Articles

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

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Album Review

Portico Quartet: Terrain

Read "Terrain" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Much like the world of its creation—that of spring 2020, in the early phase of the Covid-19 shutdown—this Terrain is a landscape both familiar and strange. The ingredients of Portico Quartet's one-of-a-kind sound are recognizably there: the nebulous electronic soundscaping, the organic and gently compelling rhythms, the resonant tone of the hang drum which always feels beamed in from the beach of some distant planet. Like every album of theirs, though, it's a surprising step sideways from the previous one ...

15

Album Review

Matthew Halsall: Salute To The Sun

Read "Salute To The Sun" reviewed by Chris May


Trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall is an inspirational figure on the British scene, as a musician and as the founder of the successful Gondwana Records label. Based in the northern city of Manchester, two hundred miles and a lifestyle away from London, Halsall debuted in 2008 with Sending My Love, on which he unveiled his distinctive spiritual-jazz take on the less-is-more modalism and lustrous sound of Miles Davis circa Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959). Since then, Halsall's bands have accelerated ...

14

Album Review

Matthew Halsall: Oneness

Read "Oneness" reviewed by Don Phipps


On Oneness, trumpeter and composer Matthew Halsall has fashioned a compendium of pieces that are fixed between spiritual meditative repose and poetry in motion. The collection of seven tone poems was recorded over three sessions in 2008 and are only in 2019 being released. In the liner notes, Halsall explains: “I've always treasured these recordings and loved how vulnerable, open and free they are, but I just felt they were too subtle and sensitive to release early on in my ...

10

Album Review

Portico Quartet: Memory Streams

Read "Memory Streams" reviewed by Geno Thackara


If it was possible to directly sublimate lucid dreams into sound, it isn't hard to imagine the results coming out somewhat like this. Music is made to simulate that kind of loose natural flow of thoughts often enough, but it's more rare for it to capture the experience as directly and vividly as Portico Quartet do on their sixth full-length. Memory Streams isn't just suggestive of memories flowing and shifting, it feels like a fleeting, mysterious, wash-through-your-mind dream in itself. ...

2

Album Review

The Gondwana Orchestra: Colors

Read "Colors" reviewed by Matt Hooke


Saxophonist and composer Pharoah Sanders is often imitated but, never matched. His spiritual free-floating style, marked by his distinctive tenor saxophone tone makes him instantly recognizable. On Colors, the Gondwana Orchestra does not attempt to mimic the master, as the album does not include a single saxophonist. Instead of saxophone, the focus is on pianist Taz Modi and vocalist Dwight Trible. The lack of saxophone gives the band more room to make Sanders music their own, making Colors a true ...

19

Album Review

Noya Rao: Icaros

Read "Icaros" reviewed by Rokas Kucinskas


Something that started as a solo project by Tom Henry in his bedroom studio transformed into something much more mature: first his ideas were executed in an instrumental trio setting that eventually evolved into the vocal electronic-soul quartet--Noya Rao. What kind of music does the quartet play? The kind that Gilles Peterson is famous for." With Noya Rao's debut album, Icaros, one can hear everything from LA beatmakers (e.g. Flying Lotus, Tokimonsta, Teebs, etc.) to acts such as Little Dragon, ...

14

Album Review

Mammal Hands: Shadow Work

Read "Shadow Work" reviewed by Phil Barnes


Our best musicians can soak up influences from many diverse sources, assimilate them into their own style, and allow them to emerge during improvisation. This is why, as readers of this site will surely be aware, a piece can sound different in the hands of two skilled jazz musicians even when the raw material of the composition is constant. When this level of openness is maintained over time it can allow musicians, such as Mammal Hands here, to show a ...


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