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ALBUM REVIEWS

Planet Jazz: In Orbit

Read "In Orbit" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Heavenly--if not very far out--sextet sides are Planet Jazz's saucer of well-steeped black tea. Just the bracing tonic one might expect from Sharp Nine, purveyor of intelligence and taste in small-band jazz for a decade.

From the first tightly scored, three-voiced chorus, which swings smoothly through drum breaks on a tune waggishly entitled “Mommy, Mommy No!, you can tell there's some underlying story here, and it happens to go beyond the weird titles. In this case, the group is a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Planet Jazz at Smalls

Read "Planet Jazz at Smalls" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Planet Jazz Smalls New York, NY May 28, 2006

In March of 2005, I caught Planet Jazz at Smalls, just a couple of weeks after the reopening of Mitch Borden's legendary bastion of straight-ahead sounds. It was a decidedly casual performance before a sparse audience. The sextet's regular tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart was out of town, Charles Ruggiero substituted for drummer Joe Strasser, and pianist Spike Wilner hurried in from another gig for the ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Planet Jazz: In Orbit

Read "Planet Jazz: In Orbit" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Planet Jazz In Orbit Sharp Nine Records 2006

Planet Jazz is a longstanding, unrecognized sextet that boasts several exceptional soloists and an unusually cogent rhythm section. Two factors distinguish the band from the wealth of talented groups on the New York City straight-ahead jazz scene: A precise ensemble sound honed by a year's worth of regular gigs at Smalls, Mitch Borden's musician-friendly club; and a book comprised largely of tunes by the composer/drummer Johnny ...


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