Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: La Casa Murada MoonJune Sessions, Volume 1

Read "La Casa Murada MoonJune Sessions, Volume 1" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Magic seems to happen routinely at Spain's La Casa Murada Residential Recording Studio, a converted 12th century farmhouse, at least during the MoonJune Records recording sessions. For listeners who have not been following the label's releases, this generous 80-minute sampler offers a delightful overview. For those who have, it includes one track released in advance of Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic's forthcoming 2019 album If You See Me. The MoonJune musical family frequently operates as a kind of repertory ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival

Read "Jazz Fest: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

On the surface, some jazz festivals look a lot like each other, with the same established names travelling around the globe. This is globalization at its worst, meaning we can travel endless miles to hear the same musicians we could have heard in our own backyard. However, a good jazz festival is also a celebration of local musical culture. The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is the perfect example of this. But make no mistake, like every other festival, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Whiskey Juliet Foxtrot

Read "Whiskey Juliet Foxtrot" reviewed by Luke Seabright

Much like the highly-regarded We Out Here (Brownswood Recordings, 2018), Whiskey Juliet Foxtrot is all about showcasing some exciting new talent in jazz. However, there is perhaps an extra lesson to be learned from Byrd Out's new compilation album; we would be wrong to assume that the UK's flourishing scene is solely concentrated in jny:London. There is no denying that the capital is the epicentre of it all. The range of music coming out of there and the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: The Social Power of Music

Read "The Social Power of Music" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

It could be argued that music has been around for as long as humans have walked on Earth. When we are born, one of the first things we do is cry and scream, and to calm babies down, lullabies are sung. As we grow up, music becomes the soundtrack for joy and mourning; the rites of passage in life are marked by wedding songs and funeral blues. We use music as a guiding light and a way to express what ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS

Read "Nicola Conte presents Cosmic Forest: The Spiritual Sounds of MPS" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

A labor of love, Cosmic Forest was compiled by Italian musician, producer and DJ Nicola Conte to both revisit and present to a new audience Conte's favorite “spiritual jazz" recordings from MPS Records' 1965--'75 catalog. Eight of these thirteen pieces came from albums released as part of the MPS label's mid-1970s “Jazz Meets the World" series masterminded by jazz activist and label partner Joachim-Ernst Berendt. Cosmic Forest can take you as deeply in or as far as you ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Spiritual Jazz 9: Blue Notes Parts 1 & 2

Read "Spiritual Jazz 9: Blue Notes Parts 1 & 2" reviewed by Chris May

The ninth volume in Jazzman's Spiritual Jazz series is a 2 x CD (and 2 x double LP) compilation from the Blue Note catalogue. Just over half the material was recorded between 1964 and 1966, the final years during which the label was steered by Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff and when the go-to engineer was still Rudy Van Gelder. Most of the remaining tracks are from 1968 and 1969. It has all been previously released. Spiritual ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: MPS: 50 Years

Read "MPS: 50 Years" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

In 2018, MPS--Musik Produktion Schwarzwald--Records, Germany's first jazz label, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Pianist Oscar Peterson recorded the first release for MPS after his contract with Verve expired. Its catalog expanded to feature George Duke, Red Garland, Wolfgang Dauner, Horst Jankowski, George Shearing, Monty Alexander and many other pianists. Violin became the label's second most featured instrument through releases by established masters such as Don “Sugarcane" Harris and Stéphane Grappelli, and emerging ones such as Didier Lockwood and Jean-Luc Ponty. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: The Sea at the End of Her String

Read "The Sea at the End of Her String" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Genre is increasingly a problem in our modern musical world--it is all pervasive yet meaningless at the same time. If the internet only gives us what we search for, then a classification that is predicated on a formulaic 'if you like that then you'll love this" algorithm is never going to be good enough. Music as an art form is not specific, it implies emotion and feeling through the notes, tones and chords rather than itemising or cataloguing what a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music

Read "Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music" reviewed by Chris May

Library music--aka stock or production music--was first marketed in the 1920s, to be used by “picture palaces" showing silent movies. Its golden age came during the 1960s and 1970s, when it provided off-the-shelf incidental music for radio, television, film and advertising. Ever since Quentin Tarantino included recordings by one of that era's most prolific British library-music composers, Keith Mansfield, on the soundtracks for Kill Bill: Volume One (2003) and Grindhouse: Death Proof (2007), the genre has acquired a collectable retro-allure. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Confessin' The Blues

Read "Confessin' The Blues" reviewed by Doug Collette

If it weren't so scrupulously annotated (at least up to a point) or attractively designed, this title might be flippantly described as “The Greatest Hits of the Blues." As is, it is the third in a roots revival series of sorts. Confessin' The Blues follows Chicago Plays the Stones (Raisin' Music, 2018), where a Windy city musical aggregation covers the curators of this set and, last but not least (and actually first in chronological order), Blue & Lonesome (Rolling Stones, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World

Read "Putumayo Presents: Ska Around the World" reviewed by Jim Trageser

For casual fans and newcomers to the music of Jamaica (a growing number, given the popularity of the BBC / France 2 TV mystery series Death in Paradise and its Jamaican-infused soundtrack), the definitions of ska vs. reggae are likely too obscure to worry about. Much as only hardcore jazz fans worry about drilling into the differences between cool and bop, those who simply love the sun-drenched rhythms of all the postwar popular styles of Jamaica are content to listen ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Various Artists: Running The Voodoo Down Volume 2

Read "Running The Voodoo Down Volume 2" reviewed by Chris May

A raft of scholarly theories can be put forward to explain the affinities linking the genres represented on this compilation, subtitled Explorations In Psychrockfunksouljazz 1965-77. But there is a simple explanation: grass and acid, the lingua franca of the era's counterculture. True, there is only circumstantial evidence to suggest that John Coltrane and Joe Zawinul, both featured on the album, used either substance. But if they did not, a large proportion of their audience certainly did. As for the other ...