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Articles | Featured | Future

CATCHING UP WITH

David Helbock: Inside & Outside the Piano

Read "David Helbock: Inside & Outside the Piano" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Austrian pianist/composer David Helbock was born in 1984, and began playing the piano at the age of six. He studied at the Feldkirch Conservatory with Prof. Ferenc Bognar, where he finished in 2005 with an “excellent" degree in performance and since 2000 took lessons with the New York jazz pianist Peter Madsen, who became his teacher, mentor and friend. Awards include the audience prize at the world's biggest jazz-piano-solo competition of the Jazzfestival Montreux, and the most important prize in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Elia / Dominguez /Verdinelli: Cuando Sea Necesario

Read "Cuando Sea Necesario" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Argentine pianist Eduardo Elia explored the classic jazz tunes on his 2015 release, Solo (Blue Art Records), making the familiar distinctively his own. He shifts gears for Cuando Sea Necesario, bringing on board saxophonist Rodrigo Dominguez and drummer Sergio Verdinelli, for what sounds like a set of loosely-constructed compositions which leave plenty of room for inspired group improvisations that dig deep into making in-the-moment sounds of the highest order. Two thoughts come to mind on an initial spin ...

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Greg Reitan: West 60th

Read "West 60th" reviewed by Peter Hoetjes

The collaboration of musicians unaccustomed to each other often yields unexpected and occasionally brilliant results. There is no substitute however, for familiarity. Greg Reitan has played with the same trio consisting of bassist Jack Daro and drummer Dean Koba for over two decades, and their resulting musicianship is versatile yet comfortable. It may have been recorded in Reitan's native Los Angeles, but West 60th began its conception in Manhattan, as the pianist gazed out at the city through the panoramic ...

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Assif Tsahar: In Between the Tumbling a Stillness

Read "In Between the Tumbling a Stillness" reviewed by Mark Corroto

As the saying goes, In Between The Tumbling A Stillness, recorded in 2015 in Tel Aviv, “comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Saxophonist Assif Tsahar, who sticks to tenor throughout, opens “In Between" like a lion, if that lion were Albert Ayler. The 35-minute piece draws from the fire music of the 1960s, propelling forward with an energy that is indefatigable. Credit to bassist William Parker and drummer Hamid Drake. The dynamic duo ...

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Choi Sun Bae: Arirang Fantasy

Read "Arirang Fantasy" reviewed by John Sharpe

A 1995 meeting in Tokyo between Korean and Japanese proponents of the art of free jazz furnishes another entry in the Chap Chap series of improvised encounters issued by the Lithuanian NoBusiness imprint. From Korea, Arirang Fantasy introduces trumpeter Choi Sun Bae, who also features alongside Japanese trumpeter Itaru Oki on Kami Fusen (NoBusiness, 2017), and celebrated percussionist Kim Dae Hwan, who was also a famous calligraphist, and performed with Butch Morris. Completing the group are the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Branford Marsalis Quartet: The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul

Read "The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

It was back in 2012 when the last quartet-only recording Four MFs Playin' Tunes (Marsalis Music) was released. So give more room on the floor to the evil toys dancing their pants off to the pure, wild, free-styling surge of “Dance of the Evil Toys," the killer, lead-off track to the Branford Marsalis Quartet's first full release in seven years, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul. After touring with Sting, and in support of {[Kurt Elling}} ...

INTERVIEWS

Matt Davis: Big Family, Big Picture

Read "Matt Davis: Big Family, Big Picture" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If there's a defining trait to be found in the value system guiding guitarist Matt Davis and his music, it's most definitely a healthy respect and admiration for kith and kin. A love of community and belonging drives nearly every aspect of this artist's life, including his flagship ensemble, Matt Davis' Aerial Photograph, and it speaks ever so clearly on the aptly named Big Family (Self Produced, 2019). This long-awaited album, visiting music from the past while highlighting tight bonds ...

IN PICTURES
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Millennium Jazz Orchestra: Octopus

Read "Octopus" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Octopus, the tenth album released by the Millennium Jazz Orchestra in its nearly twenty-five years of impressive music-making in The Netherlands, is actually an eight-part suite by composer / arranger Joan Reinders devoted to one of the sea world's more fearsome and enigmatic creatures. The thematic essay spans the whole nine yards, from “Evolution" and “Environment" to “Food," “Procreation" and several diverting stops in between. It was recorded in concert in May 2018 at Theater Bouwkunde Deventer. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Four Letter Words: Pinch Point

Read "Pinch Point" reviewed by Mark Corroto

What is the difference between unbalanced and off balance? Very little, if you listen to Four Letter Words' Pinch Point, the trio's third release, after Blow (Amalgam, 2015) and Radio Silence (Amalgam, 2015). Unbalanced can mean both “disturbed" and “demented." Certainly the seven improvisations presented here can be a bit disturbing, meaning the music seeks no level nor stable meter. Let's not approach demented yet. Part of the newest of new wave Chicago improvisers, Four Letter Words are ...

RADIO

March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials

Read "March Birthdays Including Nat Cole & Lennie Tristano Centennials" reviewed by Marc Cohn

We've got a nice slug of celebrants to honor in addition to our 'centennialins.' Our best wishes go out to Bill Frisell (playing here with Andrew Cyrille and Wadada Leo Smith), Joe Locke, Charles Lloyd, and Roy Haynes (backing Sarah Vaughan). A very special shout out to Jessica Williams! Enjoy the show! Playlist Joe Locke “Litha" from Beauty Burning (Sirocco) 00:00 Nat King Cole “Sometimes I'm Happy" from After Midnight (Capitol) 07:32 Nat King Cole “The Lonely One" ...

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Christoph Irniger Pilgrim: Crosswinds

Read "Crosswinds" reviewed by Don Phipps

With Crosswinds, Christoph Irniger's quartet Pilgrim offers a scintillating trip into a musical subconscious --a dream state where one opens doors only to find more doors --a spiral staircase where the top is always just beyond reach. For the most part, the album consists of tunes that are both sparse yet engaging. And it is this mix of idioms that makes the album so successful. Irniger's raspy breathing is often heard in his sax playing. His attacks are ...