Articles by John Sharpe

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

ALBUM REVIEWS

Uwe Oberg, Joe Fonda, Lucía Martínez: Relight

Read "Relight" reviewed by John Sharpe

The presence of bassist Joe Fonda guarantees an outward bound listen which still has some foothold in conventional tonality. On Relight, he joins a multinational threesome completed by German pianist Uwe Oberg and Berlin-based Spanish drummer Lucía Martínez, which stakes its claim at the confluence of jazz and free improvisation, in a concert from the 2019 Just Music Festival in Wiesbaden. Fonda buys into the collective ethos, shared by Oberg and Martínez, which places as much emphasis on percussive textures ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ivo Perelman / Matthew Shipp / William Parker / Bobby Kapp: Ineffable Joy

Read "Ineffable Joy" reviewed by John Sharpe

It can be hard not to reach for words like 'transcendent' when listening to Brazilian saxophonist Ivo Perelman. He balances his love of the upper registers with an unsentimental lyricism which is difficult to resist. For his ESP debut, Perelman reconvenes the trusted line-up from Heptagon (Leo, 2017) of long-standing associate pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist William Parker and drummer Bobby Kapp on eight collectively-sculpted pieces from a studio session in April 2018. They create music in an alchemy ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bobby Bradford / Frode Gjerstad / Kent Carter / John Stevens: Blue Cat

Read "Blue Cat" reviewed by John Sharpe

Following on from Day Two (2019), the Lithuanian NoBusiness imprint issues another archive tape by Detail, the collective founded by Norwegian reedman Frode Gjerstad and English drummer John Stevens. By 1991 when this live set was captured, original bassist Johnny Dyani had died and had been replaced by expatriate American Kent Carter. Also on the album and deserving top billing was special guest cornetist Bobby Bradford, a onetime sideman to Ornette Coleman, who had toured and recorded with the previous ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Schlippenbach / Narvesen Duo: Liminal Field

Read "Liminal Field" reviewed by John Sharpe

Liminal Field is the alluring second album from the intergenerational duo of German pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and Norwegian drummer Dag Magnus Narvesen, following on from the limited edition LP Interweaving (Not Two, 2018). A veteran of the European free movement, Schlippenbach is revered for leading the Globe Unity Orchestra, his long standing trio with Evan Parker and Paul Lovens, and his interpretations of the Thelonious Monk canon. By comparison, Narvesen may be much less known, but among ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steve Swell / Robert Boston / Michael Vatcher: Brain In A Dish

Read "Brain In A Dish" reviewed by John Sharpe

It is hard to think of a more complete trombone player on the scene than Steve Swell. While a go-to sideman for the likes of William Parker, Ken Vandermark, Jason Kao Hwang and Tim Daisy, he has also amassed a significant body of work over the years in his own right. Although his output has featured compositions of increasing sophistication, Swell remains a committed and accomplished improviser, and that is the turf he stakes out on the eleven extemporized studio ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Liquid Quintet: Bouquet

Read "Bouquet" reviewed by John Sharpe

After three albums by his Liquid Trio, Catalan pianist Agustí Fernández augments the regular line up of drummer Ramon Prats and saxophonist Albert Cirera with guests bassist Barry Guy and reedman Don Malfon. In the liner notes, Fernández traces the original threesome's lineage back to the Alexander von Schlippenbach Trio and, by implication, to their forebears, the Cecil Taylor Unit. Although, in his realization, the band retains the energy of free jazz, the emphasis on sonic exploration pushes them further ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Steve Lehman Trio + Craig Taborn: The People I Love

Read "The People I Love" reviewed by John Sharpe

On The People I Love, alto saxophonist Steve Lehman, Janus-like looks back, while simultaneously looking forward. He recruits celebrated pianist Craig Taborn to bolster his longstanding trio of bassist Matt Brewer and drummer Damion Reid. It was once said that Taborn was fated to play better on other people's records than his own. Happily that is no longer the case, but his enduring commitment gives him MVP status in this team, and that's saying something. Lehman enlists his help not ...


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