Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

Read "Electric Miles" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The electric music Miles Davis recorded from 1969 and into the 1970s was a game-changing event in jazz, a steamy, mysterious, ever-evolving soup of improvisation, rock, funk and electronics that launched numerous careers and inspired subsequent generations of musicians across genres. Its influence shows in the numbers of players who have since studied, dissected and interpreted this material in their own ways. Alto saxophonist Charles Pillow has adapted Davis' work for a full-scale big band but with mixed results.

ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

Read "Electric Miles" reviewed by Jack Bowers

So how does trumpeter Miles Davis' post-1969 “electric period" translate to a big-band format? About as well as could be expected, thanks to leader Charles Pillow's bright arrangements for his New York-based Large Ensemble. Davis' seminal Columbia albums from 1969-1972--In a Silent Way, Bitches Brew, Live at Fillmore East, Live-Evil, On the Corner--are considered by many to have ushered in the jazz / rock / fusion era, which could be a good thing or otherwise, depending on one's point of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Randy Brecker & Mats Holmquist with the UMO Jazz Orchestra: Together

Read "Together" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Here's a productive cross-border alliance if ever there was one: American trumpeter Randy Brecker, Swedish composer / arranger Mats Holmquist and Finland's superb UMO Jazz Orchestra, Together for the first time in a recording studio. The versatile Brecker is the featured soloist throughout, while Holmquist wrote five of the album's engaging songs and arranged all of them. As for the orchestra, it is letter-perfect from end to end, performing Holmquist's often strenuous charts with singular proficiency and assurance.

ALBUM REVIEW

Charles Pillow Large Ensemble: Electric Miles

Read "Electric Miles" reviewed by Mark Corroto

You thought not, but you can put the genie back in the bottle. What we're talking about is the specter unleashed by Miles Davis with Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970). Davis' expanded lineup for BB with ten-plus musicians, including the electric pianos of Joe Zawinul, Chick Corea, and Larry Young, Bennie Maupin playing bass clarinet, a young guitarist John McLaughlin, two bassists, percussion, and more percussion, and oh yeah, Wayne Shorter's saxophone was ever present. Charles Pillow did that with his ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Hyeseon Hong: EE-YA-GI (Stories)

Read "EE-YA-GI (Stories)" reviewed by Troy Dostert

With her rich, engaging debut release, EE-YA-GI (Stories), composer Hyeseon Hong brings her own unique approach to contemporary jazz. Using a first-rate large ensemble to showcase her compositions, she takes traditional folk forms, particularly from her native Korea, and develops them with modern big-band jazz voicings. The result is an eminently listenable and enjoyable recording, one that reveals new nuances and subtle pleasures with each encounter. The album's opener, “Harvest Dance," captures Hong's modus operandi perfectly. With a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge: Whispers on the Wind

Read "Whispers on the Wind" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Chuck Owen's Florida-based and Grammy-nominated Jazz Surge is back in the saddle with another series of impressive musical portraits, Whispers on the Wind, whose genesis harkens back to Owen's childhood in windy Omaha, NE, and whose inspiration derives in part from the works of three contemporary authors: Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy and Stephen King (the last, as Owen writes, from King's Dark Tower series). To help cast the spell, Owen uses a number of instruments not generally associated with big-band ...

ALBUM REVIEW

The Phil Norman Tentet: Then and Now

Read "Then and Now" reviewed by Jack Bowers

There comes a time, usually during the fifth or sixth rendition of a “franchise" movie (think “Rocky" or “Star Trek"), when the phrase “enough is enough" inevitably springs to mind. While Then and Now, the seventh album by saxophonist Phil Norman's L.A.-based all-star Tentet, lands somewhere this side of overkill, its premise--to update and reintroduce classic themes from the jazz scene's illustrious past--is a tad shopworn, and serves for the most part to remind inveterate listeners that the original versions, ...


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