Articles by Matzner

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

INTERVIEW

Adam Rudolph: Ragmala and Prototypical Music

Read "Adam Rudolph: Ragmala and Prototypical Music" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Adam Rudolph has been seeking to push the boundaries of musical creativity for decades, developing a unique concept of composition, ensemble interaction, and conducting. As many writers have commented, his music resists critical commentary due to its prototypical nature. Said another way, Rudolph's music doesn't sound like anything else, and its antecedents are so varied that reducing the music to common labels such as “jazz" or “world music" quickly feels trite. The reality is Rudolph's music taps into ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Chelsea McBride's Socialist Night School: Aftermath

Read "Aftermath" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Carve out an hour to listen to Socialist Night School's Aftermath because the combination of big-band music and progressive, challenging lyrics demands it. There's no way to let either simply wash over the ears. The music is too blunt, the lyrics too developed and too integral to absorb passively. The follow up to the equally ambitious The Twilight Fall (Browntasaurus Records, 2017), Aftermath is once again the brainchild of tenor saxophonist, conductor, and composer Chelsea McBride. With its ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Bill Frisell: Harmony

Read "Harmony" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Renowned guitarist Bill Frisell's Blue Note Records debut Harmony is a pleasant album. This does not imply lack of innovation, the saccharine sound or the absence of bite and sorrow. These hues of bite and sorrow actually dominate the fourteen selections, which in patented Frisell manner run the gamut from traditional Americana to Elvis Costello to classic jazz. The album's appeal comes from its utter listenability and sumptuous delivery. It also proffers an innovative, drum-less configuration of strings, lead, and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

John Yao's Triceratops: How We Do

Read "How We Do" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Trombonist and bandleader John Yao possesses a penchant for imposing ambitious artistic constraints on himself. How We Do continues that trend with a newly formed quintet comprised only of three horns, bass, and drums. Yao further ups the ante by composing demanding pieces that often careen from one stylistic approach to another within the same tune. This breed of endeavor can result in a final product mainly appreciated by fellow musicians and dedicated aficionados. Fortunately, Yao and his ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Lafayette Gilchrist: Dark Matter

Read "Dark Matter" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Recorded live, pianist Lafayette Gilchrist's second solo recording, Dark Matter, embraces the long history of jazz bound to the beat and textures of a specific time and place, rather than stylistic pedigree or lineage of influencers. Its rhythms are the jackhammer throb, subway rattle, and relentless pulse of Baltimore, Philly, and Washington, D.C. It's textures the rust laden steel, aged brick, languid nights, and hardened density of these original East Coast cities; our remnants of the railroad era, bastions of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mikael Mani: Bobby

Read "Bobby" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Icelandic guitarist Mikael Mani's debut release is a poised, rewarding set of original compositions inspired by events surrounding Bobby Fischer's capture of the world chess championship in 1972. Held in Iceland, the politically charged bout took place against the backdrop of the cold war and garnered worldwide attention. Less well known is the subsequent close relationship between Iceland and Fischer, whose life became one of personal and political controversy, leading to his eventual residence in Iceland, which harbored ...

INTERVIEW

Satoko Fujii: The Kanreki Project

Read "Satoko Fujii: The Kanreki Project" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Over four decades of experimentation, Satoko Fujii has made a lasting mark on the contours of modern jazz. The wave after wave of expressive force she has unleashed emanate from the aesthetics of her home country, but are never bound exclusively to it. They form a distinctive sound belonging only to her, yet comprised of wide-ranging influences drawn from the furthest reaches of the global free jazz movement. In 2018, Fujii turned sixty years old. In Japanese tradition, ...


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