Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Muhal Richard Abrams / Roscoe Mitchell: Spectrum

Read "Spectrum" reviewed by Kurt Gottschalk

Muhal Richard Abrams and Roscoe Mitchell are arguably the two figures most central to the birth and rearing of the seminal '60s collective the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The organization was borne out of Abrams' Experimental Band and the first standing group to emerge from it was the Roscoe Mitchell Art Ensemble (later rechristened the Art Ensemble of Chicago). It seems a bit strange, then, that their careers have run such separate, while nearly parallel, paths. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Borah Bergman / Lol Coxhill / Paul Hession: Acts of Love

Read "Acts of Love" reviewed by Clifford Allen

The number of piano/reeds/percussion trios in the history of improvised music can probably be counted on a single hand, but some of them have been highly influential. Cecil Taylor's trio recorded such a set in 1962 at the Café Montmartre in Copenhagen, the entrée into free percussion beginning with Sunny Murray's fragmented bebop impulsions as Taylor and alto foil Jimmy Lyons expanded upon Bud and Bird, even as tradition became so much mincemeat. Saxophonist Evan Parker, pianist Alex von Schlippenbach ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Leroy Jenkins: The Art of Improvisation

Read "The Art of Improvisation" reviewed by Rex  Butters

Leroy Jenkins' Driftwood rarely floats, but readily burns. In addition to the violinist leader, pianist Denman Maroney and percussionist Rich O'Donnell, Min Xiao-Fen joins on pipa, a four-stringed lute from 7th Century China. A classically trained musician, Xiao-Fen began improvising with the encouragement of John Zorn, Wadada Leo Smith and Derek Bailey. The quartet roils with sound and ideas, frequently creating tones and timbres that seem anything but acoustic.

Jenkins and Xiao-Fen lead the momentum on “To Live, with O'Donnell ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl Howard: 5 Saxophone Solos

Read "5 Saxophone Solos" reviewed by Ty Cumbie

Saxophonist Earl Howard's solo CD, released on Tom Buckner's wonderful Mutable Music, reveals a quirky command of the instrument and ideas that defy easy analysis. For five fearless intervals, Howard publicly probes a private realm of sound. The results are almost always far from unlovely. Throughout there's an undertone of antipathy--and, paradoxically, a seeming affinity--for comfortable intervals in melody. There is no obvious interpolation of rhythm whatsoever, giving the recording a stark, abstract feel. Yet this is ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Revolutionary Ensemble: The Psyche

Read "The Psyche" reviewed by Rex  Butters

When Leroy Jenkins brought his AACM ways with him to New York, he altered that city’s musical landscape forever. Bringing the New Thing as the Chicagoans played it, he formed a trio that survived through the ‘70’s. On bass, Sirone brought an authority and skill level that landed him in Cecil Taylor’s band. Multi-dimensional drummer Jerome Cooper occasionally rose from the drum stool to sit the piano bench, a walk he later eliminated bringing synthesizers into his drum set. Here, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Revolutionary Ensemble: The Psyche

Read "The Psyche" reviewed by Andrey Henkin

When the Revolutionary Ensemble formed in the early ‘70s, the New Thing in jazz, disbursed mainly through the ESP label, had flamed brightly, been co-opted by political influences and developed into a more violent strain of free improvisation, a move from which it has yet to recover. What was happening concurrently was a total acceptance of any instrument into the jazz fold. Beneficiary of this benevolence was Leroy Jenkins, heir to the heritage of Stuff Smith but also the first ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Earl Howard: Strong Force

Read "Strong Force" reviewed by Clifford Allen

There are those who decried the attempted merger in the early ‘60s of jazz and classical music, the Third Stream movement spearheaded by Gunther Schuller, John Lewis and others, as a disservice to both realms. True, these early attempted syntheses often left too many seams showing and too many loose ends to qualify as successful.

Nevertheless, the “improvised chamber music" aesthetic has met with better results in more qualified hands, ostensibly from the jazz realm (Anthony Davis, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Randy Weston: Ancient Future

Read "Ancient Future" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Randy Weston is a Brooklyn born pianist, with Caribbean and African influences, as suits this scholar with earthy roots. His earliest recordings on Riverside date from the mid-'50s, and his fingers have since taken him around the world. He's appeared on as many labels as one can label the man himself, yet there is a constant: a continual searching for depth. Although Weston has used every grouping from trio to jazz orchestra (arranged by the late Melba Liston) to traditional ...


Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.