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Album Review

Lafayette Gilchrist: Undaunted

Read "Undaunted" reviewed by Pat Youngspiel

On Undaunted Washington D.C.-raised and Baltimore-educated pianist Lafayette Gilchrist continues his idiosyncratically swinging trajectory with deep grooves, memorable lines and the gritty, unapologetic type of interplay that first brought him international acclaim on the 2004 recording The Music According To Lafayette Gilchrist. Few will have forgotten the catchy track “Assume The Position" off that album, used prominently in the popular David Simon-produced series “The Wire." Some of the funkier, more electric bits in his writing have been replaced with a ...

Album Review

Lafayette Gilchrist: Undaunted

Read "Undaunted" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Barn-burning, barrel-housing pianist Lafayette Gilchrist may or may not be known by everyone pretending to be hip and attuned or even by the rather rarefied company he has been known to keep--David Murray, Cassandra Wilson, Andrew Cyrille--but Undaunted is going to get him some much deserved attention. Abundant with cajones and plenty of rhythm, Undaunted captures the imagination and attention immediately. The title track percolates within a laid back groove that Gilchrist, an admitted admirer of Duke Ellington's ...

Album Review

Lafayette Gilchrist: Now

Read "Now" reviewed by Ian Patterson

For much of the 2010s, Baltimore-based pianist/composer Lafayette Gilchrist has looked to larger ensembles to give voice to his expansive arrangements. In fact, you have to go back to Three (Hyena, 2007) to find his previous trio outing. With Now, Gilchrist embraces a more intimate setting in the company of drummer Eric Kennedy and bassist Herman Burnie. It's a triumphant, grass-roots return that showcases the dazzling breadth and originality of Gilchrist's pianism and the enduring appeal of the piano trio ...

Album Review

Lafayette Gilchrist: Now

Read "Now" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Pianist and composer Lafayette Gilchrist has made clear that, in part, Now addresses the racial and political conflicts erupting across America in 2020. The music is suitably intense and tumultuous. The album demands change while also reminding us that the violence and divisions splintering the country are not new. The repression and oppression embedded in American race relations has been pervasive for an unconscionably long time. Gilchrest pointedly underscores this through pieces like “Bmore Careful," which pulses forward ...

Album Review

Jeff Reed: Look for the Light

Read "Look for the Light" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Bassist Jeff Reed resides in Maryland but is widely known as a sideman on over fifty albums. Reed is a schooled musician earning his Bachelor of Music from Towson University and a Master of Music from the University of Maryland, College Park. Coming full circle educationally, Reed is an adjunct faculty member at Towson University. Surprisingly, this is Reed's debut album, but one that is a welcome moment in his credits. Inspired by his son's birth, the album began its ...

Album Review

Lafayette Gilchrist: Now

Read "Now" reviewed by Geno Thackara

In some alternate world somewhere, Lafayette Gilchrist is a great modern American novelist, spinning real-life stories that vividly evoke the spirit of the times. In our world, he ended up as a comparable spirit doing the same thing in the music realm instead. His piano playing nonetheless criss-crosses the span of jazz, blues, funk, gospel, ragtime, boogie and much else besides, weaving all manner of familiar elements in the way other storytellers would thread recognizable slices of life into their ...


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