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Articles | Featured | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Cory Weeds Quintet: Live at Frankie's Jazz Club

Read "Live at Frankie's Jazz Club" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Yes, this is saxophonist/master of all livelihoods Cory Weeds' quintet, the year is 2018, and the group is beyond a doubt Live at Frankie's Jazz Club in Vancouver, British Columbia. But close your eyes, open your ears and it's the unapologetic re-creation of a quintessential hard-bop session from the historic Blue Note / Prestige years of the 1950s-60s. Indeed, to underscore the point, the quintet's pianist is the venerable Harold Mabern who actually performed and/or recorded back in the day ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Caterina Palazzi Sudoku Killer: Asperger

Read "Asperger" reviewed by Don Phipps

An album dedicated to villains in Disney films might be brushed off as novelty, but those that do would be mistaken. Rather than childhood fears, the tunes on Caternina Palazzi Sudoku Killer's album Asperger explore a dark and sinister side to being, like a non-stop view of a snarling Donald Trump barking insults from an 85-inch flat screen. A mix of prog rock and jazz idioms, the gloom of Palazzi's compositions pervades the very pores of the music. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

DKV & Joe McPhee: The Fire Each Time

Read "The Fire Each Time" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Do you participate in the 21st century phenomena called 'binge-watching'? With the advent of Netflix and downloadable television, consumers can view an entire television series in one sitting. Be it eight episodes of Russian Doll or sixty hours of The Wire, it's all available, and the possibilities to feast are tempting. Where a filmmaker might have two hours to create something for the cinema, these series allow a deeper dive into story telling. The same can be said of music, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Juan Ibarra: NauMay

Read "NauMay" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

One of the fun parts of listening to jazz musicians from foreign countries is when they combine some of the musical styles of their native land with jazz. Drummer Juan Ibarra is from Uruguay and he mixes a local rhythm called candombe with jazz on his first album. The result is a choppy rhythmic undercurrent that provides a stimulating foundation for stretching out into the direction of musicians like John Coltrane and Chick Corea. The local rhythms are ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Molly Tigre: Molly Tigre

Read "Molly Tigre" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Personally, I can't resist a musical story that begins: “Molly Tigre set out from Brooklyn to answer one tough question: What if the 70s vibes of the cult Ethiopiques series collided with Saharan desert rock and West African blues, but with no guitar to lead the melodic way?" I'm not quite sure what some of that even means. But I do know that it intrigues me enough to find out. “I wanted to bring together some of the ...

HISTORY OF JAZZ

Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift

Read "Chet Baker’s Singing: A Cultural Shift" reviewed by Steve Provizer

We think of the 1950's as a time of relative social conformity, but in fact, there were significant cultural shifts happening. For one, male stereotypes were being unpacked and to some degree, unfrozen. Where once films and music gave us male characters that were either hyper-macho or limp-wristedly homosexual, male characters and performers who showed emotional vulnerability began to emerge from the underground. Two musicians who were exemplars of this change were Frank Sinatra and Chet Baker. The ...

IN PICTURES
IN PICTURES
RADIO

Small Groups of the 1930s – Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, and John Kirby

Read "Small Groups of the 1930s – Benny Goodman, Django Reinhardt, and John Kirby" reviewed by Russell Perry

In the last hour we heard from prominent Swing Era soloists Chu Berry, Roy Eldridge, Johnny Hodges and Lester Young, featured in small group settings. Continuing in the small group vein, in this hour we'll hear from the Benny Goodman Trio, Quartet and sextet, Django Reinhardt and le Quintette Du Hot Club de France avec Stéphane Grappelli and the influential, but less well-known sextet led by bassist John Kirby. For U.S. readers, listen here:

ALBUM REVIEWS

Danielle Friedman Trio: School of Fish

Read "School of Fish" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Danielle Friedman is an Israeli-born, Germany-based pianist who offers up her debut recording with School Of Fish. Some musicians take a handful of recordings to find their voice. Friedman and her trio--with bassist Aron Caceres and drummer David Jimenez--have done it coming out of the gate. The album kicks off with “Shalom Ani Danielle," an achingly beautiful ballad that exploits repetition and a dynamic group interplay. “5 Trolls," the second tune of this all-Friedman-originals set, opens with a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jason Kao Hwang & Burning Bridge: Blood

Read "Blood" reviewed by John Sharpe

As the follow-up to his Burning Bridge octet's eponymous debut (Innova, 2012), violinist Jason Kao Hwang has created another ambitious and wide-ranging work. As befits the title Blood, it constitutes a personal meditation on weighty subject matter, precipitated by a narrowly-avoided car accident which caused Hwang to consider the wartime experiences of his mother in China. The result is a complex, but gripping, continuous ensemble performance of what the liner notes call “28 staged scenes," tracked in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors & Barry Altschul: Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley

Read "Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Although much of her music is imbued with subtle humor, Carla Bley's compositions are serious music. Finnish pianist Iro Haarla is a long-time admirer of the Bley, and on this CD she gives her music an appropriate gravity, while retaining its spirited nature. Haarla is accompanied by her musical partner, Ulf Krokfors, on bass and Barry Altschul on drums. They play Bley tunes that were mostly introduced on record by Paul Bley back in the 60s and 70s, ...