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

ALBUM REVIEWS

Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwood Improvisers: Journey into the Valley

Read "Journey into the Valley" reviewed by Clifford Allen

Though in the jazz world, Detroit and southern Michigan often get the most credit for producing Hahd bop talents like Kenny Burrell, Tommy Flanagan and the brothers Jones, there has long been a slow-burning fire of free improvisation and creative music tapping into the Motor City's pulse. Reedmen Faruq Z. Bey and Skeeter Shelton, both onetime co-leaders of the Griot Galaxy, are longtime members of the region's new music community. A somewhat younger set (but not by much) are the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Faruq Z. Bey and the Northwoods Improvisers: Auzar

Read "Auzar" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Detroit saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey's third Entropy release finds him returning to a three-horn lineup for the first time since his days with Griot Galaxy. Working a stylistic vein that would have fit '60's Impulse! with their bass-driven, Afro-centric, imaginative ardent songs to the sacred, Bey and the Northwoods Improvisers work from compositions, cues, and inspiration. The group sound, captured live, shows an enthusiastic unit capable of infectious grooves and driving without hands.

Mike Johnston introduces “Gemini with a lurking ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Faruq Z. Bey with the Northwoods Improvisers: Auzar

Read "Auzar" reviewed by Paul Olson

Detroit saxophonist Faruq Z. Bey's third release with the Northwoods Improvisers, Auzar , may be their best collaboration yet; certainly, it benefits from the addition of fellow Detroiters Mike Carey (on bass clarinet and tenor sax) and Skeeter Shelton (on tenor). These three are ably supported by the core Improvisers lineup of Mike Gilmore on vibes and marimba, Mike Johnston on bass, and Nick Ashton on drums. Auzar was recorded live at Central Michigan University in March of 2004 at ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Dennis González: Old Time Revival

Read "Old Time Revival" reviewed by Frank Rubolino

Dennis González consistently has shown the ability to brew a sorcerous concoction of gut-grabbing, throbbing music, and his latest effort with a star-studded lineup of musicians again works its magic. González presents a series of his compositions that demonstrates his unique methodology for combining infectious and rhythmic melody lines with wide open, unstructured improvisations, thus magnetically drawing and holding one inside the music.Playing three variations of trumpet, including the tiny pocket trumpet, González spews out mesmerizing currents that ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Luc Houtkamp: In Chicago

Read "In Chicago" reviewed by Mark Corroto

It’s interesting how one’s path of jazz listening arrives at a particular artist. My personal discovery of Netherlands-born saxophonist Luc Houtkamp came via Chicago. Well, actually Germany and Peter Brötzmann. The 1960s free-jazz flame-thrower was travelling to the windy city to play a series of concerts and mentioned the thriving scene that grew up around Ken Vandermark. My discovery of Vandermark’s music led me to his influences in Europe and Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. You see the Chicago scene draws ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Rose: Fringe Benefits

Read "Fringe Benefits" reviewed by AAJ Staff

At a certain point, restlessness can merge into insanity. (I couldn't tell you exactly where that point is, because I'm long past it myself.) Extreme violinist Jon Rose has proven over and over again his restless desire for creative momentum. I'm not really sure where he stands with respect to sanity--but the music he makes is unique, in the most extreme sense. His recent disc The Hyperstring Project on ReR presented a definitive thesis on the integration of improvised violin ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Rose: Fringe Benefits

Read "Fringe Benefits" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Fringe Benefits is a compilation of recordings emanating from Jon Rose’ Australian organization baring the same name which was a promotional tool of sorts for improvised music. Rose states in the liners: “.........Over half of these tapes had deteriorated so much that they had become unplayable. I decided to make a sampler of FBR, using material from either cassette or disc (all the LP master tapes except one were sadly destroyed in a Sydney squat)”. Rose discloses that these recordings ...


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