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Three Guitarists: Michael Musillami, Kristen Bromley, and Romain Pilon

Read "Three Guitarists: Michael Musillami, Kristen Bromley, and Romain Pilon" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The more adventurous and abstract forms of jazz guitar get a lot of attention these days, but these three releases prove that mainstream guitar players still have a lot to say. Kristen R. Bromley Trio Simply Miraculous Self-produced 2019 Perhaps the most amazing thing about this CD is that it exists at all. Kristen Bromley is a performer and teacher of jazz guitar who broke her arm in 2016. She damaged nerves ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Musillami and Rich Syracuse: Dig

Read "Dig" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Guitarist Michael Musillami and bassist Rich Syracuse continue their engagement with the titans of the jazz world with Dig, their homage to Bill Evans. Like the discs that preceded it, Of The Night (Playscape, 2016), dedicated to Wayne Shorter and Bird Calls (Playscape, 2017), their salute to Charles Mingus, the duo approach this repertoire with both reverence and imagination, producing treatments that avoid simply capitulating to Evans' genius by opening his tunes to creative scrutiny. It's noteworthy that ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Musillami Trio + 2: Life Anthem

Read "Life Anthem" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

One day in June 2016, guitarist Michael Musillami woke up with a massive headache. Tests soon revealed that he had a brain hemorrhage and also an unrelated brain tumour. He slowly recovered from his illnesses and is now in good health. Life Anthem is his musical testament to his ordeal, realized in this recording by his long-standing trio with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller plus guests Kirk Knuffke and Scott Robinson. The music, structured as a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Musillami: Life Anthem

Read "Life Anthem" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Guitarist Michael Musillami has been making music with his MM Trio since 2002, when he first teamed up with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller for Beijing (Playscape, 2003). Subsequent albums, all for the Playscape label Musillami founded and continues to run, have sometimes involved just the trio, while others have brought in guests--standout players such as Peter Madsen, Tom Christensen and Dave Ballou (on 2005's Dachau) and Marty Ehrlich, Ralph Alessi and Matt Moran (on 2009's From Seeds). ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Musillami: Life Anthem

Read "Life Anthem" reviewed by Don Phipps

Dark, cerebral, moody, Michael Musillami's Life Anthem was inspired by his near-death experience from a brain hemorrhage and tumor. The music takes the listener on a journey from medical crisis to recovery. While the quality of abstract lyricism, improvisation, and musicianship cannot be denied, the music's harsh landscape proves at times frustrating and difficult to navigate. After 15 years of playing together, the talented Musillami and the rest of the trio (Joe Fonda on bass and George Schuller ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Musillami/Rich Syracuse: Of The Night

Read "Of The Night" reviewed by Budd Kopman

For some reason, Wayne Shorter is in the air, as evidenced by pianist Denny Zeitlin's wonderful Early Wayne and now guitarist Michael Musillami's duo album with bassist Rich Syracuse, Of The Night. As stated in the earlier review, Shorter tunes, for the most part, are almost immediately recognizable as such without being able to be (accurately) sung. Shorter's melodic, harmonic and rhythmic choices create a Shorter style that is very strong without being easily definable. However, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Musillami/Rich Syracuse: Of The Night

Read "Of The Night" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

It would be hard to name an artist who has written more jazz standards than saxophonist Wayne Shorter, someone who has been penning memorable tunes since his days with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in the very early sixties. After his stint with Blakey, he contributed his singular song crafting acumen to Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet in the same decade, as well as recording numerous albums under his own name on Blue Note Records during that time. Now, the year ...


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