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Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin'

Read "Soul Progressin'" reviewed by Jay Deshpande

On Soul Progressin', Lafayette Gilchrist mixes a funky sensibility with, above all else, a sense of play. The album showcases the young pianist's compositions in a no-holds-barred, gutsy display of honest sound. Throughout, Gilchrist is supported by the strong horn section (two trumpets, three saxophones) that defines his band, the New Volcanoes. Gilchrist presents a range of compositions on the album, but all of them straddle a line between genres while maintaining a genuinely personal, distinct feel. ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: 3

Read "3" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

3 is Gilchrist's third album and his first trio release. He composed, arranged and throws every throbbing note down in the company of his Baltimore homeboys “Blue" Jenkins on bass and Nate Reynolds on drums. “The sound I was hearing in my head is coming from when I first heard Money Jungle," Gilchrist explains. “It's a trio record with Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach. To me, it sounds like an orchestra being played by a trio. I was ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin'

Read "Soul Progressin'" reviewed by Troy Collins

Baltimore-based pianist Lafayette Gilchrist stripped away the five-piece horn section of his octet, The New Volcanoes, fron his previous session, Third (Hyena Records, 2007), for an intimate trio exploration of hard- hitting funk. Soul Progressin' is the third album in his discography to feature the massed horns of The New Volcanoes, following in the footsteps of The Music According to Lafayette Gilchrist (Hyena, 2004), and Towards The Shining Path (Hyena, 2005).

Gilchrist draws from local Washington D.C.-based go-go, ...

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Lafayette Gilchrist: Soul Progressin'

Read "Soul Progressin'" reviewed by Chris May

Baltimore pianist Lafayette Gilchrist has a style which satisfyingly combines two very different aesthetics: the funky and the sophisticated. He's been compared to keyboardists and composers Andrew Hill and Sun Ra, but his approach is more closely rooted in bassist Charles Mingus' work as a leader. Where Mingus' rhythmic and emotional foundation for composition and arrangement borrowed from gospel and the blues, Gilchrist's draws from those music's more recent offspring: hip hop, Washington go-go and funk. Like Mingus, Gilchrist layers ...

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John Ellis and Double-Wide: Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

Read "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" reviewed by Joel Roberts

That's the low roar of a sousaphone--courtesy of New Orleans' Matt Perrine--you hear on the opening notes of “All Up in the Aisles," the first tune on Brooklyn-based saxophonist John Ellis' soulful Dance Like There's No Tomorrow. A North Carolina preacher's son who spent his formative musical years in the Crescent City before moving up north, Ellis remains a devotee of the New Orleans sound, although he and his band Double-Wide put a decidedly New York twist on it here. ...

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Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Lil Tae Rides Again

Read "Lil Tae Rides Again" reviewed by James Taylor

Jacob Free Jazz Odyssey's Lil Tae Rides Again unfolds more like an eclectic indie-rock album than the jam band romps they've been known to fashion. A marriage of instrumental post-rock-infused jazz in the vein of Tortoise's brilliant TNT (Thrill Jockey, 1998) and hyperactive avant-funk and digital illbient a la DJ Spooky, Lil Tae is the ultimate in accomplishments, a near perfect reinvention of direction and sound. And perhaps that has more to do with the way this ...

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Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Lil' Tae Rides Again

Read "Lil' Tae Rides Again" reviewed by Chris May

With Lil' Tae Rides Again, their first studio album since The Sameness Of Difference (Hyena Records, 2005), the mercurially inclined Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey have taken their biggest step so far into the unknown, re-inventing themselves in the process, at least for this project. The band gave unfettered creative control of the finished disc to their Tulsa neighbor, producer and electronicist Tae Meyulks, allowing him to deconstruct and reassemble the raw tracks as the spirit took him.

The ...

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John Ellis & Double-Wide: Dance Like There's No Tomorrow

Read "Dance Like There's No Tomorrow" reviewed by Chris May

The tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, which laid waste to much of New Orleans in August 2005, has inspired a clutch albums lauding the city and its people, and lambasting the colossal failure of the US government to pick up the pieces. Some of these tributes have been heartfelt; others have appeared opportunistic, going on cynical. Until now, the most eloquent and credible has probably been trumpeter Terence Blanchard's magnificent A Tale Of God's Will (Blue Note, 2007), subtitled “A Requiem ...

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Marco Benevento: Invisible Baby

Read "Invisible Baby" reviewed by Doug Collette

Marco Benevento's often intoxicating Invisible Baby has wide appeal for fans of the keyboardist/composer's work with Joe Russo in The Duo as well as those unfamiliar with his previous solo work. It may even beckon the hard-core jazz fan who's open to suggestion without preconception.

Based on his Live at Tonic triple set last year, it might be fair to assume Benevento would delve deeply either into a traditional jazz trio format or something on the more arcane and abstract ...

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James Blood Ulmer: Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions

Read "Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

"Blood wrote these songs that are the essence of the blues," suggests producer and guitarist Vernon Reid. “They're politically incorrect, they're sad and haunting, they're pissed off and on an existential level, they address the complicated concept that is America, which is something Blood's been dealing with since the beginning of his career."

You might forgive a certain about of hyperbole from the producer, but even one listen to Bad Blood in the City proves that what Reid ...

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Marco Benevento: Invisible Baby

Read "Invisible Baby" reviewed by Chris May

If you thought keyboardist Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo's duo made some noise, you ain't heard nothing yet. If Best Reason To Buy The Sun (Ropeadope, 2005) offended you, step away from the speakers. Benevento was only warming up.

When Benevento arrived in New York in 2001, he studied piano with Joanne Brackeen and Brad Mehldau and Invisible Baby is the piano trio album he says he's always wanted to make. But don't be fooled. ...

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The Bridge: The Bridge

Read "The Bridge" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

They've been creating a positive buzz throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the USA, and should pick up some steam with their inaugural release for this well-known record label. A multitasking unit, The Bridge is a quintet that fuses a wide sampling of styles into its impetus, where rock, funk, roots music and soul/pop bespeak an optimistic vibe that is irrefutably accessible and subsidized with solid musicianship. Featuring Chris Jacobs' spirited vocals atop silvery organ parts, weeping slide guitar lines, and ...