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Articles by Troy Dostert

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Johnaye Kendrick: Flying

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It's been four years since vocalist Johnaye Kendrick released her debut album, but her sophomore outing, Flying, was certainly worth the wait. With finely-honed vocal chops channeled through some compelling compositions of her own and a few distinctively-performed covers, Kendrick is a complete artist, and this record will undoubtedly win her a lot of new listeners. Kendrick has an equal fondness for jazz, pop and R&B, and while all these influences are amply represented here, what's most noteworthy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets)

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Artists don't release Live at the Village Vanguard recordings unless they've truly got something to say. The list of recordings from that fabled venue, run for decades by the incomparable Max and Lorraine Gordon, is indeed long and legendary, with well over 100 titles to date, including some of the most iconic recordings in jazz history. John Coltrane's sets from 1961 might be at the very top of the pile, but those by Bill Evans and Sonny Rollins would certainly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lina Nyberg: Terrestrial

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Idiosyncratic to the core, ambitious beyond measure, and knowing no idiomatic limitations, since the early 1990s Swedish vocalist and composer Lina Nyberg has captivated and surprised listeners with the astonishing range of her unique artistic vision. She has performed with a “who's who" list of Swedish musicians, from iconic figures like Esbjörn Svensson and Palle Danielsson to out-leaning players like Mattias Ståhl, Magnus Broo, and Torbjörn Zetterberg. Her repertoire and arrangements are consistently imaginative and courageous, and her regular band--pianist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomeka Reid, Kyoko Kitamura, Taylor Ho Bynum, Joe Morris: Geometry of Caves

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A free-jazz veteran meets up with three musicians quickly establishing their own impressive legacies on the bewitching Geometry of Caves, a wholly improvised affair that offers plenty of intrigue and vigorous four-way dialogue during seven imaginative pieces. Guitarist Joe Morris's long recording career has seen him working with giants like William Parker, Anthony Braxton and Ivo Perelman, but he's also connected with a newer generation of players, including folks like Nate Wooley, with whom he recorded Ninth Square ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Geof Bradfield: Yes, and...Music for Nine Improvisers

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Since the early 2000s, saxophonist and composer Geof Bradfield has been an integral part of the ever-fertile Chicago jazz scene, bringing his substantial talents to music that easily bridges the divide between the traditional and the avant-garde. His records have explored a remarkable range of styles and themes: from African Flowers (Origin Records, 2010), which traced the intersections between African folk forms and American jazz, to Melba! (Origin Records, 2013), Bradfield's tribute to trombonist/arranger Melba Liston, to Our Roots (Origin ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fran Vielma: Fran Vielma & Venezuelan Jazz Collective: Tendencias

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Continuing the long, fruitful history of jazz's intermingling with Afro-Caribbean music, percussionist Fran Vielma brings his considerable talents to bear in offering a distinctive melding of jazz with Latin forms--but with a special focus on his native Venezuela. Joined by some outstanding instrumentalists, such as trumpeter Mike Rodriguez and alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, Vielma sketches a rich, multifaceted and deeply enjoyable musical world. This is Vielma's first recording date as a leader, but one wouldn't know it by ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ivan Baryshnikov Quartet: Journey

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Capturing his East-to-West life trajectory, Russian saxophonist Ivan Baryshnikov's debut Journey documents his path through the jazz world via his origins in Moscow, an intervening stay in the Netherlands, and his ultimate arrival in New York, the end-point of his travels (for now). It's a well-conceived set of ten original pieces, with a convincing display of post-bop chops from the leader and his bandmates. Baryshnikov's partners represent a cross-section of young talent; they're not household names yet, but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Martin Nevin: Tenderness is Silent

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After numerous sideman appearances with a wide swath of the jazz world, from Albert “Tootie" Heath to Greg Osby and Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Martin Nevin felt it was time to take on a more prominent role. For Tenderness is Silent, his debut disc as a leader, he's assembled a top-flight band, especially as these players are fully dialed-in to Nevin's vision--one that relies much more on subtle, understated beauty than overt gestures and “look-at-me" showmanship. Pianist Sam Harris, drummer Craig ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alain Mallet: Mutt Slang

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Pianist/keyboardist Alain Mallet has been known as much for his work as a producer as for his pianistic accomplishments. Having served as a sideman for Madeleine Peyroux, Phil Woods and Paul Simon, he's also produced music by vocalists Jonatha Brooke and Grace Kelly. And his compositions have been performed by musicians as diverse as Gary Burton, Dave Samuels and Paquito D'Rivera, which gives a sense of the breadth of his musical affinities. That wide-ranging spirit is certainly the defining characteristic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Angelika Niescier - Christopher Tordini - Tyshawn Sorey: The Berlin Concert

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For almost twenty years, German saxophonist Angelika Niescier has been creating forward-thinking jazz that expertly straddles the line between intricate structure and freewheeling energy. Nowhere was this aesthetic vision realized more acutely than on NYC Five (Intakt Records, 2016), her quintet album co-led with pianist Florian Weber. A delightful and infectious release, it signaled Niescier's rise to prominence among the front ranks of contemporary jazz musicians, a status further solidified the following year when she won the Albert Mangelsdorff Prize, ...