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Rez Abbasi: A Throw Of Dice

Read "A Throw Of Dice" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Rez Abbasi has written a score for a 1929 movie—not an everyday jazz endeavor, but that is what the guitarist/composer does with his thirteenth recording. This after-the-fact soundtrack composing, though rare, is not unprecedented. In 2015 guitarist Aram Bajakian wrote and self produced a recording--an unofficial soundtrack--to the 1969 Soviet film The Color Of Pomegranates, an exploration of the life of the Armenian poet, Sayat-Nova. Abbasi, for his inspiration, writes a score for the vintage black and white ...

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Tori Freestone Trio: El Mar De Nubes

Read "El Mar De Nubes" reviewed by Roger Farbey

The third album by Tori Freestone's trio, following her debut In The Chop House (Whirlwind Recordings, 2014) and follow-up El Barranco (Whirlwind Recordings, 2016) is no less intriguing than its two predecessors. As with El Barranco, she takes her inspiration for El Mar De Nubes from her visits to the Canary Islands and, specifically, from Tenerife's mountainous terrain on its north-eastern corner, at the Mar De Nubes (literally translated as a “Sea of Clouds") with its spectacular, breathtaking vista, as ...

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Partisans: Nit De Nit

Read "Nit De Nit" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Definitely not to be confused with the Welsh punk rock group of the same name (albeit with the added definite article in the title), Partisans have been around for well over two decades. Their debut album Partisans was released jointly under Julian Siegel and Phil Robson's names on the EFZ label in 1997. Since then, as Partisans, they've released Sourpuss (2000), Max (2005) and By Proxy (2009) on the Babel label and more recently, Swamp (2014) on Whirlwind Recordings.

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Jeff Williams: Bloom

Read "Bloom" reviewed by Roger Farbey

In a new departure, Jeff Williams has forsaken the quartet, quintet or sextet configurations of his previous four albums for Whirlwind in favour of this very convincing trio format. In tandem with this slimmed-down enterprise, he's employed a pianist and composer who is undoubtedly a rising star of jazz. Carmen Staaf graduated with a joint degree from Tufts University (Anthropology) and the New England Conservatory (Jazz Performance) and thence became one of Berklee College of Music's youngest faculty members. She's ...

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Scopes: Scopes

Read "Scopes" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Formed in 2018, Scopes comprises a group of musicians hailing from four different European countries, led by Austrian drummer Mathias Ruppnig and German bassist Tom Berkmann. Coincidentally, both leaders have collaborated with Kurt Rosenwinkel and John Hollenbeck. Ruppnig studied or participated in workshops with big jazz names including Kendrick Scott, Peter Erskine, Jimmy Cobb, John Abercrombie, Bob Brookmeyer, Wolfgang Muthspiel and Adam Nussbaum. Berkmann graduated from Manhattan School of Music in New York with a Master of Music degree, where ...

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Seamus Blake: Guardians Of The Heart Machine

Read "Guardians Of The Heart Machine" reviewed by Roger Farbey

Seamus Blake was born in 1970 in London, England but raised in Vancouver, Canada. He studied jazz at Berklee College of Music and following his graduation moved to New York Cit, where he became a fixture on the jazz scene including being a member of the Mingus Big Band. He's played or recorded with Victor Lewis, John Scofield, Chris Cheek, Bill Stewart, Ethan Iverson and Dave Douglas and appeared as a sideman on over 70 albums. In 2017 ...

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Quinsin Nachoff's Flux: Path Of Totality

Read "Path Of Totality" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Quinsin Nachoff is a saxophonist and composer who draws inspiration from the world around him. The 2017 solar eclipse, the 2016 American presidential election, Kenny Wheeler and John Cage all figured in the creation of the music on Path Of Totality, an ambitious program combining jazz, classical music and prog rock. It is performed by his group Flux, an impressive collection of forward-thinking musicians, Nachoff and David Binney on saxophone, Matt Mitchell on all manner of keyboards and both Kenny ...


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