Articles by Dan Bilawsky

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Nocturnal Four: Light In The World

Read "Light In The World" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

A band of the night embraces light. It's an equipoise in interests that propels this outing to great depths and heights. Croatian guitarist Ratko Zjaca, long a proponent for cross-cultural exchange in music, uses this dark yet illuminating platform to sow the seeds of accord with a band of brothers from different motherlands. He reunites with Italian saxophonist Stefano Bedetti and Slovenian organist Renato Chicco, who proved to be his perfect match(es) on Life on Earth (In ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Linda Sikhakhane: An Open Dialogue

Read "An Open Dialogue" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When tenor saxophonist Linda Sikhakhane released Two Sides, One Mirror (Skay Music, 2017), it was a statement of arrival, marking his ascendancy within the jazz ranks in his native South Africa, and departure, signaling a move to the United States that would result in studies with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, trumpeter Charles Tolliver, bassist Reggie Workman and a host of other greats at The New School. This eagerly awaited follow-up, recorded as part of his senior recital at that venerable ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra: URBAN(E)

Read "URBAN(E)" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's a rocky history surrounding jazz-classical hybrids. But, in truth, that has little to do with any potential incompatibility. Instead, it's usually misguided maneuvering and/or an excessive show of dominant traits from one side or the other that mars said unions. When done right a wedding of those worlds can truly birth brilliance. Just listen to Urban(e) for proof. Noted trombonist, composer, arranger and educator Mike Fahie's unabashed love for classical music and jazz is clear and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Tom Barton: Wherever I Will Be

Read "Wherever I Will Be" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Australian vocalist Tom Barton's “Wherever I Will Be," released as a standalone single in September of 2020, is, at its core, a meditation on life and loss. Extremely personal, revealing lyrics that recall “a beautiful and devastating conversation" that the singer had with his mother before her passing, it's a slow and somewhat intense offering that owes as much to Barton's keen ear for effects and electro-acoustic allure as it does to his entrancing vocals and taste in tasteful bandmates—in ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Claire Daly: Rah! Rah!

Read "Rah! Rah!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Ask a casual fan about Rahsaan Roland Kirk's impact and you're likely to receive a remark about multi-horn madness—a man wielding three at once, brazenly blowing the walls down. But Kirk, of course, was so much more than that enduring image. His writing, performing, spirit and humanity spoke to the ages, reaching out and grabbing ahold of any listener open enough to hear the calling. Claire Daly knows that all too well. Having discovered Kirk's music through ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Simon Moullier: Spirit Song

Read "Spirit Song" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Simon Moullier conjures elemental tides on this remarkably fluid and ear-catching debut. The French vibraphonist--a Berklee College of Music and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz alumnus, now living in Brooklyn--offers a glowing attack, sweeping suggestions, worldly modernism and otherworldly light in these pieces recorded over the span of several sessions between 2017 and 2020. Coloring his work with synthesizers and subtly shining graces, drawing on tight bonds with bassist Luca Alemanno and drummer Jongkuk Kim, filling out ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Alfredo Balcacer: 9 Paredes

Read "9 Paredes" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If there's anything that can bind the artistic community in 2020, it's an understanding of isolation's impact. For guitarist Alfredo Balcacer, who was quarantining in his home city of Santo Domingo when COVID-19 closed everybody in, a sense of disorder and frustration, leavened by solace and acceptance, quickly became the norm. But rather than sit by and feel helpless, he filtered those feelings into his music.“9 Parades" (or “9 Walls") speaks to Balcacer's experiences spending months cooped up ...


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