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

ALBUM REVIEW

Mammal Hands: Shadow Work

Read "Shadow Work" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Our best musicians can soak up influences from many diverse sources, assimilate them into their own style, and allow them to emerge during improvisation. This is why, as readers of this site will surely be aware, a piece can sound different in the hands of two skilled jazz musicians even when the raw material of the composition is constant. When this level of openness is maintained over time it can allow musicians, such as Mammal Hands here, to show a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mammal Hands: Floa

Read "Floa" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Mammal Hands debut album Animalia from autumn 2014 impressed with its emphasis on the overall collective effect over solo pyrotechnics, a choice that perfectly complemented the build and release of tension in the music. Of course in a trio set up the contributions of each member are always discernible and the twist of substituting Jordan Smart's saxophone for the bass position in the traditional piano trio gave the space that their sound needed. Floa, a Norse word for deluge or ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mammal Hands: Animalia

Read "Animalia" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Tough economic times have seen a lot of musicians aggregate into trios of one sort or another of late. Sonically the more minimalist sound has the upside that it is more easily reproduced live and avoids the logistical and financial difficulties of maintaining a large ensemble. The trouble is that it becomes more and more difficult for trios and other small ensembles to stand out from the crowd -fine if you have the postmodern verve of say GoGo Penguin or ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mammal Hands: Animalia

Read "Animalia" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

When is a trio with a piano not a piano trio? British outfit Mammal Hands offers one answer to that conundrum with debut album Animalia, released on Gondwana Records, the label run by discerning trumpeter and producer Matthew Halsall. Actually, given the varied nature of the tunes on display--co-written by the band members--it offers eight answers. Nick Smart's piano is certainly a key element of the Mammal Hands sound, but it's by no means the dominant one--brother Jordan ...


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