All About Jazz

Home » Articles | Reviews Only

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles | Featured | Future

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Clean Feed 2018

Read "Clean Feed 2018" reviewed by

Since it's inception in 2002, Lisbon, Portugal's Clean Feed Records has released nearly 500 recordings. Last year the total was 64. Keeping up with their output might be the best way to follow innovative jazz and improvised music in the 21st century. Besides releasing music by masters such as Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee, Ivo Perelman, Elliott Sharp, Anthony Braxton, and Rudresh Mahanthappa, they have introduced world audiences to the talents of Rodrigo Amado, Luís Lopes, Dre Hočevar, Gard Nilssen, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa: Close Up

Read "Close Up" reviewed by

Portuguese vocalist Sara Serpa has been a significant presence on the New York jazz scene for several years now, creating music with literary and artistic allusions in the company of renowned musicians like Ran Blake, Nicole Mitchell and Tyshawn Sorey. For her latest project she leads a trio that also features saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander. The music they make together, with Serpa often singing wordlessly, creates an airy tapestry of sound. On “Sol Enganador" Friedlander ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa & André Matos: All The Dreams

Read "All The Dreams" reviewed by

There may be no combination better capable of painting and promoting aural iridescence than that of vocalist Sara Serpa and guitarist André Matos. The work they've produced together, both on their first duo album--Primavera (Inner Circle Music, 2014)--and on this alluring outing, pits consistency against the transient nature of sonic coloration in understated yet spectacular fashion. Their music is art at the point where minimalism and cangiante merge, resulting in an otherworldly sound that's utterly enthralling and completely unique.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa & André Matos: Primavera

Read "Primavera" reviewed by

Although there are (mostly) just two musicians on Primavera, the first recorded collaboration between Portuguese songbird Sara Serpa and guitarist Andre Matos--one couldn't ask for a more sonically lustrous offering. That's partially due to the result of judiciously applied multitracking, and to the intricate melodic sense of both musicians. There is nary an extra note or a false move on this album, and it frequently soars, as on the title track, where Serpa's layered vocals paint vivid pictures over the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa & André Matos: Primavera

Read "Primavera" reviewed by

A little bit of magic is evident in the recording Primavera by the Portuguese-born-now-New Yorkers Sara Serpa and André Matos. Not magic as in sleight of hand or illusion, but magical as in enchanting and, indeed, spellbinding. The musical pair, also wife and husband, created this duo recording with the help of some of their own overdubs (again, not a trick) and a few guests. Serpa, whose seemingly uncomplicated vocal style, mates both wordless sounds with sung lyrics ...

INTERVIEWS

Sara Serpa: A Musical Journey

Read "Sara Serpa: A Musical Journey" reviewed by

Vocalist and composer Sara Serpa is one of the most original and innovative musicians to emerge since the turn of the century. She has already made an indelible mark on the modern music scene in the span of a mere four years. Her unique style of vocalese allows her to utilize the full range of her exquisite and clear voice with the agility of an instrumentalist and stand out of the crowd as a sublime interpreter and a bold improviser. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa / Ran Blake: Aurora

Read "Aurora" reviewed by

Aurora is vocalist Sara Serpa's second release with her mentor, pianist Ran Blake. A duet recital recorded live at Lisbon's Auditório da Culturges, despite being more laidback and slightly less adventurous, it is just as creative as the pair's engrossing Camera Obscura (Inner Circle, 2010). Serpa and Blake's sparse and atmospheric delivery of these dozen songs is inventive, intellectually stimulating and satisfying. The cinematic “Dr. Mabuse" features Serpa's wordless vocals, moving from wistfully contemplative to fiercely passionate, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa / Ran Blake: Aurora

Read "Aurora" reviewed by

Portuguese vocalist Sara Serp's follow-up to Camera Obscura (Inner Circle, 2010), with renowned pianist Ran Blake, retains the fresh and irreverent approach of their debut. A former student of Blake's the two never sound obvious or predictable, even when they are interpreting popular jazz standards. Their versions offer deeper and often innocent insights to some of these most memorable songs. Aurora's 12 songs were recorded live in Serpa's hometown of Lisbon, and demonstrates the duo's highly personal ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa: Mobile

Read "Mobile" reviewed by

Portuguese singer Sara Serpa is what is produced when the talents of Gretchen Parlato, Simin Tander and Tierney Sutton coalesce. Her voice is light and elastic, sporting a fierce intellect. Couple this with a vision/sense of humor of a Nicholas Urie and the result is a radioactive type of 21st Century Beat Poetry. Like Urie and his lyric book sources Excerpts From An Online Dating Service (Red Piano, 2009)--with text from the same--and My Garden (Red Piano, 2011), drawn from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa: Praia

Read "Praia" reviewed by

Sara Serpa is a vocalist wielding an instrument as favorably unadorned and pure as any in jazz. She's the freshest vocalist on the scene at the moment, not just because she's new to it at age 28. It's certainly not because of the way she delivers a lyric, since there usually aren't any. Being from Portugal is also irrelevant, for like much of the great jazz coming our way in the past few years from Lisbon, there is nothing overtly ...