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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chamber 3: Transatlantic

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Chamber 3 began as a trio effort started by German guitarist Christian Eckert, and Seattle based drummer Matt Jorgensen, who forged a friendship while studying at the New School in New York in the early nineties. Over the years, they engaged in many projects and tours together, culminating in this project that includes German tenor saxophonist Steffen Weber. The band added a fourth member in the person of Seattle bassist Phil Sparks for their last release, Grassroots (OA2, 2017), and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hans Teuber & Jeff Johnson: Deuce

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Bassist Jeff Johnson and multi-reedist Hans Teuber have a musical and personal friendship that goes back to the late eighties when both first arrived in the northwest outpost that is the city of Seattle. The jazz scene in the Pacific Northwest has always been prolific, though to many, a hidden gem outside of the main pulse of jazz cities such as New York and Chicago. In many ways, Deuce, is a snapshot of 30 years of musical give and take, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bongwool Lee: My Singing Fingers

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The music of pianist Bongwool Lee has a hopeful feeling. The Korean-born and now New York-based artist drew her first jazz inspiration--after classical studies in her homeland--from the work of Oscar Peterson, who sent much musical time walking on the sunny side of the street. But where Peterson rolled mostly in the jazz standards/Great American Songbook realm, Lee presents, on her debut recording, My Singing Fingers, a set of compelling original compositions. With one exception--the Ray Henderson-penned classic “Bye Bye ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kobie Watkins: Movement

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Solidifying a musical 'voice' could take five years, or it could take 15 years. Yet when an artist's 'voice' or style comes, well, you just know it. The result is work with musical moves that are distinctive and ideas that are au courant. Drummer/Composer/Bandleader Kobie Watkins' voice resounds with artistic certainty and savoir faire on his second album entitled Movement (Origin Records, 2018), featuring the Kobie Watkins Grouptet. Watkins, a Chicago native, has toured and recorded as a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Anschell: Shifting Standards

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Seattle based pianist Bill Anschell has created a tremendous body of work over the the past 30 years, as a composer, musical director, and pianist. He returned to Seattle in 2002 after 25 years abroad and formed a relationship with Origin Records, releasing more than a dozen records both as a leader and co-leader. Whether composing and performing original pieces, or interpreting standards ranging from Cole Porter to Lennon/McCartney, Anschell has consistently upheld a rare standard of excellence.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra: Without A Trace

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Grudging good wishes to New Yorkers who are able to see and hear the world-class Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra on a fairly regular basis. Everyone else must make do with the occasional recording (Without a Trace is only the second by the ten-year-old ensemble which made its debut in 2008). That's not nearly enough, of course, but on the other hand, better than nothing, so some gratitude is in order. Reeves, a trombonist who also composes, arranges ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hans Teuber & Jeff Johnson: Deuce

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Bassist Jeff Johnson's first recording for Seattle's Origin Records was 1999's Free. Saxophonist Hans Teuber was there, and he was there on Johnson's subsequent Origin outings: The Art Of Falling (2001), Near Earth (2004), and Suitcase (2011). It's a relationship that has made beautiful music--mysterious and oddly sacred sounds that exude a smooth-flowing timelessness. All of these were trio or quartet affairs. Now Teuber and Johnson take the ultimate test of compatibility, with their duo recording, DeuceThe pair's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra: Without A Trace

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The Scott Reeves Jazz Orchestra follows up the highly successful debut album Portraits and Places (Origin, 2016), with another masterpiece recording on Without A Trace offering new and exciting arrangements of three standards and four creative Reeves originals that all together, pack quite a powerful musical punch. A full-tenured professor at The City University of New York (CUNY), composer, trombonist and flugelhornist Reeves, takes this twenty-piece ensemble to a higher level in fashioning a riveting musical statement that is sure ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chamber 3: Transatlantic

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Seattle-based drummer Matt Jorgensen tattoos every recording he releases with a mark of bold, clean modernity--whether working with his group Matt Jorgensen + 451 on Hope (Origin Records, 2004) and Another Morning (Origin Records, 2008), or Tattooed By Passion (Origin Records, 2010). Add in scores of sideman slots. His is a distinctive sound, compositionally and instrumentally, on his own or backing his labelmates. Transatlantic is the second outing by the Jorgensen vehicle, Chamber 3, a follow up to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benjamin Boone: The Poetry of Jazz

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Benjamin Boone's The Poetry Of Jazz could easily have been titled The Jazz of Poetry because of the almost interchangeable nature of the terms. The composer/saxophonist's vision to put music to the U.S. Poet Laureate Philip Levine's prose is a reminder to listeners that jazz was birthed by the common man, and is not to be kept in an ivory tower.Both professors at Cal State Fresno, Levine and Boone had performed together before, and the saxophonist had used ...