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Jazz Articles | Blog

BEST OF / YEAR END

Mark Sullivan's Best Releases of 2016

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So many reviews this year, in so many genres, that I've split them into two categories--"Jazz" and “Latin, World & Experimental"--in response to the feeling that I was trying to compare apples to oranges. They're presented in more or less chronological order, and the guiding principle was whether I had a clear memory of the recording even before I went back to listen to it again. A few of these were drawn from Multiple Review articles, and I cheated a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Morten Schantz: Godspeed

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Old friendships are never forgotten, and sometimes they grow stronger as time goes by. This is also the case with musical friendships. Back in the days, in 2005 exactly, pianist and composer Morten Schantz played with saxophonist Marius Neset and drummer Anton Eger in the acclaimed group JazzKamikaze. They were full of youthful energy and to this day, the group has not officially disbanded. The members have also moved on to other projects. Both Neset and Eger ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases of 2016

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Another year is almost in the books. And while there were many things to fret about in 2016, a lack of good music wasn't one of them. A quick look back at the year reminds us that jazz legends remain strong, rising stars continue to rapidly ascend, newcomers are making their presence felt, and the dearly departed are gracing us from the great beyond. I had the pleasure of listening to hundreds of new jazz albums for review consideration this ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Karl Ackermann's Best Releases of 2016

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2016 has proven that jazz and creative music in general, are healthier than ever. Artists like Steve Lehman, Nate Wooley and Vijay Iyer continue to push the envelope while those like Bob Gluck find ways to make the old, very new. This list is--for the most part--outside the mainstream because that is where artists risk the most to tell their stories; it is where many listeners go to be challenged. Nate Wooley Seven Storey Mountain V ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Morgan: Songs Of Life

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There's no greater teacher than life. Its bounties and tragedies, triumphs and defeats, and strange flirtations with absurdist theater and dead on truth have a way of enriching perspective and giving us the tools to communicate at a much deeper level. Few embody that fact better than vocalist Scott Morgan, who, after studying music in college in the '80s, taking a protracted time away from the art form, and reengaging with the craft at the dawn of the new millennium, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Wee Trio: Wee +3

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The Wee Trio delivered quite a bit of variety over the course of its first four albums. The first two--Capitol Diner, Vol. I (Bionic Records, 2008) and Capitol Diner, Vol. II: Animal Style (Bionic Records, 2010)--established the musical ground and syntax that are part and parcel of this three-way partnership; Ashes To Ashes: A David Bowie Intraspective (Bionic Record, 2012) demonstrated much of what can be done to mutate and honor David Bowie's music, almost foretelling the growth of Bowie-inflected ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David S. Ware & Matthew Shipp Duo: Live In Sant'Anna Arresi, 2004

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Saxophonist and composer, David S. Ware (1949-2012), was one of the most original voices in modern jazz and his uncompromising approach to his art was deeply connected with a spiritual understanding of life. To Ware, playing and listening to music were different aspects of the essence of life. Ware left behind a rich discography and, fortunately, new musical treasures are still coming. One of them is a live recording from Sant'Anna Arresi with his long-term-collaborator, the pianist, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jason Klobnak: Hark The Herald

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Sleigh bells, synths, slick layers of sound, and a forthright trumpet are making seasons bright here. Colorado-based trumpeter Jason Klobnak dips his toe into Christmas music with a contemporary spin on “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" that's both fun and ripe. It's a work that's seriously produced but lighthearted in tone. While Klobnak's recordings thus far have focused on quintet-based dynamics, he moves in a new direction for this one-off holiday single. It only took three men ...


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