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INTERVIEWS

Monty Alexander: Still Rolling

Read "Monty Alexander: Still Rolling" reviewed by Geno Thackara

If there's one defining quality to Monty Alexander's music, it's joy. An unmistakable undercurrent of happiness has been constant across several decades, dozens of recordings and countless performances all over the world. He could be honoring classic jazz balladeers, exploring the danceable “riddims" of his native Jamaica or anything in between, and you can always hear the spirit of celebration in there somewhere. Alexander turns out to be just as delightful and effusive in conversation as he is ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ocean Fanfare: First Nature

Read "First Nature" reviewed by Troy Dostert

It can be difficult to keep up with trumpeter Tomasz Dabrowski. His incessant musical explorations have kept him in the forefront of European jazz since 2012, when he debuted his Tom Trio (ILK Music), the first of several different projects he has formed. Most recently he released Ninjazz (For Tune, 2018), a well-conceived outing featuring three like-minded Japanese musicians, which was both inventive and accessible. Here he returns to a group he started in 2013, Ocean Fanfare, which released Imagine ...

LIVE REVIEWS

North Sea Jazz Festival 2019

Read "North Sea Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Ljubinko Zivkovic

North Sea Jazz Festival Rotterdam, The Netherlands July 12-14, 2019 For a while now, jazz festivals have lost their exclusivity and being a musical source for just jazz fans or those who wanted to get involved in the scene. More commercial artists from other musical genres have actually become a source of sustainability for jazz festivals and in many respects for jazz artists themselves.Even while it was still located in jny: The ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rich Halley: Terra Incognita

Read "Terra Incognita" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Saxophonist Rich Halley usually sticks with his steady crowd. Indeed, when tallying Halley's collaborative compadres over the past couple of decades, his list of “recorded with" players comes down to a handful of names: drummer Carson Halley, trombonist Michael Vlatkovich and bassist Clyde Reed. Add cornetist Bobby Bradford on a couple of outings. The same for reedman Vinny Golia. And then there was the collaborator from the earliest days, drummer Dave Storrs, in the beginning of the new millennium.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Grover Washington Jr.: Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings

Read "Sacred Kind of Love: The Columbia Recordings" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

When saxophonist and composer Grover Washington Jr. (1943-1999) arrived at Columbia in 1986, he was already a fully formed artist. He had released a string of strong albums and had even landed a regular smash-hit with “Just the Two Us," his collaboration with singer Bill Withers. In other words, Washington had nothing to prove and could just concentrate on playing great music. And so he did. The proof is in a five-disc set from SoulMusic Records, Sacred Kind of Love: ...

RADIO

Blue Note 50ths, American Pianists Association Winners & More

Read "Blue Note 50ths, American Pianists Association Winners & More" reviewed by Marc Cohn

A light schedule of Blue Note 50th anniversaries this month: Hank Mobley's The Flip. But we missed a Thad Jones, Mel Lewis Orchestra recording (originally on Solid State but reissued on Blue Note) last month due to an error in our working discography. So, we feature album that as well. To celebrate Blue Note's 80th anniversary, we feature BN-11 from the Pete Johnson Blues Trio. The American Pianists Association held their jazz competition this spring, and we have ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Kammerflimmerei: Perhaps

Read "Perhaps" reviewed by Don Phipps

There's a gentleness to the architecture of Kammerflimmerei's Perhaps that is reminiscent of the melodic collaborations of Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek or Richie Beirach and Dave Liebman. But this time the group comprises two German musicians, Lothar Hotz on piano and Sarah Schüddekopf on saxophone. And what a gem they've unearthed! Schüddekopf's sax playing swings low and sexy as easily as it evokes profound beauty. The opening of “Arabeske" is a case in point; unaccompanied, her intro ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Montreux Jazz Festival 2019

Read "Montreux Jazz Festival 2019" reviewed by Martin McFie

Montreux Jazz Festival Montreux, Switzerland June 28 to July 13, 2019 Montreux Jazz festival began in 1967, driven by the vision of Claude Nobs in collaboration with Geo Voumard, Rene Langel, and the Office of Tourism in their hometown Montreux, on Lake Geneva. This year 2019, was the 53rd edition. For two weeks in July, the small town expands to entertain a quarter of a million visitors. Montreux has managed to maintain the original ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz At Juan 2019

Read "Jazz At Juan 2019" reviewed by Martin McFie

Jazz at Juan Opening Weekend Juan Les Pins, South of France July 12-21, 2019 Jazz at Juan-Les-Pins has always been the boutique quality jazz festival of the South of France. The stage beside the blue Mediterranean Sea, was open-backed leaving a view through to the sunset over the Bay of Angels. The audience of 3,000 was all seated in bleachers. Live big screens showed the detail of performances. This year 2019, is the 59th edition ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Dan Phillips He's Back And He's Proud

Read "Dan Phillips He's Back And He's Proud" reviewed by Mark Corroto

In just a few short years listeners have changed their thinking about Dan Phillips from “who is dis guy?" to “fantastic news, another Dan Phillips release." Maybe we can attribute this response to the wandering nature of the guitarist. He has lived in Chicago, New York, Bangkok, and Tokyo. Now, back in Chicago his music has jelled, crystallizing in several high profile ensembles including the Chicago Edge Ensemble with Hamid Drake, Jeb Bishop, Krzysztof Pabian, and Mars Williams and with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Angelika Niescier - Christopher Tordini - Gerald Cleaver (feat. Jonathan Finlayson): New York Trio

Read "New York Trio" reviewed by Troy Dostert

After alto saxophonist Angelika Niescier's masterful live disc from 2018, Berlin Concert (Intakt), she decided to head into the studio to document her continually evolving compositions. It's a somewhat altered line-up from the earlier album. Niescier's go-to bassist, Christopher Tordini remains. However, instead of Tyshawn Sorey we have Gerald Cleaver occupying the drum kit; and we are also treated on a few of the cuts to trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, who adds another dimension to Niescier's pieces. With more of an ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Anne Mette Iversen's Ternion Quartet: Invincible Nimbus

Read "Invincible Nimbus" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Anne Mette Iversen's Ternion Quartet is a frisky, loosely controlled ensemble with a fierce drive that recalls Charles Mingus' small groups. Iversen and drummer Roland Schneider push the music relentlessly forward while the front line of saxophonist Silke Eberhard and trombonist Geoffroy De Masure carouse boisterously on the top. Iversen's themes carry traces of classical structure, like the fugue used in “The Rose Window" and the brittle, percussive chopping that begins “Polychromatic Pictures," but the music always ...