Articles by David A. Orthmann

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

REASSESSING

In The Moment

Read "In The Moment" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The trail of splendid hard bop influenced recordings extends well beyond the genre's heyday of the 1950s and '60s. A case in point is trumpeter John Swana's appropriately titled In The Moment. The 1996 release on the Criss Cross Jazz imprint merits the exalted status of its celebrated predecessors. Captured in a one-day studio session, despite the familiar stylistic lineage it sounds fresh, spontaneous and unsullied. A sextet of intrepid, strong-willed individuals fully commit themselves to a program of compelling ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Dease: Never More Here

Read "Never More Here" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Perhaps the most significant thing about Never More Here, trombonist Michael Dease's seventh outing for the Posi-Tone imprint, is the striking polarity of two of the disc's four outstanding tracks, “Mirror Image" and “Blue Jay." In a recording filled with compositions by J.J. Johnson, John Lewis, Jackie McLean and Jimmy Heath, pianist Renee Rosnes' “Mirror Image" commands respect equal to these distinguished predecessors. It doesn't readily fit any familiar jazz niche or template, possesses a somewhat stately air, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tom Tallitsch: Ten

Read "Ten" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Ten is a recording that resides and functions well in a stylistic no man's land. Tenor and soprano saxophonist Tom Tallitsch and his clever band display little interest in paying homage to easily recognizable jazz styles; yet, they don't make a point of abandoning traditional practices either. Taking a stab at some basic descriptions of some of Tallitsch's six compositions--medium tempo swing, skewed jazz-funk, a deliberately paced jazz waltz, Latin-tinged jazz, etc.--amounts to something of a fool's errand. Suffice it ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Andy Fusco: Vortex

Read "Vortex" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Vortex, Andy Fusco's fourth release on the SteepleChase imprint in as many years, is cause for celebration. Until recently, recordings by the veteran alto saxophonist as a leader have been few and far between. The date reunites Fusco with tenor saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, who composed four of the selections and arranged nine of the ten tracks. The Fusco/Weiskopf association began decades ago in the sax section of the Buddy Rich Big Band and eventually resulted in a number of noteworthy ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges

Read "Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Rabbit's Blues: The Life and Music of Johnny Hodges Con Chapman 218 ISBN: #978-0-19-0655390-3 Oxford University Press 2019 It's difficult to fathom the existence of a jazz musician in the position of a featured soloist of an internationally recognized large ensemble, year in and year out, for decades, making a good living and deriving a fair amount of artistic satisfaction from this endeavor, as well as consistently receiving kudos from peers, critics and ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Leonieke Scheuble: June 2019 Tour

Read "Leonieke Scheuble: June 2019 Tour" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Located right in front of a train station, the South Orange Gazebo is an uncommonly boisterous location for a jazz concert. Whistles blowing, brakes screeching, trains arrive and depart every ten minutes or so. Automobiles access parking lots via a rotary about fifteen feet away. Their horns and sound systems blare as drivers compete for space. The South Orange Fire Department building stands across the street from the gazebo. On a warm evening in late June, the blast of a ...

LIVE REVIEWS

John Richmond at The Turning Point Cafe

Read "John Richmond at The Turning Point Cafe" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

John Richmond The Turning Point Cafe Annual Gemini Birthday Bash Piermont, NY June 10, 2019 The night began with a question of the identity of an alto saxophonist on a Miles Davis recording that was playing on The Turning Point Café's sound system. John Richmond, tenor saxophonist and the Monday Jazz Sessions curator, put pre-set preparation on hold, grabbed his cell phone and found a wifi hotspot in the semi-basement space to search for ...


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