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Articles by Mark Corroto

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonathan Finlayson: 3 Times Round

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Listening to the music of Jonathan Finlayson is kind of like being in the audience of a TED Talk where the entire house is packed with PhDs. You understand the presenter is operating on a higher level, and so the acquisition of knowledge requires attention and some discipline. But you come to expect a challenge from this trumpeter/composer. Schooled the past 18 years as a member of Steve Coleman's Five Elements, Finlayson delivers music with a surgical precision, as evidenced ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joris Teepe: In The Spirit Of Rashied Ali

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In politics, as well as music, the revolutionaries rarely govern. With the exceptions of Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Marion Brown, and Rashied Ali exemplify this theory. Thankfully, those fighting in the trenches alongside the insurgents, like Joris Teepe, are determined to keep their memory and spirit alive. The Dutch-born New York bassist performed and recorded with Rashied Ali for nine years until the drummer's death in 2009. This project preserves that relationship and is a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hamid Drake / Ralph M. Jones / Adam Rudolph: Karuna

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Adam Rudolph's music has always been exotic and yet familiar, far-flung, and seemingly nearby. Then again, the same can be said of Hamid Drake and Ralph M. Jones' work. This trio is sort of a dream team of performers. OK, just about every project Rudolph completes is a stellar combination created for a particular purpose. Presently, the Tibetan word for compassion, Karuna, is fitting. These dozen tracks radiate a kindness and humanity. The music is empathic for the listener because ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Doug Webb: Fast Friends

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There is nothing as soul cleansing as bebop. Period. When you couple the music with the sunshine of Los Angeles (OK, when the smog has cleared) there is a medicinal, tonic effect to be had. Enter L.A. session saxophonist Doug Webb, a contributor to film and television, and member of big bands led by Bill Holman, Doc Severinsen, and Don Menza. Fast Friends is his eighth release for Positone. His previous disc, Bright Side (2016) featured trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, guitarist ...

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Iluso Records: DIY from two dreamers

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Australian drummer Michael Caratti and Spanish-born New York-based guitarist Álvaro Domene founded the record label Iluso in 2013 to release their quartet recording Gran Masa. The pair found they shared similar interests while in school at Middlesex University in London. And why not put out their own music? That way they could control the content and retain all the rights. Additionally, with the decline of brick-and-mortar record shops and the increase in internet digital downloads, there are very few reasons ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Miguel Zenon: Yo Soy La Tradicion

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As a rule, it is best to encounter a piece of music with an appreciation of its provenance. For jazz listeners, even though the act of listening is an exercise in discovery, roots are rarely an issue. That is, until an artist delivers something novel. Such is the case with Yo Soy La Tradicion by saxophonist Miguel Zenón. The Guggenheim and MacArthur Foundation Fellowships recipient was commissioned in 2016 by the Hyde Park Jazz Festival to compose a suite for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Per Gärdin / Travassos / Marco Franco: Oblique (trio)

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You've come to expect a music review to direct you to pay close attention to a particular passage or solo in a recording. But what if a commentator suggested the best manner to appreciate a recording was to dissipate one's attention and dissolve it into the ether? How would you then experience the music? Would it be through touch, taste, or sight? Certainly not through smell. The trio of Per Gärdin, Travassos, and Marco Franco want you to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Naughton / Leo Smith / Perry Robinson: The Haunt

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You might have heard the cheer go up with the reissue of The Haunt, vibraphonist Bobby Naughton's 1976 trio recording with trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and clarinetist Perry Robinson. Crate diggers have treasured the long out-of-print original release on Naughton's Otic Records. Thanks to Lithuania's NoBusiness Records, we have this important document remastered, plus an additional alternate take of “Slant." Turning our wayback machine to the mid-1970s, creative jazz was being supplanted by jazz/rock and fusion. Miles Davis ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hearts & Minds: Electroradiance

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It took millions and millions of years of evolution to produce dinosaurs that weighed 40 tons. Who'd have thunk it possible that those creatures are the ancestors of modern birds? Same consideration might be applied to the trio Heart & Minds. That is, if you're not into the whole creationist jazz scene. Some of those dinosaurs appeared to be a bizarre patchwork of feathers, armor, and teeth. Really big teeth. But there was an internal logic to these evolutionary adaptations, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

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You thought not, but you can put the genie back in the bottle. What we're talking about is the specter unleashed by Miles Davis with Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970). Davis' expanded lineup for BB with ten-plus musicians, including the electric pianos of Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, and Larry Young, Bennie Maupin playing bass clarinet, a young guitarist John McLaughlin, two bassists, percussion, and more percussion, and oh yeah, Wayne Shorter's saxophone was ever present. Charles Pillow did that with his ...