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Articles by Jim Worsley

ALBUM REVIEWS

Douyé: Quatro Bossa Nova Deluxe

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Sultry songstress Douyé takes listeners by the hand and assuredly leads them through an enchanting and intoxicating stroll amidst the rich sounds of Brazil and the percussive shimmer of Africa. This sixteen-song effort is heartfelt and glides impeccably with a mood-enhancing glow. Throughout Quatro, Douye rides the crest of instrumental ripples that touch the shoreline with finesse and tenderness. A brilliant enclave of notable and accomplished jazz musicians adds their collective talents to an array of ensembles. Their buoyancy and ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Tom Kennedy: In A New York Minute

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Riding high on the low end since arriving in New York City in 1984, premier jazz and fusion bassist Tom Kennedy has shared his groove and innate musicality all over the world. He has shared the stage and recording studio with a long list of varied and talented artists. Names like Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Lee Ritenour, David Sanborn, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Weckl, Joe Sample, and Nat Adderley merely scratch the surface of Kennedy's association with outstanding musicians. Signature deep ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Erik Palmberg: Swiss Time Was Running Out

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2018 has been a year of many outstanding and surprising new records. One worth special notice is First Lines by Swedish trumpeter Erik Palmberg and his quartet. Featuring mostly original compositions, the music is fresh and crisp yet steeped in jazz tradition. The 37-year-old instrumentalist spoke about his new album and musical background with All About Jazz. All About Jazz: Do you consider First Lines to be a triumphant first record as a leader? How did this record ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Massimo Colombo: Italy's Erudite Jazz Pianista

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Nestled in Northern Italy, the city of Milano is steeped in artistic tradition. Revolutionary in the historical sense in literature, music, art, science, and other scholarly endeavors, Milano is still today a hotbed of innovation and a source knowledge and creation. Enter one Massimo Colombo to the forefront of the conversation. A gifted jazz pianist, Colombo was born in Milano in 1961. In addition to his inventive and wide-ranging jazz narrative on the keys, Colombo is a true ...

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Erik Palmberg: First Lines

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Straight-ahead jazz, with minimal modernism, is at the forefront of this dense and measurably paced recording. First Lines is the first record from veteran Swedish trumpeter Erik Palmberg as a leader. Joining him for the session are pianist Anton Dromberg, drummer Gustav Nahlin, and bassist Peder Waern. This eleven-song creation features eight original tunes from Palmberg. These rich compositions are notably tempered and melodic. The arrangements enable four skillful and accomplished musicians to fuse together as an ensemble, ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Marcus Miller: America's AmBASSadoor

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Marcus Miller is most often described as a jazz, funk, soul, fusion, and R&B bassist. As much as that is accurate, it is a description that falls well short of the mark. Miller is a high-end musical sponge who manages to incorporate today's cultures and rhythms into his compositions, layered within the framework of sound he has polished over the past four decades. He is perhaps best known as a musician in connection with Miles Davis, David Sanborn, ...

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Leni Stern: 3

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For her critically acclaimed Dakar Suite (Leni Stern Recordings, 2016), Leni Stern presented her African enhanced sounds with lavish 10-piece orchestrations and arrangements complete with horns and violins. For this 2018 release, Stern's compositions were written specifically for a 3 piece, as opposed to adapting a 10 piece composition. Hence the title. The “Khavare" (party) gets started with the sabar (a Sengalese drum) cadence of percussionist Alioune Faye. This lively tune is broadened by bassist Mamadou Ba and ...

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Monika Herzig: Sheroes

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Composer and pianist Monika Herzig embarks on carefully scored passages against a bevy of broad sonic palettes on her 2018 release Sheroes. Herzig has long championed female empowerment in jazz, as well as other forms of music. For Sheroes she assembled an international cast featuring many of the finest musicians in the world. A total of nine musicians, including Herzig, brought their wealth of talent and band leading skills into the studio. The results are rewarding and sophisticated ...

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Massimo Colombo: Powell To The People

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Powell To The People could certainly be heard as a tribute to jazz pianist Bud Powell. It could just as easily be heard as an introduction to the legend's iconic music. It fulfills both categories with the emotion and virtuosity Powell exuded in his playing. Powell pioneered a new era of post swing bebop during the 1940's. His revolutionary style was the forerunner to Red Garland, Horace Silver, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Wynton Kelly, and the many other ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Michael Landau: The Guitarist's Guitarist

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"He is the best guitarist in the world," states guitarist and Grammy winner Steve Lukather. Indeed, Michael Landau is an important figure in the modern era and one of the most widely respected guitar players on the planet. Landau made his mark as an A list session player in the '80s and '90s. He has, perhaps, recorded on more records than any other guitarist in history. I did say perhaps. I don't believe that category is in the ...

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Bekken and Gjems: Spell

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Dr. Bekken's last record, Live At Bar Moskus (Blue Mood, 2017), was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy (the Spellemannprisen). That was a hard-driving solo, boogie-woogie upright piano performance. For Spell, the good doctor writes a new prescription for traditional Norwegian folk infused with New Orleans style jazz. Harmonicist Richard Gjems is co-featured. Bekken and Gjems have been collaborating for over ten years now. Gjems has also been nominated for a Spellemannprisen in the past. On this outing he ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Incendio: The Fire Within

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If sophisticated, richly dense, multi-layered instrumental music is your thing, then you may already be a fan of the critically acclaimed band Incendio. Co-founded in 2000 by guitarist Jim Stubblefield, bassist Liza Carbe, and guitarist JP Durand, Incendio boldly blends a plethora of genres. Jazz, flamenco, rock, Latin, Spanish, world, classical, pop, Middle-Eastern, and Celtic, are amongst the lively mix. The Los Angeles-area based band boasts an energy and passion that suits their vivid genre exploration. It could ...