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Carlos Averhoff Jr.: iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba

Read "iQba - Jazz Meets Cuban Timba" reviewed by Troy Dostert

On iQba, tenor saxophonist Carlos Averhoff Jr. employs a skilled quintet to provide dance-worthy renditions of a series of jazz classics plus an original ballad, all shaped by timba, one of the homegrown musical forms of his native Cuba. It's an effective take on Latin jazz, and provides enough strong musicianship to ensure that Averhoff's challenging arrangements are given their due. It is evident from the opening bars of the lead track, Wayne Shorter's “Yes or No," that ...

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Troy Roberts: Nu-Jive Perspective

Read "Nu-Jive Perspective" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Though still a pup age-wise, Australian-born saxophonist Troy Roberts has two Grammy nominations under his belt and has shared the stage and studio with luminaries that have defined the musical spectrum, including Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Joey DeFrancesco, Christian McBride, Orrin Evans, and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Nu-Jive Perspective, his eighth disc as leader and third with this globally boisterous quintet, is a youthful romp through all the sounds of New York's neighborhoods. Hovering in that cool zone between ...

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James Weidman: Spiritual Impressions

Read "Spiritual Impressions" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

There is a long tradition of using traditional African-American spirituals as a basis for jazz explorations, but that is rarely done in one session with the breadth of approaches James Weidman uses on Spiritual Impressions. From the loping reggae beat on “Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel" to the New Orleans rumba rhythm on “No Hiding Place," he and his excellent band always find a way to bring something new to these old songs. The aforementioned “No Hiding Place" ...

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João Barradas: Directions

Read "Directions" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Since childhood, Portuguese accordionist João Barradas has been winning awards on his instrument at national and international level. His undoubted talent on his chosen instrument--and its midi version--is on display throughout Directions, his first album as leader. So, too, is his talent as a composer--all but one of the tracks are his original compositions. Barradas is accompanied by his excellent Portuguese quartet across these tunes and is joined by guests Greg Osby (who also produced), Gil Goldstein and ...

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Adam Larson: Second City

Read "Second City" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

For those out there who love it when a saxophonist hits the ground running, immediately taking control of the proceedings with their eyes and ears set on the far horizon, then Second City twenty-seven year old Adam Larson's fourth disc--yes fourth!--is the thrilling disc to be hearing right now. Leading a punchy and tenacious quartet comprised of keyboardist Rob Clearfield, bassist Clark Sommers, and drummer Jimmy Macbride Larson's sax leaps and bounds over Chicago (where the Second City ...

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Adam Larson: Second City

Read "Second City" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When you hear “Second City" and think about improvisation, comedy comes to mind before jazz. But this music is no laughing matter. Saxophonist Adam Larson is one serious talent, as this, his fourth album to date, makes clear. While Larson has called New York home for the past decade, Second City was recorded in its namesake locale--Chicago. It's an album rooted to Larson's Midwestern upbringing but a statement of maturity that could only emerge after some serious ...

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Adam Larson: Second City

Read "Second City" reviewed by Troy Dostert

The first thing one notices when listening to tenor saxophonist Adam Larson's latest release, Second City, is the torrent of notes coming out of his horn, seemingly in unstoppable waves. But Larson's got a lot more to offer than just impeccable chops. He possesses a rhythmic sophistication and compositional cleverness that should help him distinguish himself from the pack of young tenorists on the current scene. Seven of the eight tracks are Larson's own, and they offer some ...

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Tomoko Omura: Post Bop Gypsies

Read "Post Bop Gypsies" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Think about your favorite jazz violinist. Now think about what style or sub-category of jazz that person would most easily fall into. Was your answer bebop? Probably not, I would venture to guess. It's not that I know your answer. This isn't a magic trick. For all I know it could've been Stéphane Grappelli, Jenny Scheinman, Ray Nance, Zbigniew Seifert, Christian Howes, Jean-Luc Ponty, Sara Caswell, Stuff Smith, or any number of other fine artists from years past or times ...

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Tal Cohen: Gentle Giants

Read "Gentle Giants" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Surrounded by top-shelf support, pianist Tal Cohen makes a significant statement on Gentle Giants, his second album as a leader. Not content merely to demonstrate his formidable technique, he brings a unique compositional vision to his craft, pulling from his early exposure to Jewish folk music and an extensive immersion in classical composers like Chopin and Scriabin in the process of shaping a unique jazz vision. The result is a highly engaging and stimulating release, with surprises and intriguing choices ...

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Troy Roberts: Tales & Tones

Read "Tales & Tones" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Troy Roberts is a saxophonist from Australia who has made his way in America working with the likes of Christian McBride, Jeff “Tain" Watts and Joey DeFrancesco. On this CD he demonstrates a forceful saxophone sound married to original ideas in rhythm and tempo.Roberts' plays deep, swooping sax mostly over tricky, pounding beats set up by Watts. The drummer pushes a sprightly version of “Take The 'A' Train along with relaxed hip hop beats before Roberts lays into ...

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Jason Anick & Jason Yeager: United

Read "United" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Violinist Jason Anick and pianist Jason Yeager share an open-minded approach to jazz. Anick is best known as a member of the neo-Gypsy Jazz ensemble Rhythm Future Quartet , while Yeager performs post-bop and third stream music. But this album presents a mostly original, eclectic collection of music where both of them frequently step out of character. Even the cover choices are eclectic: two compositions from the Polish violinist Zbigniew Seifert; George Harrison's “Something;" and Miles Davis' “All Blues."

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Troy Roberts: Tales & Tones

Read "Tales & Tones" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Saxophonist and composer Troy Roberts continues to present music that retains a distinctive strength and originality, still vastly rooted in tradition, while firmly grounded in new perspectives. Hailing from the remote location of Perth, West Australia, Roberts has received numerous awards including 3 consecutive DownBeat Jazz Soloist Awards, a Grammy Nomination medal, and was the only Australian semi-finalist in the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition. Graduating with a Bachelor of Music at the young age of 19, he ...