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The Curtis Brothers: Algorithm

Read "Algorithm" reviewed by Troy Dostert

It says something about Art Blakey's decades-long mentorship of younger musicians that many of them continue to pay it forward, bringing into maturity a new generation of hard-boppers who are maintaining Blakey's indomitable spirit. Enter the Curtis Brothers—pianist Zaccai and bassist Luques—who have benefited enormously from the Blakey disciples they're partnered with on their latest release, Algorithm. Saxophonist Donald Harrison, trumpeter Brian Lynch and drummer Ralph Peterson all had deep roots with Blakey, and they have brought their accumulated wisdom ...

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Nick Biello: Vagabond Soul

Read "Vagabond Soul" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Alto and soprano saxophonist Nick Biello has been gaining momentum as an artist on the New York scene in the late 2010s, culminating in this recording for Truth Revolution Records, Vagabond Soul. His prodigious talent as an instrumentalist, composer and arranger is plainly on display on this significant offering, as it is on the myriad of recordings he has made as a side musician. His partnership for this recording with pianist Phil Markowitz is a true sign of the respect ...

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Brian McCarthy Nonet: The Better Angels of Our Nature

Read "The Better Angels of Our Nature" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Brian McCarthy's The Better Angels of Our Nature shares some common ground with Ted Nash whose Big Band collection Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom) (Motema Music, 2016) explored musical interpretations of great historical speeches including those of John F. Kennedy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and Lyndon B. Johnson. McCarthy's focus is inspirited by American Civil War and the political and socio-economic issues that are not as far behind us as we would like to think.A well ...

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Curtis Brothers Quartet: Syzygy

Read "Syzygy" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Jazz music is constantly in a state of flux. It feeds off of new ideas and innovation to keep the music vital, and growing. The mantle is passed from generation to generation, eschewing the infective glare of pop notoriety to maintain the artistic presence that moves the music forward, now seventeen years into a new century. In jazz today, there is a groundswell of young musicians who understand this perspective, forging new paths into the future, while grounded in the ...

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Kris Allen: Beloved

Read "Beloved" reviewed by Mark Corroto

You have to love how a sommelier might describe a certain wine. It has “a jammy taste with a sweet attack, leather, tobacco, and very muscular with integrated wood." Listening to saxophonist Kris Allen's Beloved reminds us that jazz listeners use similar terms to describe the music they're hearing. Allen's alto saxophone is flavored with hints of Bobby Watson, the body feel of Paul Desmond, and the terrior of Hartford. In other words, it tastes great. The Hartford ...

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Sarah Elizabeth Charles: Inner Dialogue

Read "Inner Dialogue" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Trying to categorize or label vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles is a futile pursuit. Is she a hypnotic modern jazz vocalist? Is she a neo-soul experimentalist with jazz and R&B inflections oozing from her vocal cords? Is she an incredible talent, bewitching and beguiling with her every vocal gesture? Is she all of that, yet something completely different and unique? The answer to all four questions is the same: absolutely. Inner Dialogue--Charles' sophomore album, following Red (Truth Revolution ...

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Philip Dizack: End of an Era

Read "End of an Era" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Philip Dizack's End of an Era is a resounding album that is solidified by fine ensemble work and composition that breathes emotion and thoughtfulness. Since his 2005 debut, Beyond a Dream on Fresh Sound Records, Dizack has crafted his skill as a trumpeter and composer. This sophomore release is a statement of maturity that is born out of personal life experiences. The music's sweeping and heartfelt themes are realized through two different lineups that include the likes ...


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