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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper: Cubist

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Hal Galper has been in the jazz limelight now for over a half century, establishing his trademark sound in more traditional settings with alto saxophone luminaries Cannonball Adderly, and Phil Woods, and trumpet legend Chet Baker. Yet in the new century, Galper has turned the piano trio concept on its collective ear, something that hadn't taken place in the jazz universe since Bill Evans entered the fray with his conversational approach to the trio with Scott LaFaro, and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Waldrop: Origin Suite

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Drummer / vibraphonist Michael Waldrop's intriguing Origin Suite (deftly arranged by Jack Cooper) sweeps away musical boundaries to make its points, one of which is that big-band jazz needn't be ensnared in a time warp but is capable of changing with the times to engender songs that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are thematically stylish. The three-movement suite, written to feature Waldrop on drums and vibes, calls to mind in its powerful opening and closing narratives ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hal Galper Quartet: Cubist

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Count pianist Hal Galper as another veteran rising like the brightest of stars into a compelling late career zenith. An alumni of saxophone great Phil Woods' 1980s group, Galper found his inspiration of late with an exploration of the Rubato Style of playing, with its flexible approach to tempo and the disassembling of melodies and putting them, slightly askew, back together again, somewhat in the mode of the Cubist painters. Think Picasso, an image of a human figure in profile, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Waldrop: Origin Suite

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Percussionist and big band leader Michael Waldrop has had a very successful relationship with composer Dr. Jack Cooper, late of the University of Memphis, Berlin, and parts unknown. Waldrop attended the University of Memphis for his master's degree (helming Cooper's Jazz Orchestra of the Delta) before completing his doctorate at the University of North Texas. Their previous big band collaboration, Time Within Itself Origin, 2015) was received with favorable reviews at All About Jazz. This was Waldrop's debut recording leading ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dawn Clement: Tandem

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It only takes one listen to Tandem to understand that pianist-vocalist Dawn Clement is a people person with a penchant for trying different things. That openness to various individuals and action points shows itself to be the heart of this collection of duo performances. Despite being a prominent presence on the Seattle scene, working with high profile leaders like soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom, and having a handful of highly praised albums under her own name, Clement ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Zilber: Originals For the Originals

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Saxophonist/composer Michael Zilber is better known by fellow musicians than by the jazz public, this is an unfortunate truth. The Vancouver, B.C., native moved to Boston in his late teens, then to New York City to begin his musical odyssey. Musicians there recognized his prodigious talent, resulting in recordings with jazz royalty such as Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt, the Brecker Brothers and Dave Liebman. Zilber has spent the last 25 years in the San Francisco area, though he ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLean: Parts Unknown

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This inventive Chicago Quartet finds Kurt Elling's long time backing team comprised of guitarist John McLean and bassist Clark Sommers pushing into original sonic adventures with fresh modern twists. The band's debut outing for Origin Records also features drummer Xavier Breaker and vibes veteran Joe Locke whose tone and style accompanies and interacts perfectly with John McLean's subtle but poignant Guitar lines.Locke's modernistic “Blondie Roundabout" launches this long player to some speed with a very approachable guitar driven ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Josh Nelson: The Sky Remains

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Josh Nelson has seen quite a bit in recent times, diving deep into the human psyche with singer Sara Gazarek, moving through inner spaces with vibraphonist Tyler Blanton, exploring retrofuturistic realms inspired by the writings of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, and touching down on Mars for a thorough musical exploration of the Red Planet. So where could he possibly want to go after traveling so far and wide with his pen and piano? Right back home, of course. With ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Triocity: I Believe In You

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Here's a formula we've all seen before: take three musicians and let them loose on a program of standards and Great American Songbook chestnuts. It sounds all too simple and pedestrian, right? Guess again. When you're talking about the combined creative forces of multi-reedist Charles Pillow, bassist Jeff Campbell, and drummer Rich Thompson, the potential of said endeavor changes drastically. The whole is most certainly greater than the sum of its parts when those musicians come together as Triocity, and ...