All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gordon Hyland: NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//

Read "NEVER DIE! by \\livingfossil//" reviewed by

The debut disc Never Die, by the Toronto-based collective, \\living fossil//, opens with a reverberant industrial hum, a droning metallic guitar sound that announces a distinctive and compelling group aesthetic. Saxophonist Gordon Hyland is the ringleader, though that isn't not apparent from listening. He and his cohorts have created a distinctive approach of echoing saxophone--sometimes two saxophones, with tenor man Mike Murley joining in on three tunes--and wall-of-sound guitar approach that makes for a satisfyingly cohesive listening experience.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by

Open Borders brings to the fore Canadian-born pianist Earl MacDonald's burnished tentet in a program that consists of eleven sunlit and swinging themes, five of which were composed by the leader. Besides writing, MacDonald did most of the arranging, and he excels in both arenas, as he does on piano (most notably on the standards “Blame It On My Youth" and “East of the Sun" as well as on Percy Mayfield's R&B classic “Hit the Road Jack" and his own ...

GENIUS GUIDE TO JAZZ

Preferential Treatment

Read "Preferential Treatment" reviewed by

If you know anything at all about Your Own Personal Genius, you know that I like my steaks Pittsburgh rare (which has nothing to do with the article, but if you ever have me over for dinner). And, you know that I have a major thing for Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany, from the show Orphan Black. You also know that I'm not one to play favorites, and I also have a crush on actress Heather Lind from the show Turn: ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris McDonald: A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!

Read "A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas!" reviewed by

A Big (Band) Swinging Christmas! is at least the tenth holiday album recorded by the peerless arranger Chris McDonald's impressive Jazz Orchestra--but the first one whose title has been amplified by an exclamation mark. Could it be that this one is extra-special? That's hard to say, as the albums that preceded it have all been remarkably well-designed and pleasurable. And yet... there is that exclamation mark. Before proceeding, it should be noted that McDonald is a maven ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by

Not many piano led ensembles finds the pianist laying as far back in the musical dialogue as Earl MacDonald, who doesn't come anywhere near an extended solo until “Miles Apart" and Percy Mayfield's Ray Charles blow- out “Hit The Road Jack" (tracks five and six respectively). But that's just fine given that MacDonald has charted the conversations and man oh man, do these arrangements crackle with spirit.From the high-flying “Dig In Buddy" to the exhilarating Latin flavors “Dolphy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Earl MacDonald: Open Borders

Read "Open Borders" reviewed by

Politicians might do well to take a few pointers from pianist-arranger Earl MacDonald. As this fine album attests to, it's far better to build bridges than walls, and far more productive to open borders and dialogue than close hearts, minds, and doors. While MacDonald didn't initially set out to make a political statement with this recording, both the events of the day and the make-up of the marvelously tight dectet that brings this music to life got ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Donny McCaslin At Belfast International Arts Festival 2017

Read "Donny McCaslin At Belfast International Arts Festival 2017" reviewed by

Donny McCaslin Limelight Belfast International Arts Festival jny:Belfast, N. Ireland October 25, 2017 “Are you here because of Bowie or for jazz?" a woman asked those around her in the queue for Donny McCaslin's gig--part of the Belfast International Arts Festival. The answer, by and large, was both. McCaslin's current group will likely always be remembered--and no doubt billed for some time to come--as David Bowie's backing band on Black Star ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

William Evans/Donat Fisch/Banz Oester/Jorge Rossy/Andy Scherrer: Schlitten

Read "Schlitten" reviewed by

The Swiss CD release, Schlitten, tips a hat to the undersung record producer, Don Schlitten. The quintet doing the hat-tipping is mostly Swiss musicians. Drummer Jorge Rossy, formerly of the Brad Mehldau Trio, is Spanish-born. Schlitten got his start working the music business with several of the small but prestigious record companies--Muse and Prestige, among others--before he created his own label with Xanadu Records. His approach was straightforward--bring the intuitive, top-level musicians into the studio and let them ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marco von Orelli - Max E. Keller - Sheldon Suter: Blow, Strike & Touch

Read "Blow, Strike & Touch" reviewed by

The members of this experimental Swiss trio have been significant contributors to the avant-garde, or perhaps outside realm of European jazz circles for many years. But this album is bundled with perpetual reconstruction efforts, drifting sequences and mini-themes that are sometimes meditative in scope amid several transient pieces that intersect the full-length works. Nonetheless, the musicians craft an intimate portraiture framed on textural shadings, trumpeter Marco von Orelli's multiphonics and segments where pianist Max E. Keller summons darkness via asymmetrical ...