All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Esche: Der Dichter Spricht

Read "Der Dichter Spricht" reviewed by

On its sophomore release, Swiss trio Esche continues its search for ways to fuse classical chamber music with possibilities for improvisation, and even swing, that stem from the jazz tradition. The title of the record, Der Dichter Spricht ("The Poet Speaks"), does not seem an intentional reference to the Schumann piece of the same name, although there is a certain strain of romanticism to be found in the group's music, lending a decidedly lyrical touch to pieces that otherwise often ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lisa Ullén: Piano Works

Read "Piano Works" reviewed by

Pianist Lisa Ullén has followed her muse big time with Piano Works, a three-CD box-set of unaccompanied pieces, recorded in 2017. A native of South Korea, Ullén grew up and lives in Sweden, where most of her activity remains centered. She may be best known for her work on Anna Högberg's Attack (Omlott, 2016) and the collective foursome Festen (Clean Feed, 2016), but her discography goes back to 2006 with the first of several dates for her Quartet, which includes ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis / Matt Piet / Tim Daisy: Throw Tomatoes

Read "Throw Tomatoes" reviewed by

There is something about the trio recording Throw Tomatoes that brings to mind the distinction between yin and yang. Not that there is a clear difference between the two, as in yang yoga and yin yoga, where the same movement can be either (to a degree) and both. In music, a classically trained musician would be considered more yang than yin and an improvisational one, such as Ornette Coleman with his violin performances, more yin. With musicians such ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Spanos: Reflections 2

Read "Reflections 2" reviewed by

As the album title implicates, these works composed by New York City-based drummer George Spanos (John Zorn, Ikue Mori, The Downtown Avengers) derive inspiration from past and present events. Then again, many artists use life's experiences for vehicles of expression. His second date as a leader bridges avant-garde jazz with conventional melody-making, along with musicians who possess impressive credentials. There are some standout compositions on this studio date. The festivities are launched with “Daydreamer," highlighted by keyboardist Leo ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater

Read "Abdullah Ibrahim at the Michigan Theater" reviewed by

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya Michigan Theater A Tribute to the Jazz Epistles Ann Arbor, Michigan April 13, 2018 Back in the fall of 2015, the University Musical Society had the rare opportunity to present the legendary South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim in one of his rare U.S. appearances. So when UMS announced last spring that Ibrahim would again return to Ann Arbor for their 2017-2018 season, it was cause for celebration. Upping the ante ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Linley Hamilton: Making Other Arrangements

Read "Making Other Arrangements" reviewed by

With albums like Taylor Made (Lyte Records, 2011) and In Transition (Lyte Records, 2014), trumpeter Linley Hamilton established himself as a virtuoso and bandleader of some note, surrounding himself with Ireland's finest established players while nurturing the island's best of the up-and-coming talent. With Making Other Arrangements (Teddy D Records, 2018) Hamilton enlists an eighteen-piece band featuring the strings of the twelve-piece Camden Orchestra on a set of classic tunes straddling the worlds of jazz, cinema and popular song. Employing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Cardenas: Charlie & Paul

Read "Charlie & Paul" reviewed by

The third season of the subscription-based vinyl label Newvelle launches with a quartet led by guitarist Steve Cardenas. A Kansas City native, he cut his teeth in that city before moving to New York in the mid-1990s. Cardenas has appeared on more than fifty albums playing with Ben Allison, Jon Cowherd, Chris Cheek, Eliane Elias, Chris Potter, Donny McCaslin and many other top names, and he has four previous recordings as a leader. Cardenas was a long time member of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Standring: Sunlight

Read "Sunlight" reviewed by

When building a house, who's more important? The architect who designs it or the working stiff that puts hammer to nail? Trick question. They're both important and when it comes to playing that guitar thing, Chris Standring is a working stiff. The world needs working stiffs. The world can't run on dreamers alone. It needs doers too. It needs workhorses, not just show horses. Chris Standring is a workhorse. Sunlight is the 11th album by the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Stephanie Richards: Fullmoon

Read "Fullmoon" reviewed by

Reared in Canada and now calling Brooklyn, NY home, trumpeter Stephanie Richards (David Byrne, Henry Threadgill, John Zorn) has been all over the map, whether performing with well-known or globally famous, pop and rap artists or pushing the envelope with forward-looking musicians. Here, let's say she's fashioning musical events with a penchant for communicating with alien beings, trillions of light years away. With sampler/live sampler ace Dino J.A. Dean, this 33-minute program conveys an organic-electronica type modus operandi, if there ...

INTERVIEWS

Nik Bärtsch: Possibility in Paradox

Read "Nik Bärtsch: Possibility in Paradox" reviewed by

Like the master-less samurai his primary band is named for, Nik Bärtsch forges a path and follows a code all his own. The pianist's music is best described by his own key phrases “ritual groove music" and “Zen funk," merging Eastern minimalist simplicity and patient trance with the interplay and communal aspect of jazz. It makes for a bundle of seeming contradictions: steadily repetitive and ever-changing, precise yet improvisational, highly cerebral and body-movingly catchy, it develops structures of sometimes breathtaking ...