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Album Review

Black Lives: People Of Earth

Read "People Of Earth" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Black Lives is not just a band; it is a movement. Comprised of globally recognized artists across generations and genres, their mission transcends mere musical performance. They aim for a utopia, especially in these turbulent times where words of hate and racism proliferate faster than cat videos on the internet. Now more than ever, their cause is vital. The album does not veer away from its intentions: to raise awareness, inspire change, and celebrate unity. Musicians from the ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...


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