Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

Articles by Dan McClenaghan

ALBUM REVIEWS

David Torn/Tim Berne/Ches Smith: Sun Of Goldfinger

Read "Sun Of Goldfinger" reviewed by

Sometimes a recording comes with a “play it loud" recommendation. Let's give one of those to Sun Of Goldfinger, from guitarist David Torn, alto saxophonist Tim Berne and percussionist Ches Smith. Torn, a self-described “texturalist/guitarist," has been associated with ECM Records since the '80s, with Cloud About Mercury (1987)--a disc the label is reissuing in 2019--and Without Warning and Best Laid Plans, both from 1984. Berne and Smith are relative newcomers to ECM, with four CD releases, beginning ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Marc Copland: Gary

Read "Gary" reviewed by

Pianist Marc Copland is the perfect interpreter of the music of bassist Gary Peacock. The artists' musical relationship began over three decades ago, and continues to this day. Peacock, best known perhaps for his long tenure in pianist Keith Jarrett's “Standards Trio," has played on numerous Copland recordings, including At Night (Sunnyside, 1992), Softly (Savoy Jazz, 1997), two out of the three of Copland's profile-boosting “New York Trio Recordings" on Pirouet Records, Modina ( 2006) and Voices (2007), and when ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Yelena Eckemoff / Manu Kache: Colors

Read "Colors" reviewed by

Pianist Yelena Eckemoff brings the top drummers into her recording sessions, whether it's Billy Hart on Lions (2014), or Peter Erskine on Glass Song (2012) and Desert (2015), or Jon Christensen for Everblue (2014)--all of these on her own L & H Production label. The year 2019 finds the prolific Eckemoff presenting her first duo album, Colors, a piano and drums affair with another topline partner sitting at the kit: Manu Katche, a distinctive drumming stylist and a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Richard Pellegrin: Down

Read "Down" reviewed by

In an All About Jazz review of pianist/bandleader Rich Pellegrin's Episodes IV-V (OA2 Records, 2015), the author states that Pellegrin's style lies “somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between jazz and 21st century classical music." That also holds true with Down, the third quintet offering from the Assistant Professor at Florida State University. And if the music leans in the direction of jazz, it's of the accessible avant-garde variety. Down features seven tracks from Pellegrin's ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ran Blake / Claire Ritter: Eclipse Orange

Read "Eclipse Orange" reviewed by

The concert that resulted in the CD Eclipse Orange was done in honor of pianist Thelonious Monk's 100th birthday, but there's so much more than a Monk showcase here. Pianists Claire Ritter and Ran Blake play in duets and solos, and Ritter shares the stage with Australian saxophonist Kent O'Doherty on five tunes, in an atmospheric and wide-ranging program. The pairing of Blake and Ritter began in 1981, when Ritter arrived to study at New England Conservatory, where ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Iro Haarla, Ulf Krokfors & Barry Altschul: Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley

Read "Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley" reviewed by

At one time the Finnish pianist/harpist/composer Iro Haarla was best known as a collaborator of drummer Edward Vesala (1945-1999). Her own career blossomed in the new millennium, beginning with Penguin Beguine (TUM Records, 2005) followed by multiple releases on ECM and TUM Records, including Northbound (ECM, 2006), Vespers (ECM, 2011), Kirkastus (TUM, 2014), a daring duo outing with saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, and a majestic orchestral outing, Ante Lucem (ECM, 2016), that didn't seem to get nearly the recognition it deserved. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Kresten Osgood Quintet: Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz

Read "Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz" reviewed by

One way of getting a handle on a jazz artist's style is a perusal of their “played with," “recorded with" resume. Danish drummer Kresten Osgood has collaborated in the recording studio with the likes of pianists Paul Bley and Masabumi Kikuchi, bassist Mark Dresser and saxophonist Sam Rivers--free-flying iconoclasts all. The drummer/bandleader lives up to that characterisation here. Kristen Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz, a wide-tanging two CD set, explores some lesser-known tunes from some of music history's freer ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alister Spence and Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe: Imagine Meeting You Here

Read "Imagine Meeting You Here" reviewed by

The year 2018 saw two “sounds-you've-never-heard-before" collaborations between Australian composer/pianist/electronics master Alister Spence and Japanese pianist/bandleader Satoko Fujii, the duo recording Intelstat (Alister Spence Music), and Kira Kira (Libra Records) by the Fujii quartet Bright Force. These recordings were part of Fujii's “one CD release per month" celebration of her sixtieth birthday year. The duo opened 2019 with the Spence-led Imagine Meeting You Here, featuring the Satoko Fujii Orchestra Kobe, one of many (it's hard to keep count) ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jamie Saft, Steve Swallow, Bobby Previte: You Don't Know The Life

Read "You Don't Know The Life" reviewed by

Since his 1997 recording debut, keyboardist Jamie Saft has carved out a dynamic profile, first (mostly) with John Zorn's Tzadik label and, since 2011, with RareNoise Records. A string of four releases on the label set the stage, beginning with 2014's trio outing The New Standard, through Loneliness Road (2017) (another trio set, with Iggy Pop sitting in on a few tunes), Solo A Genova (2018), and the quartet recording, Blue Dream, featuring saxophonist Bill Henry. It was a busy ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eugenia Choe: Verdant Dream

Read "Verdant Dream" reviewed by

New York-based pianist Eugenia Choe released one of the finest debuts of 2017 with Magic Light (SteepleChase Records). It was a trio outing of the highest order, featuring a distinctive and interactive trio interplay with bandmates Danny Weller (bass) and Alex Wyatt (drums). Choe proved herself a fine interpreter of tunes from Billy Strayhorn and alto saxophonist, Benny Carter, but it was her eight originals that--exploring, in part, the aspect of light--that stole the show. Now, as 2018 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Allison Au Quartet: Wander Wonder

Read "Wander Wonder" reviewed by

Toronto-based, Juno Award-winning alto saxophonist Allison Au and her quartet present their follow-up to 2017's Forest Grove (Self Produced) with Wander Wonder. The set of all Au originals--with keyboardist Todd Pentney co-writing “Force Majeur"--opens with a translucent dreamscape, “The Valley," that sounds like something that Daniel Lanois might have cooked up. The quartet follows up this wandering and brief-but-gorgeous opener with a buoyant modern jazz gem, “Future Self." Au proves herself, again, a marvelous composer of engaging, accessible ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lawful Citizen: Internal Combustion

Read "Internal Combustion" reviewed by

The Montreal-based quartet Lawful Citizen has come up with an unusual subject on which to pin its theme. Its debut disc's title, Internal Combustion, contains the four part “Internal Combustion Suite" that addresses, in part, the power that has driven our cars (and motorcycles, and lawnmowers...) for the better part of the last century. The suite opens with this saxophone and a guitar/bass/drums quartet's dreamy and foreboding groove--tranquil and and eerie at the same time, with a metallic, egalitarian sound ...