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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Dan Banks Quintet: Two in a Box

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On Two in a Box, British pianist Dan Banks' quintet revisits a Golden Age in jazz when hard bop was king and record labels like Prestige and Blue Note delivered the latest sounds to an astute and appreciative audience. Without mimicry, Banks reimagines the indomitable spirit of such masters as Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Bobby Timmons, Horace Silver and their peers, while trumpeter Paul Higgs bares his inner Lee Morgan /Donald Byrd / Woody Shaw / Freddie Hubbard and tenor ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Simon Eskildsen Trio: Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio

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The art of the piano trio is very difficult to master and yet very simple. It is all about chemistry. Three players trying to find a language together, traversing a path that has been explored so many times before. Keeping the heavy heritage of the piano trio in mind, including leaders like Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett, it is even more impressive when a young piano trio releases a debut that already seems ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Łukasz Adamczyk: Affirmative

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Łukasz Adamczyk is a driven, passionate and charismatic artist with a unique approach to his music. His songs are melodic and catchy, yet energetic and uplifting, seamlessly blurring lines and barriers between various genres. The key element behind Adamczyk's sound is certainly his extremely eclectic approach as a performer. On his recent release, Affirmative, Adamczyk has mastered the fine art of writing songs that are deeply personal, yet sophisticated and deep in terms of production and dynamics. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tarik Abouzied: Happy Orchestra: Baba

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Go ahead, laugh it up. After all, how could you possibly take seriously a band called Happy Orchestra, that uses the classic yellow happy face as a logo in this visceral world of jazz we inhabit? How could this leader, a drummer in fact, produce music that is both danceable, and satisfying to the elite jazz audience, all the while throwing joy and humor into the mix? If you are indeed asking yourself questions such as these, then you don't ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Charlie Ballantine: Where Is My Mind?

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Indianapolis-based guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine continues on the eclectic path forged on Providence (Self Produced, 2016) on Where Is My Mind?, his third self-produced outing as a leader. Ballantine is again joined by alto saxophonist/flutist Amanda Gardier, with a new rhythm section of bassist Jessie Whittman and drummer Jay Tibbitts. In the absence of a keyboard there is even more emphasis on the guitar. It's all twangy Americana on openers “Real Things" and “Jones"--Gardier doesn't join in until the last part ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Roger Beaujolais: Sunset

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Maybe it should be a law that every vibraphonist is required to cover Bobby Hutcherson's “Little B's Poem." Okay, perhaps we don't need such a law, but as with pianists covering compositions by Thelonious Monk, a requirement like this would enable us to get the measure of the musician. Here Roger Beaujolais, on his 19th studio album Sunset, sets his sights on the Hutcherson classic. He is joined by pianist Robin Aspland, bassist Simon Thorpe, and drummer Winston Clifford.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Janet Staley: Whisper to the Wind

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Janet Staley is an artist who immediately appeals to listeners for her great personality and for her personal approach to songwriting and performing. Her new release, Whisper to the Wind, is a vivid example of the hard work and passion that fuels her creative vision. The album features 11 stunning tracks that offer really great melodies, a crisp and elegant production, and more importantly, a smooth vocal flow that fully showcases Staley's incredible vocal prowess and performance skills. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Enrico Bergamini: Out of Place

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Italian born saxophonist and composer Enrico Bergamini where he started playing saxophone at the age of eight. He joined the Luca Marenzio Conservatory of Brescia in 2007, graduating in Classical Performance in 2011. In 2008 Bergamini was the featured alto soloist with the European Union Youth Orchestra playing concerts across Europe. In 2011 he commenced studies at Berklee College Of Music, graduating in Jazz Composition in May 2014. Following stints as an in-demand arranger, transcriber and bandleader, he performed at ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Whitman: Oh, Clara!

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David Whitman is a charismatic drummer with a diverse and elegant approach to his music. The sound on his recent release, Oh, Clara!, has a smooth, smart and sophisticated sound, inspired by genres as diverse as fusion, jazz, and even pop. Whitman teamed up with a cast of talented musicians in order to create a phenomenal debut release, featuring ten renditions of classic songs recorded over two sessions at Hollywood's legendary Capitol Studios. This album also features two ...


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