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ALBUM REVIEWS

Ghost Rhythms: Live at Yoshiwara

Read "Live at Yoshiwara" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

French ensemble Ghost Rhythms present their first live album, recorded in front of a small audience in their rehearsal space. While there is no real venue named Yoshiwara, there is an infamous Yoshiwara district in Japan, which in turn lent its name to the depraved red-light district and club in Metropolis, Fritz Lang's 1927 silent sci-fi movie. So this performance is set in an imaginary place, evoking a dreamlike atmosphere (which is further extended in the individual credits for the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Le Rex: Escape of the Fire Ants

Read "Escape of the Fire Ants" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This young charismatic Swiss ensemble surges forward by melding modern sounds with New Orleans-based traditional jazz and hip groove-building pulses and perpetual motion, executed with manifold time signatures and soaring unison choruses. On its fourth album and second for Cuneiform Records, the musicians' sense of purpose transfers into your listening space as you can detect lots of smiles and conviction emanating from the band's memorable hooks, shifting themes and forceful overtones. Essentially, their seamless integration of trad jazz ...

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Thumbscrew: Theirs

Read "Theirs" reviewed by Mark Corroto

The trio Thumbscrew is releasing simultaneously two recordings from a single session, Theirs and Ours. The first is an album of cover songs and the latter originals by the band. While these reductionist tags might describe the music in its fundamental aspects, these two recordings are the product of one intricate process and trio language. The three musicians that form Thumbscrew, guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, also collaborate in various other projects, including ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Thumbscrew: Theirs

Read "Theirs" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

It has been four years since Thumbscrew, the trio of guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, released their self-titled debut (Cuneiform Records, 2014). The trio is simultaneously releasing two albums--their third and fourth--Ours and Theirs on the same label. As the titles indicate, one album consists of original compositions and the other, covers from a very eclectic assortment of artists from Benny Golson to Wayne Shorter and far less familiar names. The latter of the two ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Art Zoyd: Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the Art Zoyd Box Set

Read "Art Zoyd - 44 1⁄2 At A Glance: Selections from the Art Zoyd Box Set" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Because France's Art Zoyd was a member of the Rock In Opposition (RIO) movement--a loose confederation of bands making left of center music and subverting the conventions of the music business--they are often characterized as a progressive rock band. But after a brief early period with a standard rock configuration, their instrumentation and musical style came to have more in common with classical New Music: a mix of horns, strings and percussion with the sound of a chamber orchestra.

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Miriodor: Signal 9

Read "Signal 9" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Here, the influential French-Canadian prog rock outfit Miriodor releases its 9th album. Since its formation in 1980, the band has been nestled within the Rock in Opposition movement alongside cutting-edge ensembles such as Henry Cow (UK), Art Zoyd (France) and Univers Zero (Belgium). Hence, the premise behind much of this was in response to the music industry shunning rock-based units that elevated matters into highly artistic or unorthodox art forms. It's more about a team-based approach. You won't ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ed Palermo: The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren

Read "The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

It isn't a characteristically positive sign when an album incorporates obvious humor into its credits and occasionally, the music itself. The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren could raise red flags with its title, personnel adjectives such as “Terrifying Trombones" and listing Kellyanne Conway as “Alternative Executive Producer." But a listener familiar with The Ed Palermo Big Band, Cuneiform catalog, including Oh No! Not Jazz!! (2014), One Child Left Behind (2016) and The Great Un-American Songbook, Vols. I & II (2017), knows ...


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