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Michael Vlatkovich: Mortality

Read "Mortality" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Esteemed West Coast trombonist Michael Vlatkovich's second release with the large ensemble outfit Ensemblio, features a cast of largely, So. California artists including tuba performer Bill Roper and keyboardist Wayne Peet, who is also credited with the engineering duties on this pristinely recorded studio set. Nonetheless, Vlatkovich tosses more than just a few curveballs into the mix. The ensemble frequently subdivides into smaller factions during mini-motifs, but the program is an off-centered case study when considering how numerous ...

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Michael Vlatkovich: Mortality

Read "Mortality" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Wow. Where to start? Apropos of its title, Mortality is huge. Vast. Complex. Quixotic. Musically, it's a mega-ambitious work that fuses operatic vocals, several styles of jazz, heavily-scored contemporary classical music and flat-out improvisational wailing in the most appealing ways possible. Interestingly, Michael Vlatkovich, a West Coast trombone virtuoso and composer / improvisor of considerable merit, is a guy who devotes considerable time to small group projects of various types--most notably tenor saxophonist Rich Halley's quartet--plus his own septet with ...

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Vlatko: Subjective Experience In A Commercial Free Zone

Read "Subjective Experience In A Commercial Free Zone" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

West Coast purveyor of novel jazz concepts, trombonist and shrewd improviser, Michael Vlatkovich skirts the perimeters of expressionistic jazz rock and most all things jazz related, featuring electric guitarist Tom McNalley's impressive, quirky off-kilter voicings and stinging expeditions. It's a production that's framed on the outside schema, as the leader's compositions present a brooding and flourishing set of circumstances, built upon layers, abstractions, and the requisite improvisational encounters. The lengthy album title duly implies that Vlatkovich is blending ...

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Michael Vlatkovich Quartet: You're Too Dimensional

Read "You're Too Dimensional" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Longtime and prominent affiliate of California's progressive jazz sector, trombonist Michael Vlatkovich has nurtured strong relationships with multi-reedman Vinny Golia, tenor saxophonist Rich Halley and others of note. Yet Vlatkovich has long been considered as one of the finest improvising trombonist's within modern jazz and the avant-garde jazz spectrums. He's comfortable in a variety of settings, while recently cutting some vibrant trio outings for his independent label, Thank You Records. With this outing he reemerges with a quartet formation and ...

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Vlatkovich Tryyo: Pershing Woman

Read "Pershing Woman" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Southern California-based trombonist Michael Vlatkovich leads a power-packed trio, captured live at a Michigan venue. The trombonist is firmly entrenched in the region's avant-garde and progressive jazz loop, alongside cohorts such as multi-reedman Vinny Golia, pfMentum Records proprietor and trumpeter Jeff Kaiser and other notables. Here, the trio generates a lot of positive hoopla and excitement as the live recorded sound contains a slight echo that hovers like an aura and summons an analog sense of purity. The ...

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Michael Vlatkovich: Across 36 Continents

Read "Across 36 Continents" reviewed by Mark Corroto

West Coast trombonist Michael Vlatkovich displays some mature yet nonconformist writing and arranging on Across 36 Continents. The eccentricities prepared for this ten-piece small orchestra make for fresh and at times freewheeling music-making. Then again, Vlatkovich is known for being a bit unconventional. His recent work has been in duets: Call And Response (pfMentum), with poet Dottie Grossman; and Chobraty (Nine Winds), with tubaist William Roper.

Here he enlists some of his usual suspects and playing partners: trumpeters ...

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Michael Vlatkovich Tritet: Queen Dynamo

Read "Queen Dynamo" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

It's hard to say how the average jazz fan comes to an appreciation of improvised music—and we're talking here spontaneous compositions, not merely an improvised solo in the middle of a mainstream song. One avid listener's introduction to the genre occured some years ago at a concert/lecture in a small state college auditorium. Two young musicians—bass and piano—held forth with a very interesting history of twentieth century jazz, from Louis Armstrong through Ellington and bop and fusion, playing examples of ...

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Michael Vlatkovich: TorontoLive

Read "TorontoLive" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Whoever said that the saxophone most closely resembles the human voice probably never heard Michael Vlatkovich’s trombone. Actually Vlatkovich sounds a lot like my uncle Rocco. He always sounded a bit tipsy, even when he wasn’t drinking. When Rocco enters a room, everyone knows it, Blap, Fwap...everyone’s happy. When Vlatkovich speaks, er sings, it’s the same cavorting scale.

For this live date saxophonist David Mott and trombonist Tom Walsh augmented his quartet. The music is part Rahsaan Roland Kirk whirling ...


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