Articles by Mark Sullivan

ALBUM REVIEWS

Go: Organic Orchestra & Brooklyn Raga Massive: Ragmala: A Garland Of Ragas

Read "Ragmala: A Garland Of Ragas" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Percussionist Adam Rudolph performed and recorded extensively with World Music originator Yusef Lateef from 1988-2013, and has performed with trumpeters Don Cherry, Jon Hassell, and Wadada Leo Smith, among others. He became a composer after being inspired by Cherry (also one of World Music's originators) while staying at his home. In the Go: Organic Orchestra he has developed a remarkable improvisational conducting style. The Orchestra has been active for nearly twenty years; their first recording was Go: Organic Orchestra: 1 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nat "King" Cole: Nat "King" Cole: Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)

Read "Nat "King" Cole: Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Before pianist/vocalist Nat King Cole had a career as a pop crooner—his many hits included “All for You," “The Christmas Song," “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66," “(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons," “Nature Boy" and “Mona Lisa" (the No. 1 song in 1950)—he led a successful jazz trio which featured both his piano playing and vocals. This voluminous collection aims to document all of his early work. There are many surprises for those who only know the pop hits, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jan Garbarek / The Hilliard Ensemble: Remember Me, My Dear

Read "Remember Me, My Dear" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

When Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek first collaborated with The Hilliard Ensemble (a British vocal quartet that specialized in early music) it was an experiment, done at the suggestion of ECM founder/producer Manfred Eicher. No-one anticipated a huge crossover hit, but Officium (ECM, 1994) was so successful that it was followed by Mnemosyne (ECM, 1999) and Officium Novum (ECM, 2010). Remember Me, My Dear is taken from 2014 concert recordings, made during the year that the Hilliards disbanded. So ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Maciej Obara Quartet: Three Crowns

Read "Three Crowns" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

For its sophomore ECM release this Polish/Norwegian quartet titled the album after the Trzy Korony summit of the Pieniny mountain range in the south of Poland. While it may be premature to describe the album as a peak or summit, it is a substantial artistic statement. There have been prior jazz interpretations of works by Polish composer Henryk Mikołaj Górecki—whom Maciej Obara came to know before his 2010 passing while living in the composer's hometown of Katowice—but the two versions ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Mareike Wiening: Metropolis Paradise

Read "Metropolis Paradise" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

German-born drummer/composer Mareike Wiening makes her first full-length album and Greenleaf Music debut with Metropolis Paradise. This all-original program is a winning display of her composing, drumming and band-leading, with the help of a very sharp band. Returning from her earlier EP Crosswalk (Self Produced, 2015) are double bassist Johannes Felscher (a fellow Nuremberg native), Canadian guitarist Alex Goodman—now a New York resident, last heard from as a leader on Second Act (Lyte Records, 2017)—and tenor saxophonist Rich Perry. Pianist ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Chris Brubeck at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art

Read "Chris Brubeck at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Chris Brubeck Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Jazz at the Bechtler Charlotte, NC October 4, 2019 The “Jazz at the Bechtler" series celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, and next year is composer/pianist Dave Brubeck's centenary. So it is appropriate that Dave's son Chris was the special guest for a pair of concerts with the Ziad Jazz Quartet. Chris spent several years playing with his dad's group, and has established himself as a composer/trombonist/bassist/pianist ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Franco Ambrosetti Quintet: Long Waves

Read "Long Waves" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Veteran Swiss jazz trumpeter/flugelhornist/composer Franco Ambrosetti leads what amounts to a blowing session: mostly his originals, plus a couple of standards. But what a band it is. In bebop's heyday the group likely would have been billed as “All Stars." Guitarist John Scofield, pianist Uri Caine, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Jack DeJohnette have an illustrious playing history--as leaders and sidemen--with Amrosetti and many others. They take a remarkably measured approach, sounding like a real band rather than a collection ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Penguin Cafe: Handfuls Of Night

Read "Handfuls Of Night" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Penguin Cafe continues in the tradition of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra, producing individualistic minimalist music using acoustic instruments. Previous album The Inconstant Sea (Erased Tapes Records Ltd, 2017) dabbled in dance music, with versions of Simian Mobile Disco and Kraftwerk tunes. This time the theme is the Antarctic: Greenpeace commissioned composer Arthur Jeffes to write four pieces of music corresponding to four breeds of penguins, to help raise awareness for the endangered Antarctic seas. So Jeffes (who has visited the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ruben Machtelinckx: Sualme

Read "Sualme" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

As a local resident, Belgian musician Ruben Machtelinckx was asked to contribute to Kunst en Zwalm (Art and Zwalm) 2019, a contemporary art festival that happens every two years in Zwalm, a small village on the Belgian countryside. Machtelinckx settled on a sound diary format, taking a digital recorder and instruments he could bring with him by bicycle. The recordings he made include field recordings, improvisations and compositions: they are presented without any overdubs or edits. “Mijnmwerker I" ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill Frisell: Harmony

Read "Harmony" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Iconic guitarist-composer Bill Frisell has chosen to primarily emphasize the Americana side of his music for his debut as a leader for Blue Note Records. When Frisell organized his new band with vocalist Petra Haden, cellist Hank Roberts and guitarist-bassist Luke Bergman he was struck by the fact that all of the band members but him sang, so their vocal blend became the group's signature sound as well as the inspiration for the name Harmony. Upon first hearing, the album ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Jazz Room Special Edition: Trumpet Summit

Read "Jazz Room Special Edition: Trumpet Summit" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Jazz Room Special Edition: Trumpet Summit Booth Playhouse Charlotte, NC September 20, 2019 There's something about the trumpet: brash, brassy, loud, and always a powerful lead voice in any ensemble. If one trumpet is all of those things, imagine what five would sound like. For the Jazz Room's second Trumpet Summit six trumpeters were scheduled, but five turned out to be the perfect number. Ariel Mejia (who would have been the youngest of the group) ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

MeVsMyself: Mictlán

Read "Mictlán" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

MeVsMyself is the name that Italian experimental vocalist Giorgio Pinardi uses for his solo voice project. It refers to the ancient Aztec representation of the after-life. In this religious concept, all souls explore eight different dimensions after death before reaching their final rest, a voyage reflected in the eight tracks here. Given the inspiration for the project, it should not be surprising that Pinardi draws on a wide variety of vocal traditions from all over the world. The process is ...


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.