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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Solon McDade: Murals

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This all started with the washtub bass for Solon McDade, slipping into the switch to the more refined upright bass, and years of performance with the McDade Family Band, Canada's contribution to roots music. His career branched out and resulted in his playing bass on several recordings that won the coveted Juno Award, perhaps most notably with the Suzie Arioli Swing Band and The McDades. But roots music isn't his only game. Murals finds the composer/bassist embracing mainstream ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nat Birchall: Cosmic Language

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Spiritual jazz resonates most deeply during times of social stress and turmoil. It was, after all, created by African American musicians who were engaged with the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Later given the alternative description Afrofuturist jazz, the music had one foot planted in science fiction-inspired magical realism and the other in black consciousness-inspired social activism. The balance varied from musician to musician, but even the most magical realist among them--a grouping which would include Alice Coltrane, Pharoah ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peripheral Vision: More Songs About Error And Shame

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The first half of 2018 sees the Toronto Jazz-scene bursting with fresh sound and innovation, bringing new and exciting nuances to what appears to be today's Status Quo. After the architecturally intense exploration that was saxophonist Gordon Hyland's Never Die!, by his group Living Fossil in February, the object of this review exposes shared similarities with the latter in its compositional approach. On Peripheral Vision's More Songs About Error And Shame, Toronto-based leaders Michael Herring and Don Scott establish a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jim Snidero & Jeremy Pelt: Jubilation! Celebrating Cannonball Adderley

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Jim Snidero and Jeremy Pelt celebrate the late, great alto saxophonist Julian 'Cannonball' Adderley. On this release, the band pays homage to the artist's classic quintet, as Pelt's meaty tone rekindles the aura of trumpeter Nat Adderley. The tunes--largely composed by Julian or Nat--capture a portion of the original quintet's setlist, with the festivities enriched by Snidero and Pelt's personal imprints. Pelt and Snidero each contribute a piece that morphs into the Adderley legacy and soundscape, as the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Emanative: Earth

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Every so often an album comes along that is so sweeping in its cultural scope, and so far beyond the norms of critical discourse, that it almost beggars description. Such a disc is Earth, the fourth physical-release album from drummer and producer Nick Woodmansey's Emanative and the follow-up to the band's outstanding The Light Years Of The Darkness (Brownswood, 2015). Unlike the earlier album, whose source material comprised tunes written by Sun Ra, Joe Henderson, Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry and ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Francisco Quintero

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About Francisco Quintero Francisco Quintero is a guitarist, composer, arranger and producer born and raised in Venezuela. He attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in 2009, where he obtained a degree in instrumental performance, and also holds a master's degree in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University. He has studied with artists such as Richie Hart, Ed Tomassi, Lin Biviano, Alain Mallet, Mike Stern, Adam Rogers, Peter Bernstein, Fareed Haque, and more, and played with an impressive ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dominique Vantomme: Vegir

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Belgian keyboardist/composer/producer Dominique Vantomme leads a razor-sharp quartet through a spontaneous treatment of a set of musical sketches. He is joined by guitarist Michel Delville, a fellow Belgian known for progressive projects such as The Wrong Object and Machine Mass; legendary electric bassist/Chapman Stick player Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Stick Men); and Belgian drummer Maxime Lenssens. The opener, “Double Down," stakes out a broad stylistic territory. A rhythmic vamp on Fender Rhodes is joined by atmospheric Mellotron strings. ...

MIXCLOUD

In conversation with Matti Nives, Jeff Cascaro and Enrique Simon

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Welcome to the first installment of Blue Notes on All About Jazz where I play the best in jazz, blues and soul. This week I speak with Matti Nives, the founder of the Finnish label We Jazz Records, with German jazz singer and trumpet player Jeff Cascaro and with Spanish pianist Enrique Simon. The episode features new music by Michael McDonald, Myles Sanko and Gregory Porter without forgetting timeless classics by Quincy Jones, Toots Thielemans, B.B. King and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nick Finzer: No Arrival

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To say a musician has arrived is to create the ultimate paradox. For in that notion is the suggestion of reaching the upper echelon in the art form, but also an indication of the end of a journey and the start of stagnation. With the true seeker and master musician, there is no arrival; there's merely the act of moving forward, and trombonist Nick Finzer is keenly aware of that. While he's certainly come into his own over the past ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kirk Knuffke/Ben Goldberg: Uncompahgre

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Two of the most in-demand horn players in the current creative music scene, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and clarinetist Ben Goldberg delight in making music that combines a deep respect for the history of jazz with an unmistakable spirit of adventure and risk. Both are seasoned veterans with nothing to prove, and they can do it all, from intimate duo and trio settings to larger ensemble work, and with everything from well-constructed compositions to freely-improvised music. Regardless of the context or ...