Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

GoGo Penguin: GoGo Penguin

Read "GoGo Penguin" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Calling GoGo Penguin a jazz group is sort of like calling Canada a big snowy place. Nobody would consider such a simple term adequate to describe the trio today, least of all the members themselves—bassist Nick Blacka explains that with album number five, GGP has “finally come to accept that we really just aren't a jazz band ... That has been really liberating and freeing for all of us." If anything, it's surprising that these three might have ever felt ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Joe Downard: Seven Japanese Tales

Read "Seven Japanese Tales" reviewed by Chris May

Up-and-coming London bassist Joe Downard's debut album is an ambitious affair which winningly blends intricate soundscapes created by retro-modern analog synthesisers with the two-horns-and-a-rhythm-section acoustic jazz tradition. Downard's sextet includes five other rising stars of the London scene, prominent among them trumpeter James Copus, tenor saxophonist Alex Hitchcock (whose self-titled album debut with his band AuB is on Edition) and drummer Felix Ambach. The seven-piece suite which is Seven Japanese Tales was, apparently, inspired by Japanese culture and, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Diane Schuur: Running on Faith

Read "Running on Faith" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Pianist and vocalist Diane “Deedles" Schuur and Wessell “Warmdaddy" Anderson may be the last jazz artists to have musically-anointed monikers, from a genre replete with them (Lester “Prez" Young, Billie “Lady Day" Holiday, Johnny “Rabbit" Hodges, Julian “Cannonball" Adderley and “John Birks “Dizzy" Gillespie). Schuur was named “Deedles" as a child by her mother. The name stuck and proved both inspirational and descriptive for the accomplished singer and pianist, blind from birth, who has performed with the luminaries of jazz. ...

RADIO

John Lewis @ 100 and More May Birthdays

Read "John Lewis @ 100 and More May Birthdays" reviewed by Marc Cohn

May birthdays this week on G&M! Some big ones (of course): the John Lewis centennial, Dave McKenna @ 90, Arthur Blythe and Carlos Ward @ 80. It's also Stevie Wonder's 70th this month, and May celebrant salutes are in the house (Theo Hill, Ronnie Foster, Mel Lewis, and Groove Holmes) doing 'Wonderful' tunes. We also celebrate the births of Jack Walrath (with one of my desert island tracks), Betty Carter, Darrell Grant, the late Wallace Roney, as well as Miles ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Gergo Borlai: The Missing Song

Read "The Missing Song" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The Missing Song has been heralded as a tribute to Gergo Borlai's nine most influential drummers still alive and performing today. This is much more than just listing them and perhaps covering one of their songs. Borlai composed eight of the nine new songs on this album. He plays them all in the manner, or mindset, of each drummer. The thought process, and level of preparation was meticulous for every drummer and every song. The drum kit, cymbals, sticks, pedals, ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Musical Travelogues: May 2020

Read "Musical Travelogues: May 2020" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Gregoire Maret and Romain Collin w. Bill Frisell Americana ACT Music 2020 The sound lives up to the title; a thoughtful, airy yet soulful outing that sounds just the way a wide-open prairie landscape looks. If it seems a bit odd that Americana comes from a European duo, wonder not--Romain Collin's exceptional versatility at the piano extends to channeling the spirit of folk and gospel most faithfully, while Gregoire Maret's harmonica makes a perfectly wistful ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Cory Smythe: Accelerate Every Voice

Read "Accelerate Every Voice" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Pianist/electronics artist/composer Cory Smythe's Pyroclastic Records debut Circulate Susanna (2018) was a tongue-in-cheek attribution to the inspiration of a fictional event. He returns to the Kris Davis run label with the intriguing, socially-conscious and genre-less Accelerate Every Voice. Inspired by an assortment of sources: Andrew Hill's Lift Every Voice (Blue Note, 1970), the work of Harlem Renaissance poet and early NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson, and the a cappella art form and its sociological duality. Smythe is an ...


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