Articles

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

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Album Review

Professor Cunningham and His Old School: The Lockdown Blues

Read "The Lockdown Blues" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Given the uncommon position in which the world found itself owing to the global coronavirus pandemic, it was only a matter of time before “socially distanced" albums such as this one, recorded by Australian-born “Professor" Adrian Cunningham's septet “in bedrooms around the world," in April 2020, were bound to emerge. More specifically, in bedrooms in NY state, Vitoria and Girona, Spain, which loosely qualifies as “around the world." The idea came to Cunningham during a socially-distanced stroll through New York's ...

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Album Review

La Lucha: Everybody Wants To Rule The World

Read "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Pianist John C. O'Leary III, bassist Alejandro Arenas and drummer Mark Feinman, fast friends since they first met at the University of South Florida in 2006, draw on very different backgrounds and myriad sources when performing together as La Lucha. Whether digging into the Great American Songbook, exploring material from pop and classic rock radio, tapping into the Latin-jazz lexicon, or alluding to classical refinement, they manage to operate with a collective openness that's rare. The piano trio tradition tends ...

10

Album Review

Scott Robinson: Tenormore

Read "Tenormore" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


When attempting to lend form to the term “rara avis" in jazz, Scott Robinson instantly appears in the mind's eye. He's most easily recognized these days as a horn heavy on the most standard of heavy horns, adding ballast and low-end individuality to the sound of Maria Schneider's orchestra with his baritone saxophone, but Robinson is also beyond proficient—a virtuoso, in fact—on numerous instruments that most people don't even know exist. His arsenal includes theremin, ophicleide, sarrusophone, alto clarinet, echo ...

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Album Review

The Ken Peplowski Big Band: Sunrise

Read "Sunrise" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Many contemporary big bands are all about “breaking new ground" and “exploring new pathways." Not this one. Ace clarinetist Ken Peplowski, who has performed and recorded with myriad large ensembles, at home and abroad, but has seldom led one--although he did record one other big-band album, Last Swing of the Century (Concord Jazz, 1999)--simply wants to make beautiful music, a goal he and his hand-picked corps of merry men (and one woman) easily reach on Sunrise, as they glide smoothly ...

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Album Review

Chuck Redd: Happy All the Time

Read "Happy All the Time" reviewed by Jack Bowers


The complete title of this carefree and charming studio date is Chuck Redd Remembers Barney Kessel. The reasons why are many. Here are two: first, Redd worked with Kessel from 1980-91 as a drummer in the Great Guitars group and in Kessel's trio, during which time the two became close friends; even more than that, says Kessel's widow, Phyllis, Redd was “like another son" to her husband. As for the album's title, Redd writes, Kessel's watchword to the end of ...

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Album Review

Doug MacDonald: Just for Fun

Read "Just for Fun" reviewed by Jack Bowers


While there are no household names on guitarist Doug MacDonald's new 2-CD set, Just for Fun (alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan or perhaps drummer Roy McCurdy may come closest), the sidemen he has chosen for a lively concert date billed as a “jazz marathon" are more than likely among the more accomplished jazz musicians you've seldom or never heard. To bolster that appraisal, one need look no farther than tenor Rickey Woodard whose solos are models of perception and coherence, or ...

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Album Review

Terry Myers: Smiles

Read "Smiles" reviewed by Andrew J. Sammut


Tuneful, swinging and technically polished. Terry Myers isn't worried about anything else jazz is “supposed" to be. Smiles is a relaxed yet energetic romp through some standards, ballads and blues that the Florida-based saxophonist clearly loves to play. There's nothing complex or innovative here, just four musicians having a good time and looking to take the listener along. A jumping “Them There Eyes" introduces Myers's straightforward approach to contemporary swing. He crafts phrases with rhythm and reason ...


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