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Album Review

Metropolitan Jazz Octet: The Bowie Project

Read "The Bowie Project" reviewed by Paul Reynolds

A tribute to a pop artist by jazz musicians--as with the new David Bowie album by Chicago's Metropolitan Jazz Octet--has to tread a careful line. It obviously won't--can't--be a rote reproduction of the originals, a flaw that sinks many pop-to-pop tributes. Yet it needs to translate the songs into jazz--its harmonic sophistication, especially--in a way that retains the essence of the artist being celebrated. The MJO effort deftly rises to that challenge. This 11-song project should intrigue Bowieists ...

Liner Notes

Metropolitan Jazz Octet featuring Paul Marinaro: The Bowie Project

Read "Metropolitan Jazz Octet featuring Paul Marinaro: The Bowie Project
" reviewed by Neil Tesser

In the words of David Bowie: “Changes." The Metropolitan Jazz Octet's two previous albums teem with unadulterated jazz. Paul Marinaro is a hard-swinging, expressive baritone steeped in the Great American Songbook and the jazz tradition. So what in the galaxy are they doing with the music of pop legend--and onetime glam rocker, dancehall king, visual visionary, music man of multiple personae, and cultural icon--David Bowie? Historians might note that Bowie started playing jazz saxophone in his ...

Album Review

Tito Carrillo: Urbanessence

Read "Urbanessence" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Trumpeter Tito Carillo's second bite of the apple on Origin was more than a decade in the making, following up his outstanding first release, Opening Statement (Origin, 2011). With Urbanessence (Origin, 2022), the Chicago-based artist is truly up to the task, producing a work which is an homage to everyday life in the city. The narrative makes the point that cities are home to creators, visionaries and an army of people who are motivated by the hope they provide. Cities ...

Album Review

Tito Carrillo: Urbanessence

Read "Urbanessence" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Urbanessence, the second album as leader from Chicago-area trumpeter, composer and educator Tito Carrillo, is a rhythmic showcase for ten of his buoyant original compositions, all of which embody his love of BAM (Black American Music) and the lyric legacy of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Peru. Carrillo, a bold and burnished improviser from the Freddie Hubbard-Lee Morgan-Donald Byrd school of hard bop, shares the front line with the energetic and versatile saxophonist Troy Roberts (who plays ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

The Bowie Project

Origin Records



Origin Records


Slow Burn

From: The Bowie Project
By Ben Lewis


From: Urbanessence
By Ben Lewis

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