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ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff: Swirl

Read "Swirl" reviewed by Peter Hoetjes

"This new album is the culmination of my transformation after being to the brink and back," states Michael Wolff. At one point during 2015, Wolff, then deep into his four-year battle with a rare form of cancer, fell comatose. His prognosis left little hope yet, with a stubborn willpower, the pianist fought off the disease. After months of physical and mental rehabilitation, he was ready to approach music again with a new trio. This trio would ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Michael Wolff: Half Moon Bay, CA, September 23, 2012

Read "Michael Wolff: Half Moon Bay, CA, September 23, 2012" reviewed by Bill Leikam

Michael WolffTribute to Cal TjaderDouglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CASeptember 23, 2012Early in the week prior to this performance, the Douglas Beach House was already nearly sold out and yet, when the doors opened that Sunday afternoon, people still clamored to get in to hear some of vibraphonist Cal Tjader's original band members--one of whom was Michael Wolff, musical director for the show and a unique pianist.Wolff said, “I met Cal ...

INTERVIEWS

Michael Wolff: The Art of Communication

Read "Michael Wolff: The Art of Communication" reviewed by Todd S. Jenkins

The idea of music as communication is as old as music itself, and has become just about as clichéd as some of its referents. Igor Stravinsky once opined that music was powerless to communicate anything. And, truth be told, the number of active instrumentalists who can successfully communicate thoughts, feelings, concepts and dogmas without words is significantly smaller than the number of those who believe they can. Even many vocalists and lyricists aren't as adept at getting things across as ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Michael Wolff: Impure Thoughts On Hold

Read "Michael Wolff: Impure Thoughts On Hold" reviewed by Todd S. Jenkins

Pianist Michael Wolff has some of the most expansive vision of anyone working in jazz today. Born in the California High Desert, raised in New Orleans and now making his home in Manhattan, the well-traveled, big-eared Wolff is never short on surprises for his listeners. With his dazzling Impure Thoughts ensemble on hiatus, Wolff's two current albums up the ante beyond that band's extraordinary work.

Michael Wolff Jazz, Jazz, Jazz Wrong Records 2007

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff Trio: jazz, Jazz, jazz

Read "jazz, Jazz, jazz" reviewed by John Barron

It's difficult to pigeonhole Michael Wolff. The celebrated pianist/composer has been able to successfully navigate a career between commercial and non-commercial music. His performance credits include Cannonball Adderley, Nancy Wilson, Warren Zevon and, perhaps most memorably, a high-profile stint as musical director for The Arsenio Hall Show. With jazz, Jazz, jazz, as the title so brazenly suggests, Wolff leaves little doubt as to where his musical passion lies. The disc was recorded in 2001 with legendary bassist John B. Williams ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff Trio: jazz, JAZZ, jazz

Read "jazz, JAZZ, jazz" reviewed by Joel Roberts

Pianist Michael Wolff has had a career that can best be described as eclectic. Along with serious jazz stints with Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Rollins and Nancy Wilson, he's played with rocker Warren Zevon, explored world music, recorded an album as a vocalist and had a high-profile five-year gig as the bandleader on The Arsenio Hall Show. He currently produces and appears in a Nickelodeon series called The Naked Brothers Band, starring his two young sons. But as ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Michael Wolff

Read "Take Five With Michael Wolff" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet Michael Wolff: Michael Wolff is a genuine hipster--a Manhattan-based family man and internationally acclaimed pianist-composer-bandleader whose late night, blue light singing on Love and Destruction, his tenth album, brings new cool to an inspired selection of rock/pop classics as well as his own tunes about the well-lived life.A baby boomer in his prime, Wolff is renowned for his jazz roots and his melodically fresh and rhythmically compelling multi-keyboard style. A New Orleans native whose father taught him ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff & Impure Thoughts: Dangerous Vision

Read "Dangerous Vision" reviewed by Ken Franckling

From the opening trill of repetitive block chords on Michael Wolff's piano and a brash hip-hop drumbeat compliments of Mike Clark on the opening title track, listeners tuning in to Dangerous Vision will sense rather quickly that they're in for an exhilarating ride. This third recording by Wolff's working band, Impure Thoughts, is its finest moment on record. It is also a musical autobiography of sorts for Wolff, who is best known by many as the musical director for TV's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff: The Tic Code

Read "The Tic Code" reviewed by AAJ Staff

The Tic Code represents to Michael Wolff more than a soundtrack album that he wrote and produced. It represents very personal music that helps depict his struggles with Tourette Syndrome, a neurological condition that involves involuntary tics, shouts and vocal sounds. As the musical director of The Arsenio Hall Show , Wolff was able to control the visible signs of the syndrome on camera. Polly Draper of the TV show thirtysomething appeared on the show, dated Wolff, eventually married him ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff: Impure Thoughts

Read "Impure Thoughts" reviewed by Rob Evanoff

What say you? You have come before us with impure thoughts of what a jamband should be! You know better than that. Close your eyes and open your mind for many bands that truly jam were doing so decades before the term was coined. Michael Wolff has closed his and the result is heard in the pure deep groove of Impure Thoughts.

Many know pianist/ composer Michael Wolff from his long, respected tenure as pianist for jazz legends such asCannonball ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff: The Tic Code Soundtrack

Read "The Tic Code Soundtrack" reviewed by Jim Santella

In theaters August 4th, The Tic Code is a film that depicts the life of a young jazz pianist who has Tourette’s syndrome. Inspired by the true-life story of her husband, Michael Wolff, Polly Draper’s script centers on a gifted twelve-year-old student of jazz piano. His name’s Miles. The young man has trouble coping with his neurological disorder, until his mother’s encouragement brings him closer to the New York jazz scene. Details of the Lions Gate film are available. The ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Wolff: Impure Thoughts

Read "Impure Thoughts" reviewed by Jim Santella

Jazz has made great strides toward becoming a world music. Regional differences are like spices; they add something special to each song. When Duke Ellington’s orchestra first played “Caravan" for audiences, the exotic rhythm and harmony appealed to their sense of adventure. Similarly, when Miles Davis introduced “In A Silent Way," it brought that same desire for exotic elements to his listening audiences. Most jazz fans share a desire for free boundaries and an appreciation of the unpredictable in their ...


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