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Articles by Jerome Wilson

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Devin Gray: Dirigo Rataplan II

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Dirigo Rataplan is a group led by drummer Devin Gray that contains three outstanding musicians with Baltimore ties, saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, trumpeter Dave Ballou and bassist Michael Formanek. They first recorded in 2012, and six years later they have released a followup CD, Dirigo Rataplan II, with a rambunctious inside-outside style that is based on strong melodies and rhythms but still allows plenty of room for fiery improvisation. Several of the tracks are built around heavy rumbling bass ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Rathbun Large Ensemble: Atwood Suites

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Andrew Rathbun is a Canadian saxophonist who has made a major musical statement here with this collection of suites, two of which are based on the poetry of author Margaret Atwood. Rathbun's writing shows the influence of another Canadian, Kenny Wheeler, in its lush sonority, the frequent gorgeous flugelhorn solos by Tim Hagans and the role of Luciana Souza, who both sings Atwood's poetry with gentle forcefulness and moans wordlessly within the orchestral ensembles, the same way Wheeler often utilized ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shane Dylan: When It All Makes Sense

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Shane Dylan is a young pianist studying at Boston's New England Conservatory who has put out a debut CD that tries to show the breadth of his musical interests. It is split into two halves, the first with more groove-oriented material, the second going in a more mainstream jazz direction. The first half covers a lot of ground under the “groove" umbrella. Two of the tracks cover popular r'n'b songs. An atmospheric version of Erykah Badu's “Orange Moon" ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 3: The Literature

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Before now saxophonist Rich Halley has chosen only to play original music on all his recordings as a leader. Now, on his twenty-first disc, he changes up and goes back to what he calls “the literature," the music and musicians that influenced his career path. Most of what he covers here is by iconic jazz figures like Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman but he also reveals a few surprise influences. The music is played by a ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Forward Into The Past

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It's in the nature of most jazz musicians to reach out for the new but a few find their inspiration in the music of the pre-bebop era. Here are three examples. Ernie Krivda and Swing City A Bright And Shining Moment Capri Records 2018 Saxophonist Ernie Krivda is a longtime mainstay of the Cleveland jazz scene, one of those tenor players whose hard-blown notes come out in a seemingly effortless flow. He's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

This is It!: 1538

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For 2018, the year of her 60th birthday, pianist and composer Satoko Fujii has set herself the task of releasing a CD every month in all sorts of configurations, from solo piano and duos to small groups and orchestras. Her trio, This is It!, is a new group derived from an earlier quartet that featured bassist Todd Nicholson. Nicholson left, leaving behind a trio of Fujii on piano, her husband Natsuki Tamura on trumpet and Takashi Itani on drums which ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Geof Bradfield: Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers

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The Compass Players was a legendary theatrical ensemble in Chicago whose members developed several improvisational games to stimulate their creative instincts. One of these was called “Yes, and..." where one person would start telling a story and everyone who followed would have to continue the story however they wished from the point the previous speaker ended. Saxophonist Geof Bradfield has applied the concept of that game to this project, writing a suite for nine improvising musicians where each movement builds ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Adi Meyerson: Where We Stand

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Adi Meyerson is a young bassist and composer living in New York City. She shows a healthy respect for jazz tradition on her debut CD but also shows the ability to play around with more open-ended musical forms. Most of the tracks have the feel of a hard-blowing '60s jazz combo with Joel Frahm's tenor sax and Freddie Hendrix's trumpet swooping and punching in unison over lively rhythm playing before soaring into their individual solos. “Eunice" has a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phil Haynes & Free Country: My Favorite Things(1960-1969)

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There have been several jazz projects that looked back at the popular music of the 1960's, but none have been as all-encompassing as what drummer Phil Haynes and his band Free Country do here. They touch on Baby Boomer favorites like Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and James Brown, but their sweep of the Sixties is wide enough to also bring in Leonard Bernstein and John Coltrane. This quartet of guitar, cello, bass and drums is extremely flexible in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kristina Koller: Perception

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Kristina Koller is a 23-year-old vocalist who shows a knack for mixing things up on her debut album. Her song list contains venerable standards along with original material and songs by fairly recent rock acts like Blink-182 and Bon Iver, while her arrangements of the material encompasses everything from mainstream acoustic jazz to hip-hop and funk. As a result you get versions of “I'll Remember April" and “Blame It On My Youth" that sport elegant acoustic piano underlined ...