Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Jason Robinson: Harmonic Constituent

Read "Harmonic Constituent" reviewed by Mark Corroto

If you've ever visited Mendocino County you would have a head start to appreciate saxophonist Jason Robinson's Harmonic Constituent. His week-long retreat to this magnificent Northern California coast inspired this ambitious and diverse recording. Robinson, a musical omnivore previously recorded with the quartet Cosmologic, his Henry Threadgill inspired Janus Ensemble, in duos with Anthony Davis and Eric Hofbauer, and in electro-acoustic settings, to name just a few of his diverse interests. Robinson's quartet here includes pianist Joshua White ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Musillami and Peter Madsen: Pictures

Read "Pictures" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Guitarist Michael Musillami and pianist Peter Madsen have long traveled in the same circles, with Musillami's Playscape label showcasing both musicians in a number of their independently derived projects. But they don't often get to work side-by-side. Aside from Musillami's sextet record, Dachau (Playscape, 2006), the two have only appeared together previously on duo disc, Part Pitbull (Playscape, 2002). Their scintillating renewed partnership on Pictures shows the intervening years have done nothing to diminish their intuitive chemistry and first-rate technical ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Musillami and Rich Syracuse: Dig

Read "Dig" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Guitarist Michael Musillami and bassist Rich Syracuse continue their engagement with the titans of the jazz world with Dig, their homage to Bill Evans. Like the discs that preceded it, Of The Night (Playscape, 2016), dedicated to Wayne Shorter and Bird Calls (Playscape, 2017), their salute to Charles Mingus, the duo approach this repertoire with both reverence and imagination, producing treatments that avoid simply capitulating to Evans' genius by opening his tunes to creative scrutiny. It's noteworthy that ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Madsen: Curiouser and Curiouser

Read "Curiouser and Curiouser" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

There are times when star ratings don't tell or can't tell the whole story. Five stars, four, three, two, billions upon billions of stars. Veteran pianist Peter Madsen's Curiouser and Curiouser is just one of those times. It's a great listen but is it an essential one? Without being too harsh, no. Is it a disc with plenty of repeat listenings in it? For many yes, for others, probably not. Sorry, but the star system isn't going to work for ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Madsen's Storytellers: Curiouser and Curiouser

Read "Curiouser and Curiouser" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

In 2018 Peter Madsen released Never Bet the Devil Your Head (Playscape), a fine CD by his jazz-classical hybrid group, the Seven Seas Ensemble, that was dedicated to the writing of Edgar Allan Poe. Now he brings the jazz half of the Ensemble together for another set of music based on classic literature, this time, Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Given the subject, this music has an understandably brighter mood than the Poe project. The “Alice" theme itself ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Madsen's Storytellers: Curiouser and Curiouser

Read "Curiouser and Curiouser" reviewed by Troy Dostert

After devoting a number of his recordings on the Playscape label to the songbooks of Thelonious Monk (Sphere Essence: Another Side of Monk, 2003), Billy Strayhorn (Satin Doll, 2017) and even Elvis Presley (Elvis Never Left the Building, 2014), pianist Peter Madsen has since sought out literary texts for inspiration. 2018 was a particularly fruitful year, as Never Bet the Devil Your Head investigated the macabre works of Edgar Allan Poe, while I Ching went in a more philosophical direction ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Madsen & Alfred Vogel: I Ching

Read "I Ching" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Even if it all turns out to be hogwash in the end, the mysteries of the I Ching--its divination powers, its myth and madness--have held the world's consciousness in awe and fear for at least three thousand years. These legends and provocations are explored with resounding depth and clarity on I Ching, with pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Alfred Vogel tackling a series of sixteen captivating improvisations, each predicated on a throw of the I Ching's coins and the variables ...


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