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

ALBUM REVIEW

Tardo Hammer: Look Stop & Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron

Read "Look Stop & Listen: The Music of Tadd Dameron" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Nearly a decade ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Hammer Time, the impressive debut album by (as I wrote then) an “enormously talented" young pianist, Tardo Hammer. While we've both grown older since then, I am happy to report that at least one of us (guess who) has continued on an upward path. Hammer's latest album for Sharp Nine Records (his fourth) is another handsome feather in his cap. The lively and engaging session is devoted entirely to music ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Tardo Hammer: Look Stop & Listen

Read "Look Stop & Listen" reviewed by J Hunter

A teacher at Cambridge, Massachusetts' New School of Music when he's not leading singer Annie Ross' band, pianist Tardo Hammer has backed up stalwarts including Lou Donaldson and Abbey Lincoln, and was a member of the Art Farmer-Clifford Jordan Quintet. The last credit is the key here, because Jordan played on Live at the Theatre Boulogne--the 1994 Soul Note release by Dameronia, Don Sickler and Philly Jo Jones' big-band tribute to legendary composer/arranger Tadd Dameron. How much influence Jordan had ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Tardo Hammer: Look Stop & Listen

Read "Look Stop & Listen" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Look Stop & Listen, Tardo Hammer's fourth release as a leader, is subtitled The Music of Tadd Dameron. It's the antithesis of a concept record, in which the music takes a backseat to marketing and promotion. Instead of a parade of guest stars, all Hammer needs is bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth to launch a rigorous, thoughtful, and brilliantly played set. He's the perfect antidote to the legions of jazz pianists who possess tons of technique yet have ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Tardo Hammer: Tardo's Tempo

Read "Tardo Hammer: Tardo's Tempo" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Tardo Hammer Tardo’s Tempo Sharp Nine

In tandem with bassist Dennis Irwin and drummer Jimmy Wormworth, Tardo Hammer carves out his own space in the bebop tradition—once again, proving that accomplished musicians still have a lot to say while mining established styles. The pianist doesn’t mess with the bebop blueprint; rather, he excels at executing its fundamental elements. The material on “Tardo’s Tempo” is a carefully selected mixture of selections from the American Popular Songbook, a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Tardo Hammer: Somethin' Special

Read "Somethin' Special" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Piano man Tardo Hammer is the perfect poster boy for the category of “one of the greatest jazz musicians you’ve never heard of.” His record dates have been few in number and his musical activity is confined primarily to the New York area, but his world-class stature is categorically undeniable. Now thanks to Sharp Nine, the rest of the world gets a chance to catch some Hammer time. Somethin’ Special is Tardo’s second effort for the small New Jersey-based label ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Tardo Hammer: Somethin' Special

Read "Somethin' Special" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The best Jazz pianist you’ve never heard? He could answer to the name Tardo Hammer. The 43–year–old New Yorker is indeed somethin’ special, as he demonstrates time and again on his second album for Sharp Nine. We were lucky enough to review the first one ( Hammer Time ), and everything written then bears repeating, with even weightier emphasis. “When listening to him play,” we observed, “one doesn’t think of a Hammer so much as a scalpel, or perhaps a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Tardo Hammer: Somethin' Special

Read "Somethin' Special" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

A half-century removed from its heyday, and no longer the most influential style or common dialect of the ever-expanding jazz canon, bebop is more often intimated than played in its unalloyed form. For many young musicians bop is not a destination or even a place to linger, but at best a way station en route to finding a more suitable means of expression. In the right hands, however, it is still a vital, living art form. OnSomethin’ Special, his second ...


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