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Buffalo Jazz Octet: PausaLive

Read "PausaLive" reviewed by Patrick Keyes

The Buffalo Jazz Octet, a group of veteran musicians culled from the strong jazz community in jny: Buffalo, NY, offers a boldly realized collective voice that sings of a wide-open future on PausaLive. PausaLive both reinforces and obliterates notions of jazz as a convenient label. The writing is beguiling, the musicians contribute top-notch inside and outside playing amid an assertive group mindset, and the listener is pulled into an aural adventure of striking dynamic variances. This is an ...

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Ehran Elisha Ensemble: Continue

Read "Continue" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

The title of the Israeli-American drummer Ehran Elisha new ensemble album suggests his approach to music and improvisation. Inspired by the approach of Miles Davis, its art, aesthetics, compositional and improvisational tools never rest, simply continue forward. Always enriching the creative process, whether within formal compositions, free improvisations solo performances or with new musicians. The ensemble, a quintet comprised of Elisha long-time friends--violinist Sam Bardfield and tenor saxophonist David Bindham, together with acclaimed double bassist Ken ...

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Paul Hubweber: Loverman

Read "Loverman" reviewed by John Eyles

Studio-recorded in July 2010, Loverman features nearly 41 minutes of solo trombone from Paul Hubweber across eleven tracks. As the album title hints, the focus of the album is on Charlie Parker, with five of those eleven tracks being Bird compositions, in addition to “Lover Man," made famous by the alto saxophonist. Despite those tracks, this never comes close to being a Parker tribute album; this is definitely not Hubweber playing bebop. In typical fashion, the trombonist uses the compositions ...

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Brian Landrus: Forward

Read "Forward" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Forward is a magical sonic journey charted by reeds and woodwinds master, Brian Landrus and explores the tonal depths of the ocean of sound that fewer saxophonists seem to traverse these days. Landrus plays baritone saxophone and bass clarinet on this adventure in sound, as well as alto flute, all of which makes for a breathtaking palette of colors when he is done. Landrus is a poet who has a mastery of tone, something he explores with gravity and a ...

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Brian Landrus: Forward

Read "Forward" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

Forward, multi-instrumentalist Brian Landrus' first album, begins by looking back--with a version of Thelonious Monk's “Ask Me Now." This is, perhaps, a nod of recognition to past masters but Landrus' arrangement adds a freshness made even more effective by his use of the baritone sax as the lead instrument. The rest of the album, which was recorded in 2007, features Landrus' original compositions, with equally inventive arrangements, and makes it clear that he's a player to watch. ...

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Tomas Ulrich: Tomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult

Read "Tomas Ulrich's Cargo Cult" reviewed by Lyn Horton

Recorded live in February, 2007 in Kingston, NY, If You Should Go unveils the distinction among three separate string instruments: the cello, the guitar and the upright bass. As Tomas Ulrich on cello, Rolf Sturm on electric and acoustic guitars and Michael Bisio on bass trade leading musical lines, so do they each reflect how they feel in response to one another in statements that are as diverse as their instruments can sound.

Perhaps the title of the album itself ...

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Michael Jefry Stevens: For The Children

Read "For The Children" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Pianist Michael Jefry Stevens has to be one of most under-appreciated composers and players around. His discography as a leader, going back to 1995, is slight, and he can be most easily heard in cooperative groups such as Conference Call (nominally led by Gebhard Ullmann) and the Fonda/Stevens group. Stevens is an intellectually stimulating player with eclectic tastes, an extremely sharp mind and fast reflexes, able to lead and follow in many a varied musical situation. For ...

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George Dulin Disband: Ride Of Your Life

Read "Ride Of Your Life" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

In the liners, producer Bob Rusch iterates about the thousands of demos he receives in the mail during the course of a year. Luckily, for us modern jazz aficionados, Rusch judiciously recognized the talents of thirty-year old Kansas City reared pianist George Dulin. And it's not just another jazz piano trio recording by any stretch.

Like boxers preparing for battle in the ring, the opening bell rings in with the bustling and nicely in-your-face piece titled “Stingray Road, ...

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Bob Szajner Triad II: Live at the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival

Read "Live at the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival" reviewed by Jay Deshpande

Like far too many others, Bob Szajner serves as a reminder of how much jazz has been forgotten or overlooked. A popular player on the Detroit scene intermittently over several decades, Szajner distilled a piano style that brought together the blues and the innovations of Bill Evans in a popular form. This feel is readily apparent on Live at the Detroit Montreux Jazz Festival 1981, recorded in the early days of what has since become a major stop on the ...

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Michael Jefry Stevens Quartet: For the Children

Read "For the Children" reviewed by Todd S. Jenkins

This release in the Cadence Jazz Historical Series (recorded in February 1995) is full of surprises, none greater than the successful intertwining of a former Jazz Messenger with one of the premier free-jazz rhythm teams. Saxophonist David Schnitter isn't the best-known of the Messengers tenormen, having joined the outfit during the comparative down-time of the 1970s. But since then he has built a reputation as a solid, reliable improviser. Dominic Duval and Jay Rosen often function as the “house rhythm ...

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Chris Humphrey: Nothing but Blue Sky

Read "Nothing but Blue Sky" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Vocalist/composer Chris Humphrey's release Nothing but Blue Sky continues a recent trend of jazz vocal recordings that feature the vocalist backed sparingly with a piano trio or less instrumentation, without brass or reeds. This enables craftsmen like Humphrey to both explore and display their talents for both singing and, in the case of Humphrey, arranging the music he sings.

Perhaps the best way to describe Humphrey's vocal talent is durable. His voice is neither pretty nor unpretty. It ...

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Marshall Allen / Lou Grassi: Live At The Guelph Festival

Read "Live At The Guelph Festival" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Marshall Allen and Lou Grassi make quite a duo. On Live At The Guelph Festival, they play unprepared and unrehearsed music which, due to their skill, has a remarkable degree of coherence. Admittedly, this is free or avant-garde jazz, requiring coherence to be understood within that framework. Allen is currently leading the Sun Ra Arkestra, after both Sun Ra (1993) and John Gilmore (1995) died, while Grassi has become something of the house percussionist at the CIMP ...