Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Sestetto Internazionale: Aural Vertigo

Read "Aural Vertigo" reviewed by Daniel Barbiero

The Sestetto Internazionale is a truly international group of European musicians, having been put together by Finnish soprano saxophonist Harri Sjöström for a September 2015 tour of Finland. In addition to Sjöström, the sextet includes fellow Finn accordionist Veli Kujala; the masterful Italian soprano saxophonist Gianni Mimmo; UK violinist Alison Blunt; and the Germans Achim Kaufmann and Ignaz Schick on piano and turntables, respectively. This exciting live recording captures the ensemble's concerts at Helsinki and Turku, each of which is ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Luca Segala: Cloudriding

Read "Cloudriding" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Italy continues to be a source a wonderfully original and thoroughly modern jazz. Maybe there's something in the water over there but, for whatever reason, everytime I check my e-mail or snail mail there seems to be something wonderful and Italian in it. I keep hoping for a pair of handmade shoes, a nice shirt, or a tailored suit, but the music is more than enough to keep me happy. Saxophonist Luca Segala's seventh album as a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Gianni Mimmo & Alison Blunt: Lasting Ephemerals

Read "Lasting Ephemerals" reviewed by Dave Wayne

To say that someone is a virtuoso on their instrument isn't a statement just about playing ability. Virtuosity implies a deep level of understanding and insight into the way an instrument works, its history, and its sonic capabilities. This knowledge extends to an understanding of the physics of sound production: the minute details of how the sound is generated, how it is altered tonally, timbrally, and otherwise, where the overtones lie and how they can be manipulated, how environmental factors ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

A Windy Season: Tidal (Amphidromic Cotidal)

Read "A Windy Season: Tidal (Amphidromic Cotidal)" reviewed by Dave Wayne

This album fooled me, and I am not afraid to admit it. A subset of the EA Orchestra, whose recent recording (Likiedos, Amirani Records, 2011) focused on the compositional aspects of avant-garde large ensemble music, A Windy Season is a wind quartet that--at first blush-seems to traverse similar terrain on Tidal. A quick perusal of the liner notes made me blush: the music on Tidal is completely improvised. Or, more precisely, A Windy Season refers to their creations as “instant ...

ALBUM REVIEW

MAGIMC: Polishing The Mirror

Read "Polishing The Mirror" reviewed by Dave Wayne

The only thing that's puzzling about Polishing the Mirror is the album's title. I cannot fathom its significance. The music, on the other hand, is as direct and as immediate as it gets. Here, we have the wonderful improvising pianist Thollem McDonas in no-holds-barred free-jazz mode. Accompanied by saxophonist Eduardo Marraffa and percussionist Stefano Giust--two of Italy's finest young improvising musicians--McDonas cuts loose with some truly radical, and truly lovely, piano playing. Marraffa, who co-leads the wonderful free jazz group ...

ALBUM REVIEW

EAOrchestra: Likeidos

Read "Likeidos" reviewed by Dave Wayne

The worlds of avant-garde classical music and avant-garde jazz mingle seamlessly on Likeidos, by Italy's Electro Acoustic Orchestra. Also known as the EAOrchestra, the ensemble is co-led by trumpeter Mirio Cosottini and bassoonist Alessio Pisani, who also composed most of the music. The preponderance of double reeds--an oboist and four bassoonists--is highly unusual, especially for improvised music of any kind, and gives the EAOrchestra some truly distinctive and unusual sonorities. Though Likeidos has a particularly strong emphasis on composition, there ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Lol Coxhill / Enzo Rocco: Fine Tuning - The Gradisca Concert

Read "Fine Tuning - The Gradisca Concert" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

There are no hard and fast rules that suggest improvised music cannot be a congenial undertaking. Free expressionism should not always be engineered upon overly cerebral formats and ideologies, contrary to popular belief. Fabled saxophonist Lol Coxhill and prominent Italian guitarist Enzo Rocco conjure the best of both worlds throughout this amiable set, recorded live at a festival in Italy. For decades, Coxhill has been a staple within the British free-jazz movement, yet is a supremely versatile artist ...


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