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Articles by Mike Jurkovic

LIVE REVIEWS

Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet at Birdland Theater

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Darrell Grant Black Art @ 25 Quartet Birdland Theater New York January 16, 2019 In the tumultuous, twenty-five year interim since his debut, Black Art took the early to mid-'90s jazz community by storm. Pianist Darrell Grant has built for himself a solid, respected, and steady, if low-profile rep; an unapologetic, gentleman post-bopper whose infectious swing brings a room to its feet. So it's only natural that Grant come to Birdland Theater, in the city ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Julian "Cannonball" Adderley: Swingin' In Seattle, Live At The Penthouse 1966-1967

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Julian “Cannonball" Adderley and his merry men--brother/cornetist Nat Adderley, bassist Victor Gaskin, backbeat king drummer Roy McCurdy and bursting-at-the-seams-with-new-ideas pianist Joe Zawinul--were having themselves a high time during 1966-67, that Renaissance time of adventure between Cecil Taylor's Unit Structures (Blue Note, 1966), Miles Smiles (Columbia, 1967) and the colorful, imagination emancipations of Sgt. Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band (Capital, 1967) and Charles Lloyd's live Forest Sunflower (Atlantic, 1967). Into this froth drops Cannonball's earthy and jocular soul/blues/jazz and “Mercy, Mercy, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Harold Mabern: The Iron Man: Live At Smoke

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Hard-bopping pianist Harold Mabern may have made his recording debut in 1959 with drummer Walter Perkins' quintet and led his first session in 1968 for Blue Note on the soulful A Few Miles From Memphis but here he is, at 82, playing with straight-ahead, youthful joie de vivre on the story telling, life affirming, two-disc set The Iron Man: Live at Smoke. Working as hard as ever with his long standing trio of tenor saxophonist and former student ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Emmet Cohen Trio: Dirty in Detroit

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It's very comforting to know that, in a year of intense turmoil on every possible level, firebrand pianist Emmet Cohen bookended an otherwise dire 2018 with his hotly-received Masters Legacy Series Volume 2, featuring Ron Carter, and ended the year with this palpably joyful romp Dirty In Detroit. Ready to party and blow off steam on the last night of a long tour, Dirty In Detroit was recorded live in September 2017 at Detroit's ever-hopping Dirty Dog Jazz ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Anna Mia: Miasophy

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The music heard on Miasophy by Ukrainian singer Anna Mia and her distinctly ethereal quintet is a haunting, robustly compelling listen. Like spectral apparitions, her voice and the band conjure oddly shadowed, yet decisively intimate cabaret atmospheres, drawing you back to the whole or a particular song when you least expect it. The band, trumpeter Yakov Tsvetinsky, keyboardist Mikhail Lyshenko, double bassist Yury Natsvlishvili, and drummer Arthur Frolov are an energetically resilient combo, creating for Mia and her ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Parks: Little Big

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Pianist/composer Aaron Parks' recording career began when, at the impressionable age of eighteen, he signed on with Terrence Blanchard and recorded several noted albums with the trumpeter, most notably the soundtrack to Spike Lee's Invisible Man and Blanchard's own, Grammy winning A Tale of God's Will (Requiem for Katrina (Blue Note, 2007). In the creative interim there have been other recording ventures, including his highly regarded Blue Note Records debut, Invisible Cinema (2008), and his elemental solo excursion on ECM, ...

YEAR IN REVIEW

Mike Jurkovic's Best Releases Of 2018

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Fully steeped as I am in two guitars, bass, and drums, I keep listening, learning and thankful the jazz steels my spine. A quick thank you to my patient editors here at All About Jazz and a special thank you to all the musicians who have contacted me from around the world. Let's not stop creating. It's our only defense to the soul gripping chaos that passes these days as living. Nik Bartsch Awase

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lisa Hilton: Oasis

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Like whispers of a better place just around the corner if you're prepared to take the ride, the tunes on West Coast mainstay and prolific pianist/composer Lisa Hilton's exciting, well paced Oasis work their way into your listening space and take up residence. They hop, bop and bounce along her keyboard. Hilton, who has enlivened stages across the continent and counts among her jazz influences Horace Silver, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington as well bluesman Muddy Waters, rockers ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Erik Palmberg: First Lines

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With his glowing, congenial sound, a straight-ahead, uncluttered reading of Irving Berlin's “How Deep Is The Ocean" introduces the listener to Swedish trumpeter Erik Palmberg's unfussy, eleven song debut, First Lines. First Lines is a traditional session rather than a raucously modern one, more tempered then let-loose-the-reins. Yet the mix of eight originals and two other American cornerstones finds Palmberg and his partners, pianist Anton Dromberg, drummer Gustav Nahlin, and bassist Peder Waern, articulate and sensitive to their ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Eden Bareket Trio: Night

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There are plenty of rapid, skittering, minimalist moments on Night, young baritone saxophonist Eden Bareket's shadowy sophomore effort. In a smoky, late-night jam, with the moon hovering over the Brooklyn Bridge, Bareket runs the range of his instrument on eight lean and feisty originals and Matti Caspi's “Lost Melody." Bareket's solos are dark, sonorous, slippery concoctions as they wind their rubbery way, banking tight corners and wide turns, while his sinewy rhythm section of bassist brother Or Bareket ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Kelly Green: Volume One

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If we were talking baseball, pianist, vocalist, and composer Kelly Green would be highly touted as a three tool player. And she deserves to be. From every angle she hears breaks and stops, harmonic and melodic whoops, swoops and vocal dips and dives that the rest of us maybe don't until the artist makes them as present and immediate as breathing. Stepping away from the larger sound that powered 2017's critically accepted, self produced debut, for the bracingly ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

John Escreet: Learn To Live

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From the light, airy smoothness of “Opening," through the nomadic, polyrhythmic, suite “Broken Justice (Kalief)" (which brings to contemporary life Weather Report's axiom: “Everyone solos but no-one solos") to the poppy, practically Stevie Wonder-ish “Lady T's Vibe," keyboardist/composer John Escreet's fusion proves to be a many-headed, sinewy hybrid. All are brought to the forefront on Learn To Live. Employing a host of new and old keyboards, and a band of like-minded originals, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, drummers Eric Harland ...