Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Frank Zappa: The Grand Wazoo

Read "The Grand Wazoo" reviewed by Eric Pettine

Frank Zappa didn't invent the word “wazoo" or proliferate its usage. However, he was the first to use it in an album and song title that, surprisingly, had no accompanying provocative/potentially censorable lyrics. The Grand Wazoo is one of the most playful, scatologic-free and accessible big band jazz/rock CDs that Zappa--or anyone else--recorded. The aural quality of the album possesses a life-affirming spirit, while the intermittent blurps, bleeps and “inside" soap opera buffoonery--once salient features amidst often brilliant instrumental interludes ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Meral Guneyman: Playful Virtuosity

Read "Playful Virtuosity" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Pianist Meral Guneyman appeared to be slightly nervous when she took the stage recently at the 92nd Street Y's concert “Piano Players: New York Mix." But after a glowing introduction from the show's artistic director Dick Hyman, she launched into a powerful solo version of “The Clothed Woman," one of several Ellington classics she played that evening with strong emotion and arresting dexterity. Later Hyman sat at another piano and they reprised his challenging arrangement of “Solitude," skillfully filling in ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Vinicius Cantuaria: Silva

Read "Silva" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

Back in the '80s, Vinicius Cantuaria wrote the lullaby-like “Leaozinho, which became a major hit for Caetano Veloso and prompted him to embark on a solo career as a sophisticated pop musician. Although the gamble didn't quite work in Brazil, he found an audience here for his bossa nova-inflected tunes. Today, like many other of his fellow expatriate musicians (Bebel Gilberto and Flora Purim come to mind), his talents are more recognized abroad than in his native land.

ALBUM REVIEW

Frank Stallone: In Love in Vain

Read "In Love in Vain" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

It’s not quite clear why Frank Stallone has chosen to pursue classic big-band crooning, nor is it immediately apparent whether his is purely a project of nostalgia or something more ambitious. Upon first hearing his latest release, In Love In Vain, one thing, however, becomes immediately obvious, namely the album’s undeniable quality. Supported by a series of shrewd Sammy Nestico arrangements, an orchestra committed to dead-on note placement, and excellent production quality, each of the album’s twelve ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Truco & Zaperoko: Fusi

Read "Truco & Zaperoko: Fusi" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

Truco & Zaperoko Fusión Caribeña Ryko Latino 1999

In Puerto Rico there is a rather illustrious ferryboat called La lancha de Cataño that traverses the bay between San Juan and the seaside town of Cataño. Joe Quijano wrote a celebrated song to it and that city has the dubious reputation of counting one of Puerto Rico's most gaudy politicians, “El Amolao, among its figures. Los Pleneros del Truco, fortunately, also come from ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Jimmy Bosch: Salsa Dura

Read "Salsa Dura" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

Bosch's second release, under Ryko Latino, carried the unveiling of the soul of a trombonist's air. His first recording as a leader, Soneando trombón, was decidedly autobiographical. Salsa Dura, is no exception. In the recording's cover, he is playing his trombone on top of New York, hence, on top of the world, while contemplating a burning sky. Ironically, only New York seems to be impervious to the celestial fiery glow that also covers the other side of the Hudson. “El ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Robert Cray: Shoulda Been Home

Read "Shoulda Been Home" reviewed by Al Rearick

Who says sticking to a proven formula is a bad thing?

For those of you who thought Cray’s last effort was a nice sizzling slab o’ soul, his follow-up continues the tradition. Shoulda Been Home picks up where Take Your Shoes Off left off, and carries the groove forward in a manner that would have made the folks at Stax proud. In fact, Cray and the band proudly display such influences on most of the tracks here.

A word of ...


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