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

ALBUM REVIEW

Rick Helzer: Face in the Mirror

Read "Face in the Mirror" reviewed by Michael Davis

When the South Bay-based trio Big World broke up in the early '90s, many local jazz fans were disappointed, feeling that, even after two good albums, the band's potential hadn't really been reached. Yet now, in 2005, it would appear that all three musicians are playing some of the best music of their lives. Tenor saxophonist Bill Plake is back burning with noted trombonist/composer Mike Vlatkovich, while percussionist Jeanette Kangas has spent the last couple of years in various creative ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rick Helzer: Face In The Mirror

Read "Face In The Mirror" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Rick Helzer, composer/pianist/author and Associate Director of Jazz Studies at San Diego State University, displays a complex yet delectably attainable approach to modern jazz. With perennial poll winner James Newton appearing on flute on selected works, the various ensemble alignments provide a discerning glimpse into Helzer's linearly designed and lyrically rich compositional style.

Helzer bridges the best of several jazz-inflected idioms here, consisting of the soloists' brisk unison choruses often tied into bop-like patterns and glancing shifts in ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Nine Winds: Face in the Mirror and Fancy Meeting You Here

Read "Nine Winds: Face in the Mirror and Fancy Meeting You Here" reviewed by James Taylor

Vincent Golia has quietly built a powerhouse indie jazz label at Nine Winds. Since its establishment in 1977, the label has documented jazz's unappreciated West Coast, releasing albums from Nels Cline, Kim Richmond, Tony Malaby, George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith and the multi-instrumentalist Golia.One of Nine Winds' strongest forces right now is pianist/composer Rick Helzer. The San Diego State University professor has been recording jazz for over twenty-five years, most notably with the trio Big World, and is ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rick Helzer and Vinny Golia: Fancy Meeting You Here

Read "Fancy Meeting You Here" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Fancy Meeting You Here matches reed regent and CalArts faculty member Vinny Golia with pianist and UCSD faculty member Rick Helzer for a collection of emotionally rich duets, featuring some heart-wrenching playing by Golia. The intimate clarity of the recordings allows Golia's considerable vocabulary of nuance full exposure.

“You Tell 'em Kwai Chung flies out of the gate with Helzer's staccato notes falling all around Golia's galloping soprano. He plays a garrulous tenor on “Are We There Yet? with Helzer ...


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