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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: I Try To Remember Where I Come From

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Originally from Chicago, baritone saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson calls Brooklyn, N.Y. home these days but absorbed the creative spirit resident in the Windy City's progressive jazz legacy early on his career, studying and performing with some of the best. For example, he learned a great deal under the tutelage of woodwinds master Mwata Bowden, who is a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians. With his fourth album as a leader and first for Clean Feed, the artist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Harris Eisenstadt: On Parade In Parede

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In Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi's acclaimed 1994 novel Pereira Maintains, a critical turning point comes during the central character's stay in the spa town of Parede in Portugal. It's not too much of an exaggeration to suggest a similar advance for drummer Harris Eisenstadt's Canada Day in a live date from the same locale. Usually a quintet (occasionally even an octet), the unit has provided an accomplished vehicle for Eisenstadt's small group compositional output. But stripped back to a foursome, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Angelica Sanchez: Float The Edge

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Here, New York City-based pianist Angelica Sanchez employs the herculean rhythm section of Michael Formanek (bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums) and is the follow-up to her duet outing with renowned trumpeter, composer Wadada Leo Smith, Twine Forest (Clean Feed, 2014). Sanchez can be quite cerebral and is irrefutably focused while also showing a penchant for injecting harmonious motifs into her body of work. For the most part, she seldom takes the band into extended free-form jaunts while also ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Angelica Sanchez: Float The Edge

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Pianist Angelica Sanchez has become an in demand side person since her move to NYC from Arizona in 1995, performing with Wadada Leo Smith, Tony Malaby, Kevin Norton, Harris Eisenstadt, and Susie Ibarra, among many others. But her own leadership discography remains slighter than might be expected. Surprisingly Float The Edge represents her first entry as part of a traditional piano trio. As if to make amends, Sanchez has recruited strong players in bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Motif: My Head Is Listening

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Formed in 1998, Norwegian sextet Motif celebrates its sixth release with My Head Is Listening and its second on Clean Feed following Art Transplant (2011). Bassist Ole Morten Vågan, who co-founded the outfit with reedman Atle Nymo, is once again responsible for all seven compositions. As well as Motif, he boasts some heavyweight credits with Joshua Redman, Chick Corea and Kris Davis, and testament to his organizational skills, has also been appointed Artistic Director of the renowned Trondheim Jazz Orchestra ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rob Mazurek: Rome

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Rob Mazurek has long been entrenched in his eclectic, global and multi-media creative sphere making it easy for listeners to forget his musical roots. With his 1994 leader debut, Man Facing East (Hep Records), he had already shown signs of breaking with convention, particularly on the title track of that album. The electro-acoustic cornet and keyboard player and visual artist began his music career in Chicago, working his way through hard bop and progressive rock before finding his place in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Martin Küchen: The Spirit Of Piteşti

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Sometimes a scene in a movie or a book persists in the mind long after being viewed or read. Sometimes an aroma can conjure a feeling from the past. Memory is often connected to emotion in an unconscious manner. Substitute sound for scent and the passions can be equally strong. The Swedish/Norwegian trio of saxophonist Martin Küchen, bassist Per Zanussi, and drummer Raymond Strid known as the Trespass Trio are the sonic equivalent of our collective memory. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Lindberg: Western Edges

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Released simultaneously with Born In An Urban Ruin (Clean Feed, 2016), Western Edges reveals yet another facet of bassist John Lindberg's interest. The Raptor Trio reunites Lindberg with saxophonist Pablo Calogero, a comrade from NYC's loft jazz era, when both were 16 years old. Calogero, who was also involved in proto hiphop groups, has been little heard of on the jazz scene, apart from featuring on Lindberg's Trilogy Of Works For Eleven Instrumentalists (Black Saint, 1985). And on this showing ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jonah Parzen-Johnson: I Try To Remember Where I Come From

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Chicago native and Brooklyn resident Jonah Parzen-Johnson has strong links to the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), having studied with that organization's Mwata Bowden. Parzen-Johnson--a co-leader of the Afro-beat ensemble, Zongo Junction--plays the baritone saxophone and analog synthesizers in each of his lofi solo outings, to date. His new album I Try To Remember Where I Come From furthers Parzen-Johnson's exploration of his genre-defying music.A creator of experimental music in a different vein, Parzen-Johnson had ...


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