Articles

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

YEAR IN REVIEW

John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2020

Read "John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by John Sharpe

With so few performance opportunities since March, and musicians in continuing limbo, the continued stream of new releases has been a surprise, but a welcome one. For me, and many others, music has been a source of solace in an otherwise dreadful year. That makes it all the more invidious to pick and choose between honest artistic endeavours. As always it's better to view the selections as a chance to pick up on something that you might otherwise have missed. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Steve Swell: The Center Will Hold

Read "The Center Will Hold" reviewed by John Sharpe

Unusual instrumentation inspires NYC-based trombonist Steve Swell to ever greater heights on the six compositions comprising The Center Will Hold. Pride of place goes to veteran drummer Andrew Cyrille, who certainly deserves the extra billing he receives on the cover. Beside him are a mixture of long time colleagues of the trombonist, violinist Jason Kao Hwang and cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, and more recent collaborators, pianist Robert Boston, who fulfilled a leading role on Swell's accomplished Brain In A Dish (NoBusiness, ...

RADIO

Steve Swell, Ziv Taubenfeld & Ivo Perelman

Read "Steve Swell, Ziv Taubenfeld & Ivo Perelman" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

This episode carries on from the previous, playing music from a some of the important independent labels that keep creative music alive. ESP-Disk has been around, survived one crash in the 80s, and is still releasing great music. Son Of Local Colour is a 50-year-later follow up to English pianist Peter Lemer's original Local Colour album for ESP. The label suggested an anniversary concert to celebrate, and the gig at Pizza Express in London was recorded. Prolific saxophonist Ivo Perelman ...

INTERVIEW

Steve Swell: Appreciating the Avant Garde Today

Read "Steve Swell: Appreciating the Avant Garde Today" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6[This is the third of an All About Jazz series of interviews and articles on “The Many Faces of Jazz Today: Critical Dialogues" in which we explore the current state of jazz around the world with musicians, journalists, and entrepreneurs who give us their own unique perspectives. In the first interview of the series, saxophonist Bobby Zankel spoke about his efforts to ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Steve Swell: Kanreki: Reflection & Renewal

Read "Kanreki: Reflection & Renewal" reviewed by John Sharpe

To mark his sixtieth birthday (December 6, 2014), trombonist Steve Swell, long the pre-eminent trombonist on the NYC free jazz scene, invokes the Japanese custom of Kanreki. Although it is said to signal both a rebirth and a handing on of responsibilities, Swell shows no signs of allowing the occasion to inhibit his ambition. Over the course of two discs, Not Two proffers a broad survey of recent outlets for his expression, encompassing seven distinct line ups recorded between 2011 ...

INTERVIEW

Steve Swell: Unlimited Musical Possibilities

Read "Steve Swell: Unlimited Musical Possibilities" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

"Free Jazz" and “Avant-Garde Jazz" are catch phrases often associated with musical pioneers such as Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor but more broadly refer to music that goes outside of the mainstream of melody, harmony, rhythm, and structure. When that happens, opinions and emotions abound. Reactions vary from disgust to excitement and enthusiasm, and it is rare to find a balanced view on the subject. The question arises, why does the same music so strongly attract and repel? To seek ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Steve Swell: Steve Swell's Slammin' The Infinite

Read "Steve Swell's Slammin' The Infinite" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Using something that Walt Whitman said about prolific writing, trombonist Steve Swell posits that the more he creates--the more he writes and therefore performs--the more likely he is to produce something worthwhile. Although he does not mention it, this also suggests pushing the boundaries and being nonjudgmental about any of his work until he arrives at something of substantive value. What this might be is impossible to predict, until it is actually created and performed, and the response to it ...


Premium

Andy James

voice / vocals

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