Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

190

Album Review

What We Live: Soundcatcher

Read "Soundcatcher" reviewed by Elliott Simon


Creative music is called such because, regardless of instrumentation, it tests boundaries, develops new approaches and fosters originality. In addition, by serving as a stimulus, it engenders creative listening. Saxophonist Lawrence Ochs, bassist Lisle Ellis and drummer Don Robinson are collectively known as What We Live, a trio whose works meet these criteria on all counts. Sound Catcher, a structured integration of traditional Kazakhstan folk music with jazz improvisation, is a live recording that captures a highly organic musical experience ...

183

Album Review

What We Live: Especially The Traveller Tomorrow

Read "Especially The Traveller Tomorrow" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


The latest installment of this trio’s investigative ways signifies one of its finest efforts to date. As this effort represents material recorded live on tour in France.

With the opener “As Yet Unknown,” the musicians cast an eerie vibe thanks to drummer Don Robinson’s ominous sounding tom rolls and bassist Lisle Ellis’ booming lines. Here, Larry Ochs uses his sopranino sax as a contrasting mechanism via plaintive cries and subtle intonations, while switching to tenor sax midstream ...

206

Album Review

What We Live: Trumpets

Read "Trumpets" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Trumpets, is the latest from “What We Live” and features trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith performing with the trio of saxophonist Larry Ochs, bassist Lisle Ellis and drummer Donald Robinson during a live date recorded in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Whereas trumpeter Dave Douglas – who has been lighting up the jazz world these days with a string of dazzling recordings, joins the band on tracks culled from a live set recorded in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada.

The core constituents of “What ...

104

Album Review

What We Live: Never Was

Read "Never Was" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


“Never Was” was recorded in 1996 and released in 1998 on Black Saint records. “What We Live” primarily operate as a Trio yet frequently collaborate with special guest artists as in the excellent “Quintet For A Day” (see March 99 AAJ review). On “Never Was” Larry Ochs, Lisle Ellis and Don Robinson get back to the nitty gritty in stylistic and impressive fashion.

The excellent liner notes by Art Lange correlate the biographical nature of this recording and how it ...

200

Album Review

What We Live: Never Was

Read "Never Was" reviewed by Robert Spencer


What We Live, a trio consisting of Larry Ochs (tenor and sopranino saxophones), Lisle Ellis (bass), and Don Robinson (drums), creates a series of reflective soundscapes on Never Was. Ochs, a titan of the Bay Area music scene and one of the mainstays of the innovative and breathtakingly virtuosic Rova saxophone quartet, is a versatile tenor man with a terrific, blues-inflected grainy tone. By virtue of the hierarchy of expectations his seems at first hearing to be the lead voice. ...

160

Album Review

What We Live: Quintet For A Day

Read "Quintet For A Day" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Upon listening to their extremely impressive 1996 effort “Fo(u)r” on Black Saint Records, this San Francisco based Trio continue to chart new turf as being sort of a communal think tank for the creme’ de la creme’ of today’s Modern & Free Jazz artists. “What We Live” is: ROVA’s Larry Ochs (Tenor, Sopranino Sax), Donald Robinson (Drums) and Lisle Ellis (Bass). This ever-evolving Trio often serve as the foundation for starkly unique Improvisation and Compositional explorations. “What We Live” at ...


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