous surprise. And Grdina relishes the intimate direct communication available in a small combo as much as the more expansive multi-leveled dialogues available in a large(r) ensemble. Thus, it's only ...


Tony Williams and Al Foster: Give The Drummers Some

Read "Tony Williams and Al Foster: Give The Drummers Some" reviewed by Doug Collette

Are drummers the most colorful members of the jazz community? Certainly as the keepers of the beat, the bands in which they play rotate around them, whether they are at center stage or off to the side in performance or behind baffles right alongside them in the studio. And the assertive and authoritative likes of such dashing contemporary figures as Brian Blade, Mike Clark and Allison Miller only offer further testament to that hallowed notion. As does the late Tony ...


Cello Songs

Read "Cello Songs" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The cello has never been a prominent instrument in jazz, but for decades there have always been musicians who have tried to explore its potential in improvisational contexts. Here are current releases from two of them. Erik Friedlander A Queens' Firefly Skiptone 2022 Erik Friedlander's album shows the possibilities in a cello serving as lead instrument in a jazz quartet. He fronts an excellent group with Uri Caine on piano, Mark ...


Electric Fusions: Worldly and Wild

Read "Electric Fusions: Worldly and Wild" reviewed by Geno Thackara

As always, there are as many kinds of fusion as there are people to fuse things. This electrifying half-dozen from around the globe all bring a lot of electricity to jazz and rock and other things, though all in very different ways. Oli Astral From the Astral Multiple Chord Music 2022 While Olivier Grenier-Bédard's snappy stage name promises a taste of outer space, his music still never loses its down-to-earth human warmth. The ...


Three Gems from Guitarist Samo Salamon: Joy and Sorrow, Freed Distance Volume 2/Poems Are Opening, and Pure and Simple

Read "Three Gems from Guitarist Samo Salamon: Joy and Sorrow, Freed Distance Volume 2/Poems Are Opening, and Pure and Simple" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Innovative guitarist Samo Salamon always thrills with the diversity of his output. Right on the heels of his two-disc solo recording of the entirety of saxophonist Eric Dolphy's compositions,Dolphyology (Samo, 2022), come three very different releases. Samo Salamon Joy and Sorrow Klopotec Records 2022 The first a duet with saxophonist Sabir Mateen, is the short and poignant Joy and Sorrow. Mateen has a distinctively soulful sound and a direct, honest style ...


The John Butcher Vinyl Series

Read "The John Butcher Vinyl Series" reviewed by John Sharpe

British saxophonist John Butcher has originated an astounding array of saxophone techniques which he combines in a personal syntax which is instantly recognizable, particularly involving the production of a broad range of multiphonics which vary from juddering growl to chirruping stridulation, but which defies easy description. Novel sounds in themselves of course would only be of passing interest were the way in which he orchestrates on-the-fly, either alone or in consort with others, not so compelling. As a ...


Kenny Roby & Forest Sun: Kindred Spirits of Americana

Read "Kenny Roby & Forest Sun: Kindred Spirits of Americana" reviewed by Doug Collette

For all the attention garnered in recent years by the Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, the Lumineers,, a raft of other Americana artists go largely unrecognized. The Felice Brothers top the list of the unsung nouveau folksters, but Kenny Roby and Forest Sun should be in that tally too: with the former's eponymous album and the latter's Follow The Love, both continue adding to respectable bodies of work in which honest, forthright songwriting engenders comparably spare and purposeful musicianship. ...


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