Articles by Matzner

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Lafayette Gilchrist: Now

Read "Now" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Pianist and composer Lafayette Gilchrist has made clear that, in part, Now addresses the racial and political conflicts erupting across America in 2020. The music is suitably intense and tumultuous. The album demands change while also reminding us that the violence and divisions splintering the country are not new. The repression and oppression embedded in American race relations has been pervasive for an unconscionably long time. Gilchrest pointedly underscores this through pieces like “Bmore Careful," which pulses forward ...

OPINION

Black Lives Matter, Black Culture Matters

Read "Black Lives Matter, Black Culture Matters" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Black lives matter. I am a jazz writer, so my lens on this truth is in some respects through music. The protests sweeping the country—and globe—are potent and necessarily focused on ending racial violence and police brutality. The images we see with increasingly open eyes of the barbaric treatment of African Americans are changing perceptions and helping us begin to confront systemic racism, the original sin of America's founding that will continue to bar our society from fulfilling the promise ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jacek Kochan & musiConspiracy: Occupational Hazard

Read "Occupational Hazard" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

Polish-born and current Canadian Jacek Kochan's 22nd release as a leader, Occupational Hazard, exists at the crossroads of straight ahead and electric jazz. A drummer, composer and arranger, Kochan has played with a variety of musicians over the course of his long career. On Occupational Hazard he leverages this broad experience to bring together an unusual mix of instrumental and vocal talent, establishing an intriguing blend likely to appeal most to fans of accessible tunes dominated by guitar ...

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 ...


ENGAGE

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