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Album Review

James Brandon Lewis: For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)

Read "For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)" reviewed by Stefano Merighi


La musica di James Brandon Lewis è potente, assertiva, trascinante. Ma rivela talvolta, sotto lo strato di forza, una sottile e affascinante vulnerabilità emotiva, che rende ancora più ricco il suo discorso compositivo e solistico. Come nel caso di questo scintillante omaggio al mondo espressivo di Mahalia Jackson, che si realizza attraverso memorie familiari, quelle della nonna che ha trasmesso a James questa passione tuttora bruciante. Lewis è una delle voci più convincenti del jazz contemporaneo che non ...

Album Review

Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble: Elegy for Thelonious

Read "Elegy for Thelonious" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro


Dopo aver circumnavigato la musica di Monk in diversi contesti, prevalentemente come pianista in piccoli organici, Frank Carlberg, finlandese di nascita ma newyorchese a tutti gli effetti, affronta in questo suo ultimo, ambizioso lavoro l'ineffabile Thelonious da una prospettiva diversa: dedicandogli una serie di composizioni proprie ispirate a lui e alla sua arte così fuori da ogni ovvietà (non senza scampoli tematici acchiappati al volo e titolazioni spesso molto gustose ed emblematiche, da “Scallop's Scallop" a “Wrinkle on Trinkle," in ...

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Album Review

Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble: Elegy for Thelonious

Read "Elegy for Thelonious" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


Pianist Frank Carlberg has been exploring the music of Thelonious Monk for some time, most specifically on his large group album, Monk Dreams, Hallucinations, and Nightmares, (Sunnyside, 2017). This new album has Carlberg returning to the large ensemble format for more Monk investigations, but this time approaching the work in a more splintered and abstract fashion. He does not simply interpret familiar Monk tunes. He writes compositions and arrangements which stitch Monk riffs and ideas into new fabrics, ...

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Album Review

James Brandon Lewis: For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)

Read "For Mahalia With Love (Expanded Edition)" reviewed by Chris May


Not since Oded Tzur's Isabela (ECM, 2022) has a comparably exalted tenor saxophone-led album come along, not until For Mahalia, With Love. Vaultingly great jazz and deep solace for the soul, For Mahalia, With Love was released in late 2023. An annual cycle for albums of this quality is actually a sufficiency, for there is enough in both these, and those that preceded them, to last a listener a lifetime. File next to John Coltrane's Crescent (Impulse!, 1964) and Albert ...

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Album Review

Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble: Elegy for Thelonious

Read "Elegy for Thelonious" reviewed by Mark Corroto


There was a sardonic saying circulating a few years ago that observed, “It's Frank Sinatra's world, we just live in it." While that was a backhanded compliment, tailoring it to the subject of this large ensemble recording, we would call it a commendation. Pianist, composer, and conductor Frank Carlberg is telling us, “It's Thelonious Monk's world, and (thank god) we live in it." Carlberg has been a disciple of Monk for decades, recording his music in a piano trio format ...

Album Review

Todd Sickafoose: Bear Proof

Read "Bear Proof" reviewed by Vic Albani


Era dai fasti di Tiny Resistors (uscito nel 2008 per la Cryptogramophone dell'amico Jeff Gauthier e che invitiamo a riascoltare per la bellezza che lo ammanta) che il signor Todd Sickafoose non regalava al mondo un nuovo lavoro. Inneggiato da più voci quale coerente ed intelligentissimo musicista nonché compositore e produttore Sickafoose è stato talmente occupato da non avere avuto tempo per dilettarsi ancora una volta con l'idea che lo ha subito posto all'attenzione del mondo musicale sin ...

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Album Review

James Brandon Lewis / Red Lily Quintet: For Mahalia, With Love

Read "For Mahalia, With Love" reviewed by Pat Youngspiel


Moving on chronologically from George Washington Carver--the African-American musician and influential agricultural scientist to whom James Brandon Lewis' previous recording with the Red Lily Quintet, Jesup Wagon (Tao Forms 2021), was dedicated--For Mahalia, With Love continues the pattern of paying homage to influential Afro-Americans who, in their own way, changed the course of history. This album's dedicatee is the early gospel queen Mahalia Jackson, whose seminal performances lit a spark in the saxophonist's grandmother; she in turn carried the spark ...


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