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2024 Jazz Vocalists

Read "2024 Jazz Vocalists" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Here are five notable vocal jazz releases that have come out in the first half of 2024. Jacqui Naylor Treasures of the Heart Ruby Star Records 2024 Jacqui Naylor is a veteran singer with a distinctive husky voice. Her 12th album is a warm combination of original songs and familiar pop covers done in an eclectic mix of styles. Her treatments of familiar tunes like Bill Withers' “Lovely Day" and Cindi ...


Two New Composers on Elsewhere

Read "Two New Composers on Elsewhere" reviewed by John Eyles

Of the twenty-nine Elsewhere albums that had been released before the two discussed below, well over sixty percent of them have focused on compositions for piano played by the composer themselves, such as Melaine Dalibert, or by other pianists, such as Reinier van Houdt and Dante Boon playing Jurg Frey's pieces for two pianos. (If double and triple disc releases were to be factored in, that percentage would be considerably higher.) The high proportion of piano is no accident, as ...


Hammonds Abound: Koppel Blade Koppel and The Bobby Broom Organ-isation

Read "Hammonds Abound: Koppel Blade Koppel and The Bobby Broom Organ-isation" reviewed by Doug Collette

Is there an organ trio revival underway in the jazz universe? Boston has bequeathed the Tim Carman Organ Trio, while western New York state has bestowed Organ Fairchild upon us. Meanwhile, the Tony Monaco Trio continues to wend its way along the golden road of seemingly unlimited devotion. Now, guitarist Bobby Broom has deigned to revisit some of his best work in that setting at the same time Benjamin Koppel embarks upon a digression from his more ambitious projects to ...


Taj Mahal: The Blues Is Eternal

Read "Taj Mahal: The Blues Is Eternal" reviewed by Doug Collette

Over the course of his fifty-plus years of active musicology, Taj Mahal has explored all manner of roots music, but he always returns to his main influences in the blues. His delving into reggae and Caribbean styles has not only illuminated the links connecting the genres, but also increasingly honed a feel for sharp musicianship that was ever-so-incisive to begin with on his eponymous debut album in 1968 for Columbia Records. A pair of successive albums from the man born ...


From Violinist Layale Chaker, Two Ensembles, Two Superb Albums

Read "From Violinist Layale Chaker, Two Ensembles, Two Superb Albums" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Lebanese-American violinist and composer, Layale Chaker starts off 2024 with a pair of releases with two different ensembles. These coincide with the premiere of Chaker's first opera Ruinous Gods at the Spoleto Festival USA . The albums are equally enchanting--there is not a more suitable adjective than that--and they are both in Chaker's signature style that is an elegant fusion of Western classical, Arabic and spontaneous music.. Layale Chaker and Sarafand Radio Afloat In the ...


Guitar Forms 2024

Read "Guitar Forms 2024" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

These are a few recent releases where guitars have a featured role. Jeanfrancois Prins Blue Note Mode GAM Records 2024 Guitarist Jeanfrancois Prins is from jny: Belgium but his music comes straight out of the American jazz tradition. He recorded this album at the legendary Rudy Van Gelder studio in jny: New Jersey, the sound of which enhances the warmth of his playing, particularly in a melancholy turn through “Round Midnight." Prins ...


Tony Monaco Trio and Mark Egan-Shawn Pelton-Shane Theriot: Three Is Not A Crowd

Read "Tony Monaco Trio and Mark Egan-Shawn Pelton-Shane Theriot: Three Is Not A Crowd" reviewed by Doug Collette

Say what we might about quartets, quintets, sextets and beyond, it might be fair to say the trio is the most potent instrumental lineup of them all. Three-piece ensembles hold a special place in the annals of improvisational music (and not just in the jazz milieu: the term 'power trio' was coined in the rock realm to describe Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience), if for no other reason than groups led by piano and organ have created some of ...


Inspired by Water

Read "Inspired by Water" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Here we have a timeless theme that has been providing inspiration for artists as long as people have made art. It's easy to see why water is a perennial subject, and for something so endlessly changeable, it's no surprise that these works could hardly be more different. Fergus McCreadie Trio Stream Edition Records 2024 If the historical lineage of jazz is a series of classy figures dressed sharply for a night at the ...


Noah Haidu and Dave Bass: Mirror Images

Read "Noah Haidu and Dave Bass: Mirror Images" reviewed by Doug Collette

Noah Haidu and Dave Bass may be too much the traditionalists to become true innovators, but such observations hardly dismiss their efforts as exceptional stylists. Both men's recent releases certify them as musicians who can reliably remind us where the most fruitful sources of inspiration lie in terms of both material and musicianship. Bass' Trio Nuevo is, like its trio of predecessors, a mix of excellent originals and covers that complement each other in such a way that their respective ...


Alessandro Bosetti's Music of Language

Read "Alessandro Bosetti's Music of Language" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The Milan-born, Marsailles resident Alessandro Bosetti may have started as a saxophonist and member of the influential free improvisation group Phosphor, but he has morphed into a composer and sound artist. Working solo, or with Kenta Nagai and Tony Buck in Trophies, he concentrated on the musicality of language and individual voices. His investigations drill down into the near-atomic level of speech, quite often utilizing fragments of verbal communication as repetitive building blocks. He also might repeat a word, a ...

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