Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Geoff Mason: GMQ

Read "GMQ" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Geoff Mason, one of the UK's leading jazz trombonists, mans the front line by himself on the slyly named GMQ, an eloquent quartet session from which Mason's longtime colleague, the outstanding saxophonist Simon Spillett, is regrettably missing. As nothing can be done to set that right, best to focus on the music at hand, which binds works by jazz masters John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk to a pair of lesser-known originals ("Beyond All Limits," “L's Bop").

ALBUM REVIEW

Brian Landrus: For Now

Read "For Now" reviewed by Doug Hall

Low-register reed specialist and multi-instrumentalist and composer Brian Landrus confronted a difficult period in his life and used adversity to inspire a passionate declaration in song on his 2020 release For Now (BlueLand Records). He took advice from the late valve-trombonist, composer and educator Bob Brookmeyer, “book a recording session before you have the music composed--then you have a goal." Alternating between the baritone saxophone and the bass clarinet, Landrus creates wonderful lower-range tones and compositions with instruments ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Threadbare: Silver Dollar

Read "Silver Dollar" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Wobbling like a drunk private eye in a thirties who dunnit, “And When the Situation Arises," the opening salutation of the unflinching Threadbare, rapidly transforms into a free jazz car chase where sodden hero and combatant bounce off light pole and guard rail, skidding towards cliffs with no regard for life, limb or the listener's expectations. It's a brazen launch to an album bristling with an increasingly anxious assurance. Alloying heavy metal with Ornette Coleman's inspired predetermination to ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Daniel Carter, Matthew Shipp. William Parker, Gerald Cleaver: Welcome Adventure Vol. 1

Read "Welcome Adventure Vol. 1" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

It takes all of fifty-seven seconds for Welcome Adventure Vol. 1 to move from what starts as of one of those gnarled but exquisite, corpse-like Matthew Shipp solo mind-opuses into exactly that but with some friends. Friends who want want to swing but in a just-out, avant way. It's where their heads are at the moment and is the advance directive imbued in the spirit of Welcome Adventure Vol. 1. The three performances, “Majestic Travel Agency," “Scintillate," and ...

INTERVIEW

Jacob Young: On ECM, founding a label and finding the "drama" in the music

Read "Jacob Young: On ECM, founding a label and finding the "drama" in the music" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

There's a lot to be said about musical excellence in versatility when it comes to guitarist Jacob Young. The Norwegian fret-acrobat came to international prominence in the early 2000s, when ECM's Manfred Eicher detected his remarkable chops and subsequently recorded and released Young's debut Evening Falls (2004) for the prestigious German label. Two more sessions followed with 2006's Sideways and Forever Young in 2014—all of which met with great critical acclaim. But even a couple of years before, upon returning ...

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, ...


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