Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

The Brazilian Trio: Águas Brasileiras

Read "Águas Brasileiras" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Brazilian waters beckon with their beauty and energies, and this trio serves as a perfect vessel to carry the ears across that aqua viva. Pianist Helio Alves, bassist Nilson Matta and drummer Duduka Da Fonseca--three Brazilian heavies long based in New York—have played together in different configurations and situations for decades. And when they first banded together under this appellation for Forests (Zoho Music, 2008), they quickly earned the respect they so richly deserve by netting a Latin Grammy nomination. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Noah Bless: New York Strong—Latin Jazz!

Read "New York Strong—Latin Jazz!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

When it comes to Latin jazz, trombonist Noah Bless is no novice, having gigged in and around New York City for the better part of three decades with such Latin stars as Paquito D'Rivera, Mario Bauza, Oscar D'Leon, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon and Eddie Palmieri, and sat in with the Lincoln Center Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra and Spanish Harlem Orchestra, among others. After so many years toiling in the trenches, Bless has at long last decided to unfurl his Latin chops ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Arturo O'Farrill: Four Questions

Read "Four Questions" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Surprisingly this set marks the first time Arturo O'Farrill has recorded a set of solely his own compositions. It was worth the wait because this music, played by his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, really demonstrates the cinematic sweep and variety of his writing. The set is constructed around two topical extended works. The first, “Four Questions," is based on four questions about the struggle for human rights and personal dignity first posed by African-American author W.E.B. DuBois in ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Swingadelic: Bluesville

Read "Bluesville" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If you're partial to music that is sunny and freewheeling and almost commands a smile, you should have no trouble warming to Bluesville, the eighth recording by New Jersey-based Swingadelic, now twenty-two years old and counting. As its name implies, the orchestra (more often than not a mini-big band a dozen or so strong) re-creates an era wherein young fun-lovers (and some older ones as well) listened, danced and grooved to bands whose essential purpose was to make sure everyone ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: Four Questions

Read "Four Questions" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Four Questions addressed by composer / pianist Arturo O'Farrill's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra on its latest album were first posed in 1903 by W.E.B. DuBois in his book The Souls of Black Folk and are answered herein by the esteemed educator / historian / social activist Dr. Cornel West. For the record, the questions are “what does integrity do in the face of adversity and oppression, what does honesty do in the face of lies and deception, what does ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Funk Shui NYC: Shark NATO on a Plane

Read "Shark NATO on a Plane" reviewed by Jack Bowers

While some older listeners (and younger ones as well) may be thrown slightly off-kilter and find it hard to apprehend exactly what Funk Shui NYC is about, it must be conceded that the New York-based ensemble in all likelihood represents the future of big-band jazz, or at least a sizeable and assertive chunk of it. The name itself offers an explicit clue, as Funk Shui is indeed heavy on the funk (rather less on the shui, whatever that is), as ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out

Read "Hiding Out" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Mike Holober is a celebrated composer and arranger who has worked for ensembles like the Westchester Jazz Orchestra in New York and the WDR and HR Big Bands in Germany. He is also the leader and founder of the Gotham Jazz Orchestra which here makes its first appearance on record in ten years. Holober makes this return a fruitful one, coming up with a 2CD set featuring two long suites, both with themes involving American landscapes. The first ...


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