Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

John Beasley: MONK'estra Plays John Beasley

Read "MONK'estra Plays John Beasley" reviewed by Jim Worsley

In 2016 John Beasley gifted us with John Beasley Presents Monk'estra Volume 1 (Mack Avenue). The buzz of that superb record led to John Beasley Presents Monk'estra Volume 2 (Mack Avenue, 2017). Both records were Grammy nominated for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. They were both more than Grammy worthy, but alas the competition is fierce. Beasley has been more than a Thelonious Monk fan throughout his life, including his now over forty years in the music industry. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Connie Han: Iron Starlet

Read "Iron Starlet" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

At the 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival, pianist Connie Han dazzled the crowd with a superb and well-paced set which was one of the best performances of the weekend. Although her Mack Avenue debut, Crime Zone, had hit the streets in 2018, Han's musical acumen was still hovering below the radar of most jazz listeners. The key to Han's refreshing approach is that she operates in a zone that respects the lexicon while also finding new territory of its own to ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian Sands: Be Water

Read "Be Water" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

A small opus which rises from within, “Intro," unassuming title and all, begins Be Water, a true wealth of music which pianist Christian Sands has designed to flow not only like the awe-inspiring, fear-inducing title element, but like mercy, freely and without boundary. And so it does. For next is “Sonar," a romping festival of feisty performances from Sands and his core trio of bassist Yasushi Nakamura and drummer Clarence Penn which is meant to assure each other ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Warren Wolf: Reincarnation

Read "Reincarnation" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Less a true rebirth than a return to the stylistic suggestions that surrounded Warren Wolf's ears in the 1990s, Reincarnation finds the forty-year-old vibraphonist folding his serious jazz persona within settings that lean heavily on soul and R&B. Embracing the grooves, glazes and hooks endemic to those realms, Wolf delivers music that's both slick and smile-inducing. Paving the way for what's to come down the road, Baltimore radio personality Marcellus “Bassman" Shepard introduces the “new" Warren Wolf ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Connie Han: Iron Starlet

Read "Iron Starlet" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

A decisively brazen talent, pianist Connie Han rushes into the fire touched off by her 2018 Mack Avenue debut Crime Zone, bringing more accelerant to bear on Iron Starlet.With an exhilarating control of her skills and vision and an intimate clairvoyance into all that has come before her, Han bids trumpeter Jeremy Pelt the opening fanfare for the album's flag track, thus clearing headspace for Han, bassist Ivan Taylor and drummer/producer/musical director Bill Wysaske to swoop in like ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Christian McBride: The Movement Revisited

Read "The Movement Revisited" reviewed by Chris May

The spring 2020 release of The Movement Revisited: A Musical Portrait Of Four Icons is the latest chapter in Christian McBride's inspirational salute to the African American civil rights movement and to four of its heroes: Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali. Embracing big band jazz, small group jazz, gospel, funk and chorale musics, together with spoken word passages, the suite employs an eighteen-piece band, the ten-piece Voices Of The Flame gospel choir, two lead ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Aaron Diehl: The Vagabond

Read "The Vagabond" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Cardinally invested, engaged and resolute on making the classical hop and the swing vice versa, pianist Aaron Diehl, double bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Gregory Hutchinson take a deep dive into the many accords and asymmetries shared by Philip Glass and George Gershwin and come up victorious. Flush with tradition and vision, pianist Diehl's musical aesthetic hints at everything and manifests itself wholly on his third for Mack Avenue. Proceeding without artifice, the trio's most agile choreography weaves ...


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