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ALBUM REVIEWS

Deanna Witkowski: Wide Open Window

Read "Wide Open Window" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

New York-based pianist Deanna Witkowski opens up Wide Open Window with the first of three Cole Porter tunes, a trio workout of "All Through the Night" with enough harmonic liberties to rend the tune nearly unrecognizable; but it's still a lovely, energetic rendition, an up-tempo romp over a flexible rhythm. It's a trio again for "Just One of Those Things," a bit more reverent this time, with some tight yet inventive improvisation by Witkowski. The third Porter tune, "From This ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Deanna Witkowski: Wide Open Window

Read "Wide Open Window" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

This is Deanna Witkowski’s second album. Her debut was Having To Ask, and if anything, it proves she has abundant talent as a pianist and as a writer. Witkowski sets her path with an accent on lyricism. Even when she deconstructs the melody, there is a sense of time and space and beauty. Add her sense of harmony, and she has the music in constant flow.

Here, Witkowski pulls in several standards with the emphasis on Cole ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Greg Skaff: Blues for Mr. T

Read "Blues for Mr. T" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

This year has seen an organ renaissance. Organ jazz had its genesis in Fred Longshaw, who performed with a reed organ on the 1925 Bessie Smith recording of "St. Louis Blues." Fats Waller was a pipe organ virtuoso. Count Basie introduced the organ into swing music, giving way to Wild Bill Davis, who predicted Jimmy Smith and soul jazz. And then there was Jimmy Smith and all who came after. Larry Young learned from Miles Davis and developed organ practice ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Stryker and Steve Slagle: The Stryker/Slagle Band

Read "The Stryker/Slagle Band" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The Stryker/Slagle Band documents a working group that finally made it into the studio to preserve its unique sound. Dave Stryker and Steve Slagle have been performing together in several contexts since 1986, including performing on each other's recordings. This is the first time the two musicians co-lead a date. Stryker, Slagle, and drummer Tim Horner provide seven original compositions for this recording. All of the pieces are wedged deep in the contemporary/post bop vein, full of craggy complex heads ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Stryker/Slagle Band: The Stryker/Slagle Band

Read "The Stryker/Slagle Band" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Familiarity breeds attempt. After 17 years and 14 albums playing in other groups, Dave Stryker and Steve Slagle finally got together to lead their own band. It was about time that they did!The success of an album is often spelt by the empathy between the players. There is no doubt that Slagle and Stryker have that bond. With Moring and Horner also tying into the relationship, the music gets a deep and satisfying groove as it moves through ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The Stryker/Slagle Band: The Stryker/Slagle Band

Read "The Stryker/Slagle Band" reviewed by Elliott Simon

The Stryker/Slagle Band reveals the secret behind producing a crisp first effort with telepathic communication among all parties. That secret, in this case, is to play together for over fifteen years before recording as co-leaders. It also doesn't hurt to have the same rhythm section, in the persons of drummer Tim Horner and bassist Bill Moring, for six of those years. Guitarist Dave Stryker and alto/soprano saxophonist Steve Slagle are integral parts of the NYC jazz scene and have appeared ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Greg Skaff: Blues For Mr. T

Read "Blues For Mr. T" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Greg Skaff’s second disc as a leader charts an impressive course between the familiar, agreeable parameters of soul-jazz and a more open ended, blowing-based approach. The guitarist, Hammond B-3 organist Mike LeDonne, and drummer Joe Farnsworth (all of whom frequently play in various bands at Smoke, a club in New York City that serves as a haven for straight-ahead bands and progressive funk ensembles) make up a bracing, rhythmically charged trio. Throughout a program of six appealing originals, plus tunes ...


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