Articles by Dan Bilawsky

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

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Album Review

Scott DuBois: Summer Water

Read "Summer Water" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The third album in guitarist Scott DuBois' survey of the seasons is a story of both inverse relationships and connected themes. Composed in a frigid Chicago winter, the album speaks of summer's warmth; shaped by symphonic inspirations and aspirations, the music surprisingly cuts the other way in featuring solo guitar without overdubs; and bent on creating a fluid context where river meets sea, the program offers a mirrored outlook that meets at the middle ("Storm Where The River Meets The ...

3

Album Review

Sandra Marlowe: The Heart Always Remembers

Read "The Heart Always Remembers" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The heart always remembers, but so too do the ears. Vocalist Sandra Marlowe, probably aware of that fact, quickly grabs attention by demonstrating a real métier for metric play and gymnastics on pianist Larry Dunlap's witty, album-opening arrangement of “Fascinating Rhythm." Once that focus is on her work, Marlowe doesn't let up. In short order there's a balladic “When Did You Leave Heaven?" which dials things down (and offers some space to bassist Dan Robbins), a waltzing take on Sting's ...

9

Album Review

Janis Mann & Kenny Werner: Dreams of Flying

Read "Dreams of Flying" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Janis Mann has quietly but steadily amassed an impressive body of work over the course of more than two decades. For this, the vocalist's eighth album, she brings studio and stage into beautiful alignment with different, intimate configurations hinging on the constant presence of pianist Kenny Werner. The majority of this music was recorded in 2016 at New York's Samurai Hotel Recording Studio, with key collaborator Werner and, more often than not, the rhythm combo of bassist Drew Gress and ...

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Album Review

Jesse Mogale: Heritage from an African Continent

Read "Heritage from an African Continent" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


The debut from Jesse Mogale is a statement of self-understanding and an elaboration on relational identity—this South African bassist's means of discovering himself and creating music driven by and juxtaposed against broader backdrops, including the reach of his own past, the culture of his homeland, the shape and history of the entire African continent and the vast world beyond it. Neither sound nor stories nor influence can be viewed as an attendant matter in this work, as Mogale eyes all ...

8

Album Review

Omar Sosa: An East African Journey

Read "An East African Journey" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Back in 2009, Omar Sosa took part in an eight-stop trio tour of East Africa. Serving multiple purposes, it gave the pianist a chance to work with Senegalese singer Mola Sylla and Mozambican bassist Childo Tomas while connecting with the people, operated as the subject for a French-funded documentary and provided an opportunity for cross-cultural collaborations to blossom in the field. Every time Sosa touched down in a new spot his hosts with Alliance Française helped him connect with local ...

5

Album Review

Nelson Riveros: The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery

Read "The Latin Side of Wes Montgomery" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


After delving into the repertoire of legendary guitarist Wes Montgomery at a gig in the not-so-distant past, six-stringer Nelson Riveros was struck with the idea for this tribute project. Playing true to Montgomery's work and legacy, while pulling from his own Colombian roots and imbuing the music with varied elements drawn from the broader Latin lexicon, Riveros brands this album with a syncretic signature and a hefty helping of pure joy. Opening with “Road Song," Riveros retains ...

6

Album Review

Michael Wolff: Live at Vitellos

Read "Live at Vitellos" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


As time stretches the fabric of reality, what with venues closed or operating under incredibly restrictive mandates since March of 2020, it's starting to feel like it's been a decade since we've been able to gather in the quiets of a club to take in a rapturous set of music. So it's only fitting that this ten-year-old gem should drop into the world at this juncture, giving pause to bemoan what's been lost and appreciate a music found.


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