Articles

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

YEAR IN REVIEW

John Sharpe's Best Releases Of 2019

Read "John Sharpe's Best Releases Of 2019" reviewed by John Sharpe

There's sometimes a backlash against picking the year's best albums. Understandably so when it entails pitting one honest artistic endeavour against another. Best to view the selections as a chance to pick up on something that you might otherwise have missed. As a listener I always look forward to the annual year end lists for precisely that reason. If you share the same taste (that's the key bit) then you might well discover some unforeseen gems. In that spirit, if ...

ALBUM REVIEW

A Pride Of Lions: A Pride Of Lions

Read "A Pride Of Lions" reviewed by John Sharpe

Beneath the banner A Pride Of Lions, three American and two French musicians join forces for a cohesive off-the-wall encounter. The outfit merits a name as it's not a one-off. This live recording was culled from a ten-date tour in early 2016, under the auspices of The Bridge, which allowed them to build trust and understanding. Of course, they already had a head start, as multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee and reedman Daunik Lazro have been regular collaborators since 1996 ...

IN PICTURES

Ai Confini Tra Sardegna E Jazz 2018 (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz)

Read "Ai Confini Tra Sardegna E Jazz 2018 (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz)" reviewed by Frank Rubolino

Tucked away near the southern tip of Sardinia about an hour's drive southwest of the island's capital city of Cagliari is the small community of Sant' Anna Arresi, where for the last 33 years, the festival Ai Confini tra Sardegna e Jazz (On the Border between Sardinia and Jazz) has presented a striking array of artists performing creative improvised music. This year's fest extended over a nine-day period and featured musicians from Germany, Italy, France, Austria, England, the USA, and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Joe McPhee / Pascal Niggenkemper / Ståle Liavik Solberg: Imaginary Numbers

Read "Imaginary Numbers" reviewed by John Sharpe

Veteran multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee always seems open to encounters with like-minded spirits wherever he finds them. Some of his finest albums have stemmed from his collaborations with groups of younger musicians, such as Spontaneous Combustion (Otoroku, 2015) with Decoy and Skullduggery (Clean Feed, 2015) with Universal Indians. On Imaginary Numbers he teams up with two high-profile European improvisers, New York-based German-French bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and Norwegian drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg. Both are adept at the arcane blend of improv texture ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Joe McPhee: From Outer Space

Read "From Outer Space" reviewed by Thad Aerts

Joe McPhee, the 78-year-old multi-instrumentalist dedicated to the saxophone, has a new trio. McPhee on said saxophone with James Keepnews on guitar and laptop, and David Berger on drums make up Plan B. From Outer Space is the trio's inaugural offering. Free in its wandering's, the record is still incredibly cohesive and multi-themed. Recorded as an ode to Sun Ra, the lads execute self-control knowing when, where and how to play. Because of this, the record builds an ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Joe McPhee: Flowers

Read "Flowers" reviewed by John Sharpe

Multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee has a long history of solo albums stretching back to Tenor (Hat Hut, 1976). Furthermore he's one of the few improvisers still to regularly perform and record in that format. Flowers, his eleventh unaccompanied release, was recorded at the Jazz ao Centro Festival in Coimbra in 2009 and rescued from obscurity by the Portuguese Cipsela imprint. As he explains during the show, the title is an allusion to McPhee's credo that we should give our heroes their ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Joe McPhee: Flowers

Read "Flowers" reviewed by Mark Corroto

For the longest time it was a commonly held belief that solo saxophone performances, especially freely improvised solo saxophone performances, were an acquired taste. Meaning they are things that one has come to like only through experience, but mostly it is a polite way to say you find the music distasteful. Certainly, much of improvised music can be spoken of in this manner, but when an artist performs with the sincerity and genuineness that saxophonist Joe McPhee does every night, ...


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