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NYT Approved

Read "NYT Approved" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Vegetation may die in December but best-of lists sprout like weeds. This episode, the boys examine four selections on the venerable New York Times' best-of list of 2018 jazz releases, and (by their cranky standards, at least) like what they find. Except for a certain passage of spoken-word optimism. Bastards can't abide optimism. The music ranges from experimental to slightly less experimental (this IS a critic's best of list) to funky and (you guessed it) slightly experimental. Try it, in ...

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Cale Brandley & Triptych Myth and Philip Zoubek

Read "Cale Brandley & Triptych Myth and Philip Zoubek" reviewed by Maurice Hogue

Master drummer Andrew Cyrille turned 79 in November. His wonderful new recording Lebroba, following on the heels of his acclaimed The Declaration of Musical Independence proves age has little to do with creativity. You'll hear two tracks from the new release which features Bill Frisell and Wadada Leo Smith, another septuagenarian at peak powers. Saxophonist Cale Brandley's name may not resonate for some, but back in 2005, he was studying jazz in New York and hooked up with ...

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Andrew Cyrille: Lebroba

Read "Lebroba" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Veteran drummer Andrew Cyrille--best known for his long association with the avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor--made his ECM debut as a leader with the quartet date Declaration Of Musical Independence (ECM, 2016). This is a trio session with chameleon guitarist Bill Frisell returning, along with legendary trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith. Frisell is the glue that binds both sessions together: since the previous album he has played duets with Cyrille, but this is his first meeting with Smith; Cyrille and Smith have ...

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Andrew Cyrille & Bill McHenry: Proximity

Read "Proximity" reviewed by Budd Kopman

In its 80-year history, the Village Vanguard has had its share of legendary shows and, because of its intimacy, extended gigs and knowledgeable audience, has been the place for a large number of live recordings, including most recently, Enrico Pieranunzi's New Spring. While Proximity is not a live recording, the impetus for the recording happened at the Vanguard, when regular patron Max Koslow heard saxophonist Bill McHenry and free drummer Andrew Cyrille perform as a duo. The magical ...

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Andrew Cyrille Quartet: The Declaration of Musical Independence

Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Drummer Andrew Cyrille is probably best known for his long association with the avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor. He has previously appeared on ECM and Watt albums by saxophonist Marion Brown (Afternoon of a Georgia Faun, 1970), Carla Bley (European Tour 1977, 1978), The Jazz Composer's Orchestra (originally on JCOA, 1968), and most recently on Ben Monder's Amorphae (2016). He makes his ECM leader debut here with this quartet with guitarist Bill Frisell, keyboardist Richard Teitelbaum and bassist Ben Street.

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Andrew Cyrille & Bill McHenry: Proximity

Read "Proximity" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The story behind this duo setting by legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille and venerable tenor saxophonist Bill McHenry was initiated by Max Koslow who routinely attends New York City's fabled Village Vanguard venue on Thursday evenings. After hearing the twosome perform, he proposed they record a set in the studio for his nascent Brain Schism Productions. Indeed, the artists' synergy comes into full swing from the onset for a production that clocks in at 38-minutes. McHenry's full-bodied tenor sound ...

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Andrew Cyrille / Haitian Fascination: Route de Freres

Read "Route de Freres" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

To experience ecstasy without the memory of it would certainly be a travesty. Fortunately, it may now be possible to have both--to have the near-perfect memory of being in the throes of ecstasy--and it is all because of the music on Route de Frères by Andrew Cyrille and Haitian Fascination. More specifically, it is because of the character of “Jean" in the miraculous little Vodou piece which opens the album. It is the relentless and remarkable tapping of percussionists Frisner ...

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Andrew Cyrille & Haitian Fascination: Route de Freres

Read "Route de Freres" reviewed by Nic Jones

Defying preconceived notions, a band featuring two highly persuasive advocates of the free and the near-free has produced a record of warm and winning world music potent enough to lift the spirit in the depths of winter. The band is named Haitian Fascination for a very good reason. Not only is drummer Andrew Cyrille the son of a Haitian mother, he's always been a player able to light fires under anything. On this occasion his rhythmic vitality ...

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Andrew Cyrille / Haitian Fascination: Route de Freres

Read "Route de Freres" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Despite all of the cross fertilization that's taken place over the decades between the US and the various island nations of the Caribbean, it could be argued that the jazz world hasn't really dealt with the music of Haiti in any fundamental way. Andrew Cyrille--who's drawn on his Haitian heritage throughout his career as a solo artist and drummer for the likes of Cecil Taylor, David Murray, and John Carter--blends Haitian rhythms with jazz improvisation on Route de Freres.

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Andrew Cyrille: Tell Us Only the Beautiful Things; Opus de Life & The Dark Tree

Read "Andrew Cyrille: Tell Us Only the Beautiful Things; Opus de Life & The Dark Tree" reviewed by Clifford Allen

Walt DickersonTell Us Only the Beautiful ThingsWhynot-Candid1975 (2009) Profound Sound TrioOpus De LifePorter2009 Horace TapscottThe Dark TreeHat Hut1991 (2009) Percussionist Andrew Cyrille was one of the few drummers who could have propelled the particularly high-energy music of the Cecil Taylor Unit during its dense zenith of ...

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Trio 3 + Geri Allen: At This Time

Read "At This Time" reviewed by Chris May

The publicity surrounding the release of At This Time is making much of the addition of a pianist to Trio 3's saxophone, bass and drums line-up. Arguably, however, the inclusion of a keyboard, played by Geri Allen, isn't the album's most significant feature. True, during the course of the group's 23-year history, most of its work has been piano-less. But its unofficial curtain-raiser, Synthesis (Leo, 1986), made under bassist Reggie Workman's name, featured pianist Marilyn Crispell alongside the trio of ...

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Andrew Cyrille with Greg Osby: Low Blue Flame

Read "Low Blue Flame" reviewed by Brandt Reiter

"Every once in a while, the saxophonist and drummer just have to be alone. So said the venerable tenorist Benny Golson in concert a few years ago, a coy grin creeping over his face, before launching himself into the stratosphere against his drummer of the evening. “Against, because that's often the form the sax/drums duet takes--a no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners, raucously unrestrained and joyfully unapologetic, cacophonous battle to the finish line. On Low Blue Flame however, drummer Andrew Cyrille and saxophonist Greg ...