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Album Review

Aruán Ortiz Trio: Serranias: Sketchbook For Piano Trio

Read "Serranias: Sketchbook For Piano Trio" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Aruan Ortiz hails from Santiago de Cuba, but he has resided in the United States for two decades. Musically he is a first cousin to pianist Matthew Shipp with his approachable and often intense and avant-garde keyboard style; and he seems a stylistic grandson to Thelonious Monk with his joyful angularities and off-kilter interludes. But he is the son of Cuba, his music mixing in a cubist way the island nation's toques, rumbas, son and conga, tinted at times ...

Album Review

David Murray: Seriana Promethea

Read "Seriana Promethea" reviewed by John Sharpe

It's over 45 years since David Murray blew into the Lower East Side lofts from California. For a while he was near ubiquitous and amassed a discography to match. While releases have become less prolific in the decades since, he remains restlessly active, and Seriana Promethea by his Brave New World Trio ranks alongside his best. With a saxophone style strung between the twin poles of the New Thing of Albert Ayler and the earlier practices of Coleman Hawkins and ...

Album Review

James Brandon Lewis Quartet: Molecular Systemic Music Live

Read "Molecular Systemic Music Live" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

With Molecular Systemic Music Live, saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and his quartet present the compositions of his 2020 album Molecular. The difference is that things are a good deal more stretched out. The music has gone from a single CD to a two CD package. With the extended tunes, the musicians—especially pianist Aruan Ortiz—get more opportunity to explore the permutations of the compositions, and the compositions have more fire, more searing energy. The music is freer. Opening with ...

Album Review

David Murray, Brad Jones, Hamid Drake: Brand New World Trio

Read "Brand New World Trio" reviewed by Mark Corroto

David Murray's Brave New World Trio is certainly a dream team of modern jazz. The only explanation for why the saxophonist, bassist Brad Jones and drummer Hamid Drake have not toured and recorded together in the past is that each musician is in high demand as leader or sideman. It took a worldwide pandemic, with each player's lockdown location being proximate to the others, for a performance and this recording to happen. While not ready to thank the virus for ...

Album Review

James Brandon Lewis Quartet: Code of Being

Read "Code of Being" reviewed by Troy Dostert

With each new release, tenor saxophone phenom James Brandon Lewis seems to raise his game even higher. He continues to craft ever more compelling compositions, with both lyrical intensity and conceptual rigor, and his sound on the tenor is just as noteworthy, mixing brawn with sensitivity in equal measure. It doesn't hurt that he has colleagues of the first rank, with pianist Aruán Ortiz, bassist Brad Jones and drummer Chad Taylor part of his core quartet, the group that gave ...

Album Review

Marshall Crenshaw: The Wild Exciting Sounds of Marshall Crenshaw: Live in the 20th & 21st Century

Read "The Wild Exciting Sounds of Marshall Crenshaw: Live in the 20th & 21st Century" reviewed by Doug Collette

Live in the 20th & 21st Century is not the first collection of Marshall Crenshaw in concert. The Wild Exciting Sounds of Marshall Crenshaw follows collections titled (with equally sardonic wit) My Truck is My Home (Razor & Tie, 1994) and I've Suffered For My Art...Now It's Your Turn (King Biscuit, 2001), among others. Culled from a variety of sources over 1982 and 1983 in New York, Boston and Passaic, N.J. and packaged with a lean economy that matches the ...

Album Review

James Brandon Lewis Quartet: Molecular

Read "Molecular" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro

Trentotto anni, di Buffalo, James Brandon Lewis è uno dei più solidi tenorsassofonisti della sua generazione. A confermarcelo arriva questo suo nuovo lavoro in quartetto inciso a inizio 2020 (quindi fra gli ultimi ante-pandemia) in cui la solidità di cui sopra si manifesta sotto diversi profili: il suono, post-coltraniano aggiornato (non senza una patina di lirismo più o meno sotterraneo che rimanda a Gato Barbieri), le geometrie e gli equilibri quartettistici (complessivi), la cifra compositiva (tutti del sassofonista gli undici ...


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