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

ALBUM REVIEW

James Carney: Pure Heart

Read "Pure Heart" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes

When a large ensemble like the one heard on Pure Heart contains such dynamic personalities as Ravi Coltrane, Oscar Noreiga and Dezron Douglas, it's a sure bet that a bandleader is going to have their hands full directing them through his compositions. However, with just five songs to the album, pianist James Carney is able to allow these musicians room to maneuver. What's more, he does so without falling prey to the corrosive lethargy of routine formula. Coltrane ...

ALBUM REVIEW

James Carney: Ways & Means

Read "Ways & Means" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Pianist James Carney takes the parameters involved in scoring films and applies them with the discipline of a jazz composer on the ambitious Ways & Means, the kind of challenging and cohesive work that listeners have come to expect from this exemplary musician. Carney's band is as great a gathering of talent as one can find and they don't waste a note in his intricate arrangements. The excellence of Tony Malaby's tenor and Josh Roseman's trombone drive ...

ALBUM REVIEW

James Carney Group: Ways & Means

Read "Ways & Means" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Keyboardist James Carney framed the compositions on this recording from a cinematic perspective. Three of the tunes are improvisations and Carney succeeds with both his stances. He and his artful band bring in plenty of drama, a sense of adventure and pure emotional force.

Carney is an accomplished pianist who finds his groove in several styles. As a composer, he is a perspicacious designer of sound fathoming in it his harmonic concepts and the abundant field for his ...

ALBUM REVIEW

James Carney Group: Ways & Means

Read "Ways & Means" reviewed by Matt Marshall

It's good to see the jazz community is not shying away from pressing political and social issues of the day. Guitarist Brad Shepik, with his Human Activity Suite (Songlines, 2009), and drummer Alex Cline, with Continuation (Cryptogramophone, 2009), have both made musical pleas for the environment in 2009, following in the socially conscious footsteps of Max Roach, Charles Mingus and Charlie Haden, among others.

With Ways & Means, keyboardist James Carney aggressively confronts this century's first major economic crisis. Conceived ...

ALBUM REVIEW

James Carney Group: Ways & Means

Read "Ways & Means" reviewed by Troy Collins

Inspired by his work scoring Edward Sloman's 1925 silent film, His People, for the Syracuse International Film Festival in 2006, New York-based keyboardist James Carney continued to explore the narrative potential of cinematic structures. Funded in part by commissions from Chamber Music America and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Carney produced Ways & Means, a “virtual film score" recorded with his regular touring group.

Steadily winding their way through this episodic suite, Carney's ensemble evinces an array of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

James Carney Group: Green-Wood

Read "Green-Wood" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

James Carney cites a long and varied line of influences on his music that includes Henry Threadgill, Keith Emerson, Steve Reich and Bill Monroe. That's an eclectic mix, and all have a certain bearing on his compositions.

Carney, who won the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Composers Award, composes music in his head and then writes it down. That gives him a clearer picture of the direction he wants and also makes it easier to change.

The compositions on Green-Wood ...

ALBUM REVIEW

James Carney: Green-Wood

Read "Green-Wood" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Keyboardist and composer James Carney might be described as a friendly iconoclast, an artist who enthusiastically explores new concepts at the cutting edge of jazz and welcomes listeners to share what he's discovered instead of daring them to keep up. The borough of Brooklyn is the inspiration for Carney's Green-Wood, where he joins some old friends to create an impressive aural feast. Carney is a stylistic chameleon who uses different textures and colors to create tension and ...


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