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Articles by C. Michael Bailey

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Lara St. John: Key of A | Beethoven Sonata #9 / Franck Sonata

Read "Key of A | Beethoven Sonata #9 / Franck Sonata" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

It is always a worthy question to ask when a pairing like Beethoven's notorious “Kreutzer" sonata with Franck's frankly demonic violin sonata, not to mention the inspired inclusion of Kreisler's “Schön Rosmarin," thrown in for giggles, is released. There is clever reasoning to programming both sonatas on the same disc and it is not simply that they were both composed in the key of A Major (though one could argue that the Beethoven orbits closer to A minor). There is ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ernesto Cervini: Tetrahedron

Read "Tetrahedron" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Matthew Zapruder, in his book Why Poetry (HarperCollins, 2017), draws an informative parallel between reading poetry and listening to classical music: ...the act of treating poetry like a difficult activity one needs to master can easily perpetrate ... mistaken, and pervasive, ideas about poetry that make it hard to read in the first place. Like classical music, poetry has an unfortunate reputation for requiring special training and education to appreciate.... This same reasoning applies to jazz, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Aubrey Johnson: Unraveled

Read "Unraveled" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

What does it take to move music from the strictly aural to revealing the more tactile elements like texture and consistency? Vocal artist, composer and arranger Aubrey Johnson, with her scoring hat on, demonstrates that intelligent instrument choice and subtle arrangement of notes in time coupled with sensitive sound engineering can produce music with a palpable touch and feel. On her debut recording Unraveled, Johnson curates a delicate collection of original and originally-arranged standards with an authentic organic finish and ...

REASSESSING

Kenny Drew and His Progressive Piano

Read "Kenny Drew and His Progressive Piano" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

As a commercial release, the 12-inch LP Kenny Drew and His Progressive Piano has a curious history. It was also released under the title The Modernity of Kenny Drew and contained music from two recording sessions, one held in jny: New York City In 1953 and the second in jny: Los Angeles in 1954. Some of the sides released here were originally released as a 10-inch LP entitled The Ideation of Kenny Drew. Got that straight? This was the release ...

REASSESSING

Sonny's Crib

Read "Sonny's Crib" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

From the outset, pianist Sonny Clark's sophomore effort as a leader is crisp, white-hot hard bop. Leading a standard bop trumpet-tenor saxophone quintet (Donald Byrd, John Coltrane), supplemented with trombone (Curtis Fuller), Clark and his most reliable rhythm section of bassist Paul Chambers and drummer Art Taylor carve five dictionary examples (with alternate takes on the CD) of the music evolving from bebop, principally on the East Coast (if we consider that cool jazz took root on the West Coast ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Emilia Vancini: And If You Fall, You Fall

Read "And If You Fall, You Fall" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

There is a post-modern, deconstructive spirit in music existing within the anabolic-catabolic dichotomy of composition and performance. This spirit manifests in the same impetus that compels inquisitive minds to take things apart and put them back together differently, if not improving them, then revealing, from a different cleave, some previously unseen aspect of the whole. A master of such is pianist Martial Solal, who has spent a career casually dropping notes here and there, stringing them together, slowly, into a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Gemma Sherry: Gemma Sherry Sings Bossa Nova

Read "Gemma Sherry Sings Bossa Nova" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Gemma Sherry's Songs I Love (Tunley Records, 2020) is not yet a year old, and now she releases an extended-play collection of five tried and true Bossa Nova pieces, that like Songs I Love, did not require one more run-through, save for Sherry's exquisitely well-balanced voice and her rock solid accompaniment who supported the singer previously on Songs I Love. Sherry's treatment of these classic songs is breezy and light. She avoids a humid reading of these melodies, giving them ...


ENGAGE

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