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

ALBUM REVIEW

The Mark Masters Ensemble: Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook

Read "Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook" reviewed by Pierre Giroux

Alec Wilder was born in 1907 and died in 1980, and might well have been described as an eccentric renaissance man. He composed opera, musicals, film music, popular songs, and chamber music, along with publishing in 1975 one of the most read books on popular music: American Popular Song: the Great Innovators 1900-1950. The Mark Masters Ensemble is a tight knit and imaginative Octet which can stake their claim on mining the gold contained in Alec Wilder's popular ...

ALBUM REVIEW

The Mark Masters Ensemble: Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook

Read "Night Talk: The Alec Wilder Songbook" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Night Talk, the eighth album by celebrated arranger Mark Masters' superb West Coast-based ensemble, is subtitled “The Alec Wilder Songbook Featuring Gary Smulyan." Indeed, Smulyan's is an impressive solo voice (but hardly the only one) in an eloquent songbook that appraises eight of Wilder's tasteful compositions, including a pair of his best-known melodies, “Moon and Sand" and “I'll Be Around." As Masters arranged every number for his hand-picked octet, nothing more need be said about that save ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Hamilton Trio: Catch Me If You Can

Read "Catch Me If You Can" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Any trio anchored by drummer Jeff Hamilton has a clear head start when compared to any would-be rivals. That's because Hamilton's unerring and tasteful timekeeping and resourceful use of brushes and sticks would be any trio's dream come true. In this case it's Hamilton's own trio, recording at least the sixteenth album under that name, the bulk of them with the superb Israeli-born pianist Tamir Hendelman at his side and, this time, with bassist Jon Hamar replacing longtime partner Christoph ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Keith Oxman: Two Cigarettes In the Dark

Read "Two Cigarettes In the Dark" reviewed by Jack Bowers

What's a sure way to make a pretty good tenor saxophone-led quartet even better? Simple. Invite a second tenor and make sure his name is Houston Person. That's what Denver-based Keith Oxman has done to further enhance his quartet's splendid new album, Two Cigarettes in the Dark, sharing the front line with Person on six of the session's ten tracks. To say that Person brightens every number he's on would be understating the case; as the saying goes, he could ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Keith Oxman: Two Cigarettes In the Dark

Read "Two Cigarettes In the Dark" reviewed by Edward Blanco

With the impressive Two Cigarettes in the Dark, Denver-based saxophonist Keith Oxman delivers what is most probably one of the finest albums on the contemporary jazz scene today. Imagine being in a dark room where you see nothing and suddenly two cigarettes are lit; naturally your attention will be focused on the cigarettes and the smoke they produce. On this album, the two burning sticks are Oxman and legendary sax man Houston Person together lighting-up the place. The ...

ALBUM REVIEW

The Joshua Breakstone Trio: Children of Art: A Tribute to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers

Read "Children of Art: A Tribute to Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

When last heard from, guitarist Joshua Breakstone was exploring the music of legendary jazz pianists with his Cello Quartet on 88 (Capri Records, 2016). On this album he is joined by double bassist Martin Wind (whose credits include several recordings with drummer Matt Wilson as well as dates as leader) and drummer Eliot Zigmund (who is known for his tenure with pianist Bill Evans, among others, plus his own albums) for a conventional guitar trio. But the repertoire is anything ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Larry Fuller: Overjoyed

Read "Overjoyed" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Pianist Larry Fuller isn't exactly coy about the substance of this record. Exuberance is an obvious through-line as he works his way across a dozen charmers that frequently live up to the promise of the title in different ways. Leading an ace trio with Hassan Shakur on bass and Lewis Nash on drums, Fuller finds his way into this realm with a peppy and all-too-short take on Wes Montgomery's “Fried Pies." Then he continues along the path paved ...


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