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Articles by Glenn Astarita


Dave Liebman - Tatsuya Nakatani - Adam Rudolph: The Unknowable

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Sax great David Liebman, multitalented percussionist, bandleader Adam Rudolph and prominent Japanese percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani project an otherworldly, Uber world jazz tome on this recording of spontaneous compositions, where song titles were appended by Rudolph as he listened to the track mix. Thanks to the crystalline audio characteristics, the production offers a very detailed soundstage. The percussionists employ an arsenal of Eastern and Western instruments, aside from Rudolph's live electronic processing maneuvers as the music encompasses an electro-organic ...


Pilgrims: Oriental Orbit

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This International trio's second album contains an East meets West nomenclature, but a case can be made that their unique bridging of various modalities defies strict categorizations. Enhanced by audiophile qualities, the recording radiates a mystical communion of diverse instrumentation that toggles between conventional world jazz norms and a horde of tasty abstracts or pieces where Marco Jencarelli's electric guitar lines signal glimpses of jazz fusion. Vocalist, percussionist Tony Majdalani's Middle Eastern-based chants on various pieces float above John Wolf ...


Markus Eichenberger & Daniel Studer: Suspended

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Here, two prominent and well-traveled Swiss improvisers, Markus Eichenberger (clarinets) and Daniel Studer (double bass) align their imaginations by exploring minimalist and microtonal trajectories while using space as an additive. Moreover, the duo attains synergy via largely, restrained dialogues. The musicians' delicate approach intimates the power of suggestion, where they can lull you into a trance or raise the pitch on pieces that may also intimate self-analyzation processes vis terse exchanges. As deft expressionism enacted with choice notes play a ...


Bob Holz: VISIONS: Coast to Coast Connection

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Jazz fusion drummer Bob Holz and longtime friend, bassist extraordinaire Stanley Clarke (Return to Forever) record together for the first time, namely on two tracks, also featuring bassist Ralphe Armstrong (Mahavishnu Orchestra) and a stellar cast of East and West Coast musicians. Nonetheless, Holz doesn't reinvent the wheel here, but conveys a cheerful vibe via his solid compositions and buoyant arrangements that equate to a contemporary slant on jazz fusion. With that notion in mind, Holz and associates have not ...


Dusan Jevtovic: Live at Home

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Prominent Serbian guitarist Dusan Jevtovic and his fellow countrymen recorded this synergistic set at a venue in Kragujevac, Serbia. It's a limited-edition CD release, but available as a digital download and via streaming mechanisms. Nonetheless, it's an album where the musicians seemingly play the right notes, sans any extraneous dabbling, tinkering or excessive soloing jaunts. Even the improvisational segments are devised on purposeful storylines that often encircle a given theme, largely set upon progressive rock and distinguished keyboardist Vasil Hadzimanov's ...


Simon Phillips Protocol: 4

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All-universe drummer Simon Phillips can navigate just about any rock-related genre with the greatest of ease, given his tenure with Toto, The Who; voluminous discography as a session artist and ongoing leadership with his jazz-rock ensemble, Protocol. On 4 guitar hero Greg Howe replaces Andy Timmons, and Dennis Hamm takes over keyboard duties for Steve Weingart, along with longstanding member, bassist Ernest Tibbs. Ultimately, Phillips strikes gold on the latest rendition, perhaps looming as the band's finest outing to date.


Osmosis: Osmosis

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Here's a band that largely went under the radar after its lone LP release for RCA Records in 1970. Based in Boston, renowned reedman Charlie Mariano looms as the only well-known musician in this septet. But that's not to say the other members lacked any technical acumen and/or a fertile imagination, especially when looking back into the advent of the jazz rock and jazz fusion movements that sprouted during this time. The updated liners by journalist Sid Smith ...


Joao Camoes - Jean-Luc Cappozzo - Jean-Marc Foussat: Autres Paysages

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Electronics ace Jean-Marc Foussat (France) and trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo (France) are established purveyors of whatever may constitute 'new music' loosely skirting the fringes of improvised jazz or perhaps, open-ended experimental frameworks. Here, they team with a willing partner, viola performer Joao Camoes (Portugal) for a session that conjures an electro-organic vibe and spans numerous emotive sensations, whether the music may be pointed to existential, sober or magical manifestations. During the three extended pieces, the trio executes dark, foreboding ...


Norbert Stein: We Are

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Venerable German saxophonist, composer Norbert Stein's various ensemble manifestations draw inspiration from the work of 19th century scientist, Dr. Faustroll who developed the 'pata physics' theory, defined as a science centered on “unreal logic." Here, the artist leads a quartet under the moniker “Pata Messengers," which is a semi-free program framed on linear thematic sequences that contain underlying melodic content with spacious intervals and rhythmically complex unison runs. Certain works spark notions of Ornette Coleman's harmolodic principles as ...


Cairo: Say

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Keyboardist/vocalist Rob Cottingham is the founder of the highly regarded UK-based progressive rock outfit, Touchstone. Yet Cairo is a new venture with Lisa Driscoll sharing vocal duties for an album that exceeds expectations due to the largely memorable works that bridge gorgeous and wistful harmonies with the musicians' impressive technical faculties. The band's resonating soundstage is the output of interstellar mini-motifs, theatric intervals, and pummeling grooves, all executed with clarity of thought and thematic incursions that purvey a sense of ...