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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble: Rogue Star

Read "Rogue Star" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Experimental San Francisco Bay Area record label Edgetone Records states, this band “reflects the influences which make up their collective interest in storytelling, exploring expanded borders, and discovery." No doubt, this red hot ensemble doesn't stay content following a one-dimensional musical path, as they branch out on a recurring basis via these fluid and manifold works. The sextet features the dual bass attack of Max Judelson and Safa Shokari. In effect, the ensemble abides by a flexible but ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rent Romus: Deciduous/Midwestern Edition Vol. 1

Read "Deciduous/Midwestern Edition Vol. 1" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This West Coast USA experimental record label always spreads its wings. Part of the fun is anticipating what comes next. Here, label head and distinguished multi-reedman Rent Romus and musical associates pay homage to the avant-garde jazz spirit of the Midwest, citing the birthplace for AACM and innovators such as Albert Ayler, Rahsaan Roland Kirk and others. Romus also advises in the press release that this is an ongoing project as the album title would indicate.Most of these ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Noertker's Moxie: druidh penumbrae

Read "druidh penumbrae" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

With his 9th album for San Francisco Bay Area-based Edgetone Records, bassist, composer Bill Noertker's Moxie ensemble is captured live during performances between 2011-2015. As a composer, he derives influence from famous visual artists, architects, poets and sculptors. Thus, his compositional impetus contains grounded jazz elements, yet his works feature lyrical mosaics of sound amid geometrical unison flows, whimsical overtones and a storytelling approach. Moxie consists of alternating personnel, spanning the various ensemble configurations of these live performances. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Say Bok Gwai: Trio / Chinese Jesus

Read "Trio / Chinese Jesus" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

If you ever wondered what an angst-ridden, scaled back version of Sonic Youth would sound like if the musicians were overdosing on energy drinks, then the core duo of Say Bok Gwai may represent that notion rather mightily, and then some. Based in San Francisco, the unit is billed as a Chinese American hardcore rock band. Noted as a double EP, and the first time they've employed a bassist (Josh Martin), the musicians cover the social condition via an extremely ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Rent Romus' Life's Blood Ensemble: Rising Colossus

Read "Rising Colossus" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Edgetone Records sent the LP edition of this album that is also available on CD and digital format. Yet I still maintain that most jazz albums are better served via full-bodied analogue productions often equating to a studio-in-your-room experience, coupled with a first-rate turntable and audiophile trimmings that may enhance the listening experience. San Francisco new-jazz saxophonist Rent Romus leads his Life's Blood Ensemble --which has been an ongoing coalition comprised of alternating personnel --through a program framed ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Nashville Electric: Orson's Folly

Read "Orson's Folly" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This is not an ambient-electronic, celestial voyage or new age type gala. In fact, it's a scoring of actor, director Orson Welles' “Four Men on a Raft" sequence from his 1942 documentary It's All True. This was a film that the US Government expected to be sugarcoated as part of a cultural exchange program with Brazil. In turn, expectations were not met and the film's budget was severely hacked leaving Welles with black & white footage without sound. Therefore, Nashville ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jess Rowland: Spambots

Read "Spambots" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

San Francisco-based sound artist, synthesist and commissioned composer Jess Rowland assembles a freaky android-like aural fest via text-to-speech loops, cyclical narrations and perhaps modern era Beat poetry atop supercharged electronics and dissimilar tonalities. Running at LP length, Rowland and drummer Pete Stalsky don't overcook matters. Her overlapping narrations, sometimes built on short phrases and a mélange of effects ride above the drummer's staggered cadences. Yet the duo intersperses crunching distortion and electro-mechanical type sounds into the mix. Rowland ...


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