Articles by Hrayr Attarian

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

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Album Review

Johnny Gandelsman: Hemingway

Read "Hemingway" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Documentarian Ken Burns is an accomplished storyteller and on Hemingway he tackles the life of another masterful author, Ernest Hemingway. For the soundtrack of this intriguing, three-part film a group of genre-bending modern virtuosos perform nine mesmerizing originals. Released on award winning violinist Johnny Gandelsman's In A Circle label the album features, in addition to Gandeslman, several notable artists. The Latin flavored “Un Gitanito En La Habana,” composed by Venezeulan keyboardist Gonzalo Grau, mixes Afro-Cuban motifs with hints ...

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Album Review

Wu Man & Kojiro Umezaki: Flow.

Read "Flow." reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


The various East Asian musical heritages share some similarities yet are distinct in many important aspects. Japanese-born, USA-based composer & shakuhachi (bamboo flute) player Kojiro Umezaki joins award-winning Chinese pipa (lute) virtuoso Wu Man for a set of enchanting solos and duets on the intimate Flow. Together they highlight those shared elements and beautifully contrast the differences. The album is made up of five impressionistic movements, four of which are named after the seasons of the year. Man ...

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Album Review

Rodrigo Faina and Change Ensemble: Different Roots

Read "Different Roots" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


The cohesive and captivating Different Roots is Rotterdam- based guitarist and composer Rodrigo Faina's cinematic debut for the Red Piano label. For this six-part suite, Faina draws inspiration from three literary works from his native Argentina, two by Julio Cortazar and one by Jorge Luis Borges. On this genre-defying release, Faina also conducts the Change Ensemble which consists of several accomplished European, primarily Dutch, musicians. In fact, Faina utilizes the orchestra as a single unit at times and ...

4

Album Review

The Flatland Quartet: Songs From The Urban Forest

Read "Songs From The Urban Forest" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


The members of The Flatland Quartet are not only accomplished improvisers, they are socially aware artists. Their activism permeates Songs From The Urban Forest. This is not only because the proceeds from its sale will be donated to the Sacramento Food Bank. All six interrelated pieces are simultaneously abstract and earthy, marked by a sublime balance of the cerebral and the emotive. Opening the set is “Joe Hill's Last and Final Will." It is built around the poem ...

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Album Review

Jon Raskin: Synergy Signals

Read "Synergy Signals" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Saxophonist Jon Raskin does not need an introduction as he is one of the most accomplished improvisers alive today. Both as a member of the renowned Rova Saxophone Quartet and with his other ensembles, Raskin has been at the forefront of creative music for over four decades. On the brilliant Synergy Signals, he joins forces with two intrepid Bay area artists, pianist Chris Brown and bassist Jason Hoopes, as well as the venerable Russian drummer Vladimir Tarasov for a genre-defying ...

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Album Review

Sana Nagano: Smashing Humans

Read "Smashing Humans" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Violinist Sana Nagano is an idiosyncratic and accomplished artist who is immersed in New York's avant-garde scene. Her sonic experiments are an end in themselves, thrilling and provocative as well as quite intimate. Nagano's debut with her new quintet, the electrifying, Smashing Humans, expresses this singular vision to its fullest, creating a wholly absorbing work of rare beauty. The cinematic “Humans in Grey" starts off with Nagano playing repeating scales that saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum echoes. The entry of ...

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Interview

Meet BlueStem Jazz's Dave Stone & Thomas Ferrella

Read "Meet BlueStem Jazz's Dave Stone & Thomas Ferrella" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


Since 2016, and even through the pandemic of 2020, jny: Madison Wisconsin has hosted a steady stream of improvisational music concerts. The majority of these are thanks to the organization named after Wisconsin's native grass, BlueStem Jazz. Founded by two retired professionals and melophiles this non-profit, award-winning establishment is dedicated to promoting and hosting a wide range of creative musicians, broadly falling into the categories of experimental, progressive or avant-garde. David Stone, a retired mechanical engineer, and Thomas Ferrella, a ...


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