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

ALBUM REVIEW

Najee: Poetry in Motion

Read "Poetry in Motion" reviewed by Liz Goodwin

On Najee's 15th studio release, and fourth project for the Shanachie label, the Jamaica Queens, N.Y. native delivers an inviting, feel-good album on which he is joined by such diverse talents as pianist/keyboardist Bobby Lyle, multi-instrumentalist/producer/composer/arranger Barry Eastmond, multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer Jean-Paul “Bluey" Maunick, vocalists Will Downing, Maysa and Eric Roberson, and guitarist Blake Aaron. The multi-reedman's 1986 debut, Najee's Theme (EMI), was reflective of its time--an era when modern R & B grooves with jazzy inflections and rhythmic ambiance ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Spirit Fingers: Spirit Fingers

Read "Spirit Fingers" reviewed by Roger Farbey

This is the debut album and brainchild of leader, pianist and composer Greg Spero, an undeniably gifted pianist and composer who has been mentored by fellow keyboardists and Miles Davis alumni Robert Irving III and Herbie Hancock. The musicians Spero assembled for his project amount to a veritable supergroup in terms of their prodigious talent. The repertoire of Spirit Fingers is clearly informed by the likes of Chick Corea's Return To Forever and John McLaughlin's later works--not coincidentally, since bassist ...

ALBUM REVIEW

David Benoit and Marc Antoine: So Nice!

Read "So Nice!" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

There's nothing particularly noteworthy in two established musicians collaborating. It's a tradition in jazz as old as the genre itself, so a pairing of pianist David Benoit and guitarist Marc Antoine is not a seismic event to knock the world off its axis. What we have here is a marvelous meeting of like-minded musicians who are clearing digging dueting with a drum-tight supporting band. Emphasis on the word “band" because bands are a rare beast in contemporary jazz. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Pieces of a Dream: Just Funkin' Around

Read "Just Funkin' Around" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

It would be the easiest thing to say about the new Pieces of A Dream record, “If you already like Pieces of A Dream, you'll probably like this. If you don't, you won't." That would be real easy. It would also be real accurate. I road-tested Just Funkin' Around with a bunch of 20-somethings I was transporting from home back to college. I put it on and waited. Waited for them to say “Turn it up" or “turn ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rick Braun: Around The Horn

Read "Around The Horn" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

There's only so many ways you can go in jazz with the trumpet. Straight ahead and then a sharp left turn into more experimental improvisation paging (Miles Davis), a technically proficient if somewhat rigid traditionalist (Wynton Marsalis) or become a tasty, if unmemorable ingredient in the smooth jazz gumbo (Chuck Mangione). These are the career choices Rick Braun may have faced at one time. He chose to go the path of least resistance and play it safe and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jeff Lorber Fusion: Prototype

Read "Prototype" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

Fusion. Is there a dirtier word to the refined ears of the jazz connoisseur? For them the sound of their sacred music mashed up with low-brow rock or common R n' B rhythms must be as harsh and annoying as sharpened nails dragging across a blackboard. Well, suck it up, buttercups, because Prototype is nothing if not Jeff Lorber and his crew of merrymakers rocking and rolling and funkin' it up as bad they wanna be. The core ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Lindsey Webster: Back To Your Heart

Read "Back To Your Heart" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

Jazz requires a certain degree of commitment. It's not a genre that gets featured during any of the award shows. Jazz artists don't get to have microphone or wardrobe malfunctions during New Year's Eve progams on live television. Jazz songs don't show up on video games and has largely vanished from film. Even movies which purport to be influenced by jazz (Whiplash, La La Land, Miles Ahead) are long on drama and short on the music itself. As ...


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