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 Jim Olin

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Blakeslee Quintet: Selective Coverage

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Selective Coverage is a remarkable and forward-thinking release by the Sam Blakeslee Quintet. The project reaffirms the group's ability to break the patterns and explore new ideas, while staying true to the aesthetics of contemporary jazz. But beneath the technical precision and creative compositions is the deeper meaning of the album's title; it is inspired by the experiences of minorities, their struggles in how they are portrayed by the media and need for universal health care. One of ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marcelo Maccagnan: Looking Ahead

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New York-based Marcelo Maccagnan is an artist whose music is a refreshing blend of different styles and creative ideas. On his latest album, Looking Ahead, Maccagnan has delivered a collection of exotic, sharply sculpted instrumentals that fascinate and awaken the senses. His electrifying bass playing casts a hypnotic spell but each of his fellow musicians are given opportunities to shine, too. On Looking Ahead, Maccagnan is able to seamlessly combine the inner elegance and warmth of jazz with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michon Young: Love, Life, Experiences, Vol. 2: Driving to Purpose

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While a number R&B artists are pretty good and content at making fun, engaging, and catchy music, others actually love to go the extra mile and take a different direction. These artists are hoping and willing to inspire the audience as well as sharing their personal views and opinions on many different topics, including relationships and self-growth. This is most definitely the case with singer/songwriter Michon Young and her well-crafted new album, Love, Life, Experiences, Vol. 2: Driving to Purpose. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aya Ishida: Day by Day

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Aya Ishida has the kind of softly enveloping, fragile voice that can sing just about anything and make it instantly appealing. Her voice itself is an instrument, rising and lowering with the overall temperature of each track. It can soar or caress depending on the mood of the song. This New York jazz singer has a magnetic set of pipes, and her debut album Day by Day captures their ability to soothe the ears with crystalline production and tasteful musicianship. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Rauh: Viriditas

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New York City-based composer/guitarist Charlie Rauh has a special take on his music, focused on the avant-garde side of jazz. His sound is laced with intriguing melodies and dynamic rhythms, inspired by genres as diverse as experimental and free improvisation, to mention a few. This eclectic and diverse creative approach that Rauh is able to introduce into his sound fuels the imagination, and it definitely sets the bar higher. His latest album Viriditas is a unique combination of gripping sonic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daniel Biro: 120 Onetwenty

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Great music is all about passion, and this is definitely the fundamental ingredient behind Daniel Biro's heartfelt new release, 120 Onetwenty. This amazing music project really blurs the lines between a wide variety of styles, including ambient, instrumental experimental composition, jazz, and a lot more. Biro is proceeding forward while simultaneously looking to the past. His stated goal here is paying homage to the challenging, futurist vision of '70s and '80s synthesizer architects such as Vangelis and Kraftwerk as well ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jambalaya 37: Cooking Groove

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Cooking an amazing meal is a little bit like making music with a band. You have to know what ingredients harmonize well together, and you have to understand what it takes to add just the right spice to come up with a truly mouthwatering end result. It's about the magic of chemistry, how various pieces develop into a sizzling whole. Jambalaya 37 is a fantastic ensemble whose music combines the depth of acid jazz, but it also incorporates ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alpha Rhythm Kings: California Boogie

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Alpha Rhythm Kings is a group with a fondness for charming retro vibes and timeless melodies, inspired by the golden age of jazz and swing. Their music is groove-driven, direct, and approachable, making for a diverse yet refreshingly familiar sound. Their most recent release is a studio EP titled California Boogie, which exemplifies the group's tone and style. The record features four tracks, including opening number “Oh Marie," a catchy and sophisticated song with playful jazz melodies and fantastic lead ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lou Lanza: Scenes from an Italian: The Billy Joel Project

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Lou Lanza is a charismatic jazz artist with a unique approach to his creativity. His 2018 album Scenes from an Italian: The Billy Joel Project is not about original songs, but it is actually about offering an original spin on the tunes of one of the most beloved songwriters of all time: Billy Joel.Through his tasteful jazz arrangements, laced with subtle melodies and sophisticated grooves, Lanza set out to uncover the true core of Joel's infectious hooks, revealing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marius Billgobenson: The Sum Of My Pardon

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Marius Billgobenson is a performer with a heartfelt and spontaneous songwriting approach, yet his music blurs the lines between high-level musicianship and raw, creative instinct. His 2017 album, The Sum of My Pardon, is a really accomplished project that has a strong, poignant tone and beautiful production. Along with his trusted group, Billgobenson set out to craft a record that truly redefines the boundaries of jazz, incorporating elements as diverse as R&B, world music, blues and a lot ...