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Articles | Featured | Future

YEAR IN REVIEW

C. Michael Bailey’s Best Releases of 2016

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Shifting priorities in 2016 prevented me from either listening to or reviewing as much music as I have in the past. Thus, I did not take a swing at many fine recordings that by all accounts should be on this list like: John Scofield's Country for Old Men (Impulse!); Keith Jarrett's A Multitude of Angels (ECM); Frank Kimbrough's Solstice (Pirouet Records); Joe Lovano's Classic! Live at Newport (Blue Note Records); or Michael Formanek's Ensemble Kolossus' The Distance (ECM).

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alyssa Allgood: Out Of The Blue

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If Alyssa Allgood's debut EP Lady Bird made a splash, then Out of the Blue is a veritable deluge of inspired thinking. The Chicago vocalist's imprint is evident in every lick of this full-length follow-up. From the original lyrics and arrangements to her choice of musicians and production, Allgood uses everything in her toolkit throughout 10 redux tunes from the Blue Note catalog. Many of these tracks started out as instrumentals in their heyday, foregrounding the melodic and improvisational stylings ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alyssa Allgood: Out Of The Blue

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Chicago vocalist Alyssa Allgood devotes her first full length album to an unexpected source: the classic hard bop repertoire of Blue Note Records. The label is mainly known for instrumental jazz, and all of these selections were originally instrumental. This presents no problem for Allgood, who demonstrates equal facility scatting, singing wordless vocalise, and writing lyrics (which she does on four tracks). She has a crack band, too: organist Dan Chase, guitarist Tim Fitzgerald, saxophonist Chris Madsen and drummer Matt ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Jazz Quanta Vocals: Carol Bach-y-Rita, Sara Serpa, Alyssa Allgood, Gina Sicilia, Ilse Huizinga

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Carol Bach-y-Rita minha casa / my house Self Produced 2016 Polyglot exotic Carol Bach-y-Rita released her conspicuous debut, What Love Is in 2009. Since then, she has kept busy performing, taking her sweet time in developing her new project, the self-produced Minha Casa / My House. Her selected repertoire bursts with originality and invention, manifesting in orchestration, arrangement, and composition. Regarding orchestration, Bach-y-Rita mixes and matches instruments with a carefree whim that ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alyssa Allgood: Lady Bird

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Vocalist Alyssa Allgood has been hailed as one of the most promising young voices in jazz, and with good reason. She brings a full spread of talents to the table. Immediately noticeable are the freshness of her improvisational appetizers, the refinement of her main courses, and especially the tactfulness of her holistic desserts in arranging and composing. All of this reflects her dedication as both student and teacher, and likewise a cornucopia of major influences, including Carmen McRae, Sarah Vaughan, ...

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Alyssa Allgood: Lady Bird

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After two very promising vocalese offerings: Dorian Devin's The Procrastinator (Self Produced, 2013) and Angelica Matveeva's Vocalese (Self Produced, 2015), yet another traditional vocalese presents itself as an extended-play recording of what may be the most refined offering in the genre yet. Allgood's approach is superbly considered and delivered. Her command of the material has no peer. Allgood's choice of an organ trio + tenor accompaniment is sheer genius. With this format, the singer's innate vocalese talent ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alyssa Allgood: Lady Bird

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Today scat is, literally, a dirty word. In a more polite age it was what Louis Armstrong did when he forgot the words to “Heebie-Jeebies." Such was Pops' influence that, even though it was a mistake, soon everyone was doing it. After bebop kicked in, King Pleasure took things further when he first improvised wordlessly, then wrote down his own words to James Moody's solo on “I'm In The Mood For Love." Others followed ...