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Jazz Articles | Blog

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Schlippenbach Trio: Warsaw Concert

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There can't be too many outfits still going strong after 44 years, especially with an unchanged roster. But that's exactly the situation German pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach faces with his trio of countryman Paul Lovens on the drum stool and the legendary Evan Parker on tenor saxophone, give or take an occasional bassist. As a consequence they travel in uncharted territory, tasked with finding their own solutions to the challenge of keeping the music fresh and meaningful. While there are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex LoRe Quartet: More Figs And Blue Things

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Saxophonist Alex LoRe is a musician of philosophical and poetic bent. With his debut--Dream House (Inner Circle Music, 2014)--that wasn't always apparent, as the scales slightly favored progress over patience. Here, the balance tips the other way, but not so much so that things become tedious. LoRe may be a deep thinker, but he doesn't allow his music to get mired in his own thoughts. There are two major agents of change that help More Figs And ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Forebrace: Steeped

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Steeped is the second album release from Forebrace, the welcome follow-up to Bad Folds (Copecod, 2013). For those who delighted in that album, the good news is that the quartet's line-up remains unchanged, and the balance between composed and improvised music is as before--composed pieces credited to Forebrace's leader and clarinetist, Alex Ward, alternating with improvisations credited to the whole group. The big difference between Steeped and its predecessor is that this album was recorded live in concert (at Cafe ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Alexander: Second Impression

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Not only has tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander recorded more than thirty-five albums as a leader since arriving in New York City some twenty years ago, he has appeared on almost as many others as a sideman. He's such an earnest blue-collar worker that one almost expects him to carry his saxophone in a lunch pail instead of the standard instrument case. Any Second Impression would mirror the first: Alexander is a tireless craftsman who loves to play and, more to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Evan Parker / Alexander Hawkins: Leaps In Leicester

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Leaps in Leicester furthers a sequence of duets between renowned saxophonist Evan Parker and pianists that already contains such luminous entries as Rex, Wrecks and XXX (Rogue Art, 2013) with Matthew Shipp and Either, Or And (Relative Pitch, 2014) with Sylvie Courvoisier. His partner this time is Alexander Hawkins, a burgeoning presence on the UK scene who fronts his own ensembles and also works with leaders as diverse as Louis Moholo-Moholo and Mulatu Astatke. While it's not their first documented ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Leverton Fox: Velcro Bird

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Leverton Fox was formed in 2007 when trumpeter/electronicist Alex Bonney, drummer/electronicist Tim Giles and guitarist/electronicist Matt Groom came together. That trio released Country Dances (Gravid Hands, 2009) but by the release of The Human Arm (Not Applicable, 2012) Groom had been replaced by Sam Britton on electronics. The line-up has remained stable ever since, through the release of Smart Casual (Not Applicable, 2013) and now this fourth album, with the only complication being Britton's use of pseudonyms. Here he is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joey Alexander: Countdown

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Like most such facile categorizing, 'child prodigy' usually ends up being a dead end rather than a means to explore the subject at hand. In the case of Joey Alexander, it's a disservice precisely because it's so restrictive: if he proves anything on his second album, it is that he will not be confined. Quite the contrary, the thirteen year-old pianist and composer challenges himself on multiple fronts on Countdown. He not only chooses to play with other ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Bradford/Hafez Modirzadeh/Mark Dresser/Alex Cline: Live At The Open Gate

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Veteran cornetist Bobby Bradford's penchant for conversational give and take in tandem with another horn is much in evidence on this 2013 live date from The Center for the Arts in Los Angeles. And in alto saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh, a Professor of Creative/World Music at San Francisco State University, he has found a foil who at times recalls his erstwhile employer Ornette Coleman in his insouciant garrulousness and even evokes his elemental country blues wail. Vastly experienced bassist Mark Dresser ...


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