Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

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Articles by Nicholas F. Mondello

ALBUM REVIEWS

Brad Goode: That's Right!

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The first collaboration between trumpeter Brad Goode and saxophonist Ernie Watts is a case study in superior musicianship and improvisation. It also illustrates how two frontline performers and their supporting band can achieve excellence as a creative ensemble. The kickoff, “Half Moon," an original from pianist Adrean Farrugia, is reminiscent of the popular work of Chuck Mangione. Goode states the theme and chases all the clouds away before Watts enters to echo the theme and stretch out ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Pierluigi Villani: Stanic Boulevard

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Stanic Boulevard from drummer Pierluigi Villani and his Ensemble is a very distinctive album which offers highly-textured contemporized original compositions, each from a group member and each of which is performed with superb musicianship and exquisite taste. It is jazz collaboration at its best. “More or Less," the driving opener, delivers a rock-blueish melody reminiscent of Horace Silver. It speaks energetic hard bop, soulfully written and very well-performed. Pianist Miko Maria Matera, guitarist Fabio Pignataro, and Villani ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Tony Adamo: Was Out Jazz Zone Mad

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The translation of “Adam" from Hebrew--from which the surname Adamo springs--means from the “ground" or “soil." It also derives from the Hebrew word for red, a la “red clay." Perhaps that is why any work from Tony Adamo is rare earth--gritty, and flaming crimson. Was Out Jazz Zone Mad Adamo's latest, his first for Ropeadope, is all of those things and more.Adamo is the Heavyweight Champion of “hipspokenword," wherein lingo meets vocalizing at the corner of jazz and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Victor Haskins: Showing Up

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Since he burst onto the scene, Victor Haskins has developed a robust reputation as a modern-day jazz storyteller. His utterly sincere approach to his art is in the highest jazz tradition of exploration and innovation. With Showing Up, Haskins has taken his message to yet another higher level. The album, Haskins' second, presents his “Skein"--comprised of himself acoustically and electro-enhanced, a bassist and percussionist--delivering ten highly intelligent, textured tracks. Each presents its own eclectic musical poetry. Haskins ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Denise Donatelli at Mezzrow

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Denise Donatelli with Geoffrey Keezer Keezer and Ron Blake MezzrowNew York, NY January 7, 2019 The intimate vibe at Club Mezzrow is hands-down the perfect musical playground for the versatile talents of Denise Donatelli, Geoffrey Keezer and Ron Blake--the skills of which were eminently displayed during the trio's opening set last evening. Ms. Donatelli yet again demonstrated that she is a vastly talented and engaging vocal artist--one who absolutely revels in such ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Porter: Charlie Porter

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Charlie Porter is an album that is musically and structurally reminiscent of those iconic M.C. Escher prints: dizzying ziggurats, waterfalls to some/nowhere and eye-teasing figure-ground images. Porter, with the able assistance of his local colleagues -all ace musicians -has created an intriguing, intelligent recording that simmers and boils over with ingenious original compositions, stellar musicianship, and a marvelous sense of puck. “Prologue" has Porter's unaccompanied trumpet bellowing a five-note Miklos Rosza-like fanfare before he bursts into a ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Arturo Sandoval: Scoring Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule”

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Trumpet legend and 10-time Grammy winner, Arturo Sandoval was recently personally selected by Hollywood legend--and noted musician and composer--Clint Eastwood to compose the soundtrack for Eastwood's eagerly-awaited and newly released motion picture, The Mule. Both the film and soundtrack have received rave reviews. The Maestro joined All About Jazz to discuss the project. All About Jazz: Maestro, on behalf of All About Jazz, thank you for taking time to speak with us about your composing the soundtrack for ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Giacomo Gates: G8S

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2018 worldwide news reports have detailed all sorts of technologically-assisted archaeological finds. In the US, a previously unreleased John Coltrane album and other musical discoveries have popped up. And--whaddya know?--here is an unreleased and enhanced set of tracks from the Hipster to the Hip, Giacomo Gates. And it is a helluva find, you dig? G8S, originally laid down in 2005, is a short-form release of four tunes performed by Gates and a hip vibes and rhythm quartet. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Blue Jay Patten: Street Scene

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With Street Scene, multitalented musician/composer/producer Blue Jay Patten engages in a highly entertaining tribute to (and stroll through) Nashville, “Music City." Patten--long a fixture in the 'ville--and his various crews deliver an eclectic, upbeat, and all-around fun tour. As is the city it salutes, Street Scene is a veritable gumbo of genres--contemporary, jazz, country, gospel, pop and folk--each approached with integrity, outstanding musicianship and sparkling sass. Appropriately for a Nashville nod, the instrumental opener, “Rocky Top," has Patten's ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Gordon Au: Untraditionally Mad About Trad

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Gordon Au draws upon a palette ranging from the traditional jazz of Louis Armstrong to the modern jazz of today. In New York, Gordon leads the Grand St. Stompers, a traditional jazz band called “a pillar of New York's hot jazz scene" by The New York Times, and appears with the Grammy-winning Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks, the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland, Dandy Wellington, and others. He is in demand around the country as a soloist (International Trumpet ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Barbara Reed: On Stage

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Musicians who are also authors tend to be relatively common -it's those Muse juices, you know. Mary Higgins Clark would title her books with the names of well-known popular songs. Popster parrotter Jimmy Buffett and even Madonna have penned. Barbara Reed, however, does it all: she's an outstanding vocalist/pianist/composer/lyricist--and a celebrated author whose work on all embraces song. The LA-based Reed has been a fixture on the So Cal music scene for years. She's a solid, musically-grounded ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The New England Jazz Ensemble: Peter and the Wolf

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Sergei Prokofiev's classic work, Peter and the Wolf, has been recorded by just about every ensemble on the planet, save Johnny Puleo and the Harmonicats. Furthermore, it has been guest narrated by some of the greatest (Richard Attenborough, Ben Kingsley, Sir John Gielgud) and also oddest voices (Bill Clinton with Sophia Loren and Mikhail Gorbachov, Antonio Banderas also with Loren, and Sharon Stone). However, there's never been as hip, pulled-together version than that recently recorded by the New England Jazz ...