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YEAR IN REVIEW

Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases of 2019

Read "Dan McClenaghan's Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The music keeps moving forward, evolving to higher levels. My search for the best jazz recordings of 2019 led me to these outstanding CDs. These are presented in the order in which I discovered them. Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors & Barry Altschul Around Again Tum Records Finnish pianist Iro Haarla immerses herself in the music of Carla Bley, with an all-star trio. Bassist Ulf Krokfors and drummer Barry Altschul trio help Haarla explore Bley's ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

2x2: Piano and Saxophone

Read "2x2: Piano and Saxophone" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Mulo Francel and Chris Gall Mythos GLM Music2019 Mulo Francel and Chris Gall know what they're doing in choosing a title as apt as Mythos--its ethic was built on the pair's worldwide travels and particularly inspired by a climb on the Greek island of Samos. The framework of this duo session dabbles in things jazzy and vaguely rock-ish, but there's also a deliberate patience and mantric sensibility that's rooted in time-honored forms as well. There's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Leo Sherman: Tonewheel

Read "Tonewheel" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Bassist Leo Sherman knows a thing or two about turns in tone connected to life, time, language and music. Born in Russia, in a repressive, antisemitic atmosphere that eventually drove his family from their homeland, he overcame several layers of adversity some 5,000 miles away, where he was raised in Baltimore, Maryland. There, he became fluent in English and Spanish, developed a passion for music, flirted with a career in globalism, and eventually channeled his efforts into a life in ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jamie Breiwick: Awake: The Music of Don Cherry

Read "Awake: The Music of Don Cherry" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Don Cherry is best known for his long association with composer/saxophonist Ornette Coleman. But he also had a diverse career as a bandleader and composer in his own right, and was especially prominent in the fusion of jazz and world music. Wisconsin-based trumpeter Jamie Breiwick mostly draws from Cherry's solo repertoire for this set—with the addition of one Coleman composition—also using the pocket trumpet (which Cherry often played) on some tracks. Capturing Cherry's spirit requires ...

RADIO

Just You, the Secret Service and Me - Celebrating Johnny Mercer

Read "Just You, the Secret Service and Me - Celebrating Johnny Mercer" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin

Besides a celebration of songs by Johnny Mercer, the broadcast includes new releases from pianist Andrea Petrity, The DIVA Jazz Orchestra, vocalists Margaret Whiting, Karrin Allyson, Sonia Johnson, and the latest project from drummer Terri Lyne Carrington+Social Science plus more birthday shout outs to bassist Jen Hodge, vocalists Janet Lawson, Holli Ross, LaVern Baker, Ernestine Anderson, cellist Nioka Workman, pianists Ellen Rowe, George Cables, Diana Krall and Cynthia Hilts, among others. Playlist Lauren Sevian “Blueishness" from Bliss (Posi-Tone) ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rebecca Angel: Santa Baby

Read "Santa Baby" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Vocalist Rebecca Angel turns in a humid, if chaste, reading of the Joan Javits / Philip and Anthony Springer chestnut “Santa Baby." Bassist Reggie Washington provides a full-throated walk-in intro that evolves into a plush sonic wonderland cushioned with Jason Miles' slippery Hammond B3 playing buffeted with electric piano support. Dennis Angel blows a wintery mix on the flugelhorn while daughter Rebecca sings with an almost wholesome conviction, leaving just enough wiggle room to give a clandestine wink.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mulo Francel & Chris Gall: Mythos

Read "Mythos" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Even though Mythos exhibits little variation of intent or tone, and perhaps leans towards the blurry borders of new age, this saxophone-piano duet by Mulo Francel and Chris Gall, two European players catching a lot of continental attention—Francel with the globe-trotting, multiple award winning world music/jazz/acoustic German ensemble Quadro Nuevo, and Gall, who not only frequently guests with Quadra Nuevo but has played in the spotlight at many of Europe's lauded music festivals, including Montreux, Stuttgart, Jazz Baltica and Vienna—is ...


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