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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miles Donahue: The Bug

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People who have an aversion to bugs (do you know any?) may hesitate to purchase (or even review) an album whose title epitomizes the very thing they abhor. But even though multi-instrumentalist Miles Donahue's new album does nod to that often-despised creature and even includes a song by that name, there is more to it than that; one might even say that Donahue removed the most of the “bugs" from the studio before he and his colleagues started recording.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Rempis/Joshue Abrams/Avreeayl Ra: Aphelion

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The blossoming of an artist is a beautiful thing. In order for a musician to thrive in today's jazz world, he must be willing to operate in multiple lineups, go on book tours, organize other musicians' shows, and record and promote his own music. A tall task, but saxophonist Dave Rempis has made the jump from sideman to entrepreneur with applause. The trio recording Aphelion and duo Second Spring are the third and fourth releases on his artist-run ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Donahue: Parade

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Parade is an odd name for an album that's largely built on material of a subtle nature. This CD takes its name from the opening track, “Before The Parade Passes By," but vocalist Jack Donahue doesn't barrel through this song--or most others--like a fast-moving float. He usually prefers to use his pipes to tell a story, and he gently caresses the lyrics of any given piece with charm and respect. His sincerity comes through loud and clear in his delivery ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Holland & Pepe Habichuela: Hands

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The music on Hands, featuring stellar turns primarily from Spanish guitarist Pepe Habichuela and British-born bassist Dave Holland, is quite simply one of the most captivating on record. It is completely an alternative to style, to mere virtuosity, and to angelic grace and charm, as dictated by a muse. This music is the epitomé of the darkly beautiful magnetism of duende, and comes not from the hands and the fingers of the musicians, but rather from their innermost being--from the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Holland & Pepe Habichuela: Hands

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Sometimes the best indicator of an artist's versatility is in the side projects they accept. Bassist Dave Holland's career could hardly be described as monolithic, with his discography as a leader--ranging from his quintet (Critical Mass (Dare2, 2006)) to his big band (Overtime (Dare2, 2005)) --nothing short of but exemplary. Still, some of the most unexpected revelations have come on peripheral dates, such as Mid-Eastern-informed Thimar (ECM, 1998), with Tunisian oudist Anouar Brahem and British reed man John Surman, or ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dave Holland & Pepe Habichuela: Hands

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Centuries old, an accretion of musics absorbed by north Indian migrants as they travelled, one stream through the Balkans, the other through the Maghreb, towards their final desination in southern Spain, flamenco is not easy for a non-Gypsy convincingly to perform. Intricately codified, rich in lore and tradition, its broad mannerisms can be mimicked quickly enough, but to inhabit its soul, its cante jondo (deep song), takes much, much longer. Some would say a lifetime, more or less.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fernando Huergo: Living These Times

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Bassist Fernando Huergo mixes Afro-Cuban, Brazilian and mainstream jazz grooves on Living These Times, an energetic collection of original music for the East Coast-based Blue Music Group label. The Argentinean-native is aided by an outstanding cast of musical companions, including vocalist Luciana Souza, flutist Anders Bostrom and pianist Alan Mallet. With the amount of bass solos heard throughout the recording, there's no mistaking this is a bassist's project. As a soloist, Huergo is exceptional, demonstrating horn-like flourishes on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fernando Huergo: Provinciano

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Without reading the press kit or liners prior to a first listen, something unique is readily apparent about Argentinean bassist/composer/educator Fernando Huergo's modernistic amalgamation of modern jazz and tango. An instructor at Tufts University and Assistant Professor in the Bass Department at Berklee College of Music, Huergo surpasses the traditional forms of ethnocentric Latin song structures within the jazz realm.

In the album notes, Huergo iterates the accelerated transfer of information due to the Internet, where musicians have ...

DVD/FILM REVIEWS

Hardcore Chambermusic: A Club for 30 Days

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Koch-Schuetz-Studer Ensemble Hardcore Chambermusic: A Club for 30 Days A film by Peter Liechti Intakt 2007

The film Hardcore Chambermusic has a score that's less typical narrative movie music than nature documentary supportive music. The trio of Hans Koch (reeds, electronics), Martin Schuetz (cello, electronics) and Fredy Studer (drums, percussion)--one of the most exciting improvising bands working in Europe today--was given the remarkable opportunity to transform an old Zurich factory ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Miles Donahue: Pocket Prolific

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Multi-instrumentalist Miles Donahue certainly packs it in when it comes to recording. In 2003, he was inspired enough by the classic American songbook to release a set of four albums which he called Standards: Volumes I-IV. This time around he is more circumspect, releasing just two CDs simultaneously.

Donahue is no doubt a man of ideas. He writes with his focus on the mainstream, but he keeps his compositions diverse, a move that makes his work interesting. He adds further ...