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Monty Alexander: Uplift 2: Higher

Read "Uplift 2: Higher" reviewed by Dr. Judith Schlesinger

This blazing CD is the official follow-up to the splendid Uplift, which in 2011 was one of the first releases from John Lee's fledgling label, Jazz Legacy Productions. Blending Alexander's past and present compadres--referred to here as “two timeless trios"--Higher features seven tracks with the peerless John Clayton on bass and Jeff Hamilton on drums, and four with the excellent Hassan Shakur and Frits Landesbergen in those respective roles.As with every other Alexander CD--about 70 to date--this one ...

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Roy Assaf: Respect, Vol.1

Read "Respect, Vol.1" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Innovation and as-yet-unheard-of ideals tend to sell headlines in jazz, but they mean nothing without respect for those who paved the road to the present. Many young emerging talents seem content to walk into jazz without doing their due diligence in discovery and digestion, but that often puts them in a peculiar position of being a mouthpiece for a music that they don't fully embrace. Jazz is certainly the here-and-now, but it's also the there-and-then, and that's a concept that ...

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Yotam: Brasil

Read "Brasil" reviewed by Larry Taylor

Two reviews of Israeli-born guitarist Yotam's Brasil appeared recently in All About Jazz, and the reviewers had major differences. Lawrence Peryer had a negative view, summed up by: “Yotam take his place on the list between Yanni and Zamfir, offering a denatured version of a musical form that has already proven itself accessible enough in more sophisticated hands," while Dan Bilawsky had a more positive view: “While guitarist Yotam Silberstein was born more than six thousand miles ...

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Yotam: Brasil

Read "Brasil" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

A single letter separates the English and Portuguese spellings of the world's fifth largest country, but that letter distinguishes between an outsider's view and the way that an insider takes it all in. Brazil is for tourists, but Brasil is for those initiated in the musical ways of this South American land of wonder. While Israeli guitarist Yotam Silberstein was born more than six thousand miles from Ipanema Beach, he displays the understanding, insight and sensitivity of a man who ...

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Yotam: Brasil

Read "Brasil" reviewed by Lawrence Peryer

Brazilian music is tricky. It must be approached carefully as its mellow understatement can be vulnerable to sterility in production and blandness in execution. Brasil, by Israeli guitarist Yotam Silberstein (now known solely as “Yotam") is plagued by both attributes. It is quite difficult to appreciate the competency of the players with whom Yotam has surrounded himself for this outing, as both the playing and engineering carry a certain lack of character and color. Too smooth throughout, ...

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Tim Mayer: Resilience

Read "Resilience" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Resplendent arrangements and artful soloists are in abundance on Tim Mayer's Resilience. For this, the Boston-based tenor saxophonist's debut recording under his own name, Mayer manages to bridge the gap between the often opposing forces of stability and variety, as he builds each tune around the same core quartet while using an ever-changing list of guests as front line partners and featured soloists. While the quartet functions as a stand-alone entity on a delicious ballad that seems ...

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Benny Green Trio: Source

Read "Source" reviewed by Larry Taylor

Benny Green, now 48, is entering his middle years. Early on he was hailed as a budding master; today he has fully blossomed into one of the jazz world's finest pianists. Equally comfortable with a fast-paced piece and or a sensitive ballad, he is a go-to guy for sessions as back-up or leader. His last recordings were as a co-leader, in duo with guitarist Russell Malone, hailed for the exquisite interplay of Jazz at The Bistro (2003) and Bluebird (2004), ...


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