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5
Album Review

Various Artists: Live at the M/Darbnīca Vol.1

Read "Live at the M/Darbnīca Vol.1" reviewed by Vitalijus Gailius


In 2017 a boom happened in Latvian and Baltic jazz history with the coming of Jersika Records, an independent jazz and improvised music record label. Since then, the Riga-based label has been delivering top-notch music records each year. Focusing mainly on Latvian musicians and bands with occasionally occurring exceptions such as Estonia-based American trumpeter Jason Hunter or Lithuanian saxophone virtuoso Liudas Mockūnas. Jersika Records has become a warm place for Baltic jazz. In 2023, Jersika Records released its ...

2
Album Review

Various Artists: Hip Holland Hip

Read "Hip Holland Hip" reviewed by Chris May


This carefully curated disc is subtitled Modern Jazz Classics 1950-1970 and is a collection of tracks recorded by Dutch musicians and released in the Netherlands mostly in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Few of the musicians other than a sprinkling of American guest artists such as Herbie Mann and Art Farmer will be known to most listeners in 2023, including, one suspects, many in the Netherlands itself. An exception is Han Bennink, who is heard on ...

11
Album Review

Various Artists: Black Lives - From Generation to Generation

Read "Black Lives - From Generation to Generation" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Indeed, African Americans are the architects of several musical formations, hearkening back to Scott Joplin's development of 'ragged' rhythms i.e., Ragtime, along with blues, funk, jazz, and other genres, often evolving into various tangents and offshoots. And on this comprehensively entertaining set produced by Belgian Stefany Calembert with assistance from her husband and acclaimed bassist Reggie Washington, they righteously bestow Black Music as a “source of moral truth and potent weapon against racism." Numerous stars such as saxophonist ...

11
Album Review

Various Artists: Putumayo Presents Jazz Christmas

Read "Putumayo Presents Jazz Christmas" reviewed by Jim Trageser


The Putumayo World Music compilations have achieved an enviable brand status with their wide-ranging stylistic variety and the distinctively cheerful covers by artist Lisa Gonzalez. The latest entry, Putumayo Presents Jazz Christmas joins previous entrants Putumayo Presents New Orleans Christmas (2007) and Putumayo Presents A Jazz & Blues Christmas (2008) in offering collections of holiday-themed entrants in a jazz vein. As with all of its jazz releases, Putumayo founder and curator Dan Storper's taste in jazz ...

16
Album Review

Various artists: Changüí - The Sound of Guantánamo

Read "Changüí - The Sound of Guantánamo" reviewed by Jim Trageser


In much of our supposedly modern world, there is a distinct demarcation between the creators of music, and those who listen. Musician and audience, the former expecting to earn a living by performing for the latter. More and more, Western society's division of labor is stripping away the idea of communal music, Except, apparently, in Cuba. Or at the very least, Guantánamo province. What brings this to mind is the splendid new three-disc collection ...

1
Album Review

Various Artists: Modern Love

Read "Modern Love" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Strangely, but perhaps inevitably, the strength of Modern Love is also the thing which makes it suited to niche appreciation more than widespread appeal. Mostly leaning away from the obvious pop and rock of David Bowie's catalogue, this tribute from the BBE Music label focuses on his cuts rooted in soul, R&B, jazz and blues (and often deep cuts at that). Likewise, the intent is for the artists involved not to play it safe but to take each piece somewhere ...

20
Album Review

Various artists: Alligator Records: 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music

Read "Alligator Records: 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music" reviewed by Jim Trageser


Maybe this half-century commemoration of the jny: Chicago-based, blues-focused label should have been titled, “The Last of the Independents." Almost alone of the mid-major labels that formerly thrived in the 1980s and '90s by specializing in non-mainstream styles of music, Alligator has managed to navigate stunning changes in the music business--from the vinyl of LPs and 45s to cassettes and CDs, and then, most recently, the virtual collapse of the retail record business and wholesale pivot to online ...


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