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Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out

Read "Hiding Out" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Mike Holober's background as a classical pianist and conductor is just one thing that sets Hiding Out apart from the current crop of big band releases. Holober has worked in a variety of settings from solo, duo, and quintet to large ensembles. Two previous recordings with his Gotham Jazz Orchestra were the critically acclaimed Thought Trains (Sons of Sound Records, 2004) and Quake (Sunnyside Records, 2009), comprised of covers and original Holober compositions. On the ambitious double-disc Hiding Out, Holober ...

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Richie Beirach-Gregor Huebner Duo and the WDR Big Band: Crossing Borders

Read "Crossing Borders" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The “borders" that are earmarked to be crossed in this new album by pianist Richie Bierach, violinist Gregor Huebner and Germany's superb WDR Big Band are both geographic and musical. The collaborative effort is intended, on the one hand, to bridge the gap between people of various ethnicities and backgrounds and help bring them together, and, on the other, to minimize the borders between classical music and jazz by allowing ample room for both genres to be heard, cross-referenced and ...

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Richie Beirach-Gregor Huebner Duo & The WDR Big Band: Crossing Borders

Read "Crossing Borders" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Richie Beirach, Gregor Huebner and the WDR Big Band. Now there's a triumvirate that speaks to enormity and nonconformity. On Crossing Borders, the revered pianist, the style-skirting violinist and the boundary-pushing large ensemble join forces for a program that's both crafty and dynamic, playing to past glories and present tense all at once. Tied to no single space or school, the album is wholly reflective of its title. Highlighting the compositional strokes of two vastly different composers, ...

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Marco Pignataro: Almas Antiguas

Read "Almas Antiguas" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Trying to place the music of saxophonist Marco Pignataro squarely in a single space, musical or otherwise, is a fruitless endeavor. His roots span oceans, his sound draws on myriad sources, and his open approach to influence and association(s) catapults him to another realm entirely. Yet all roads paved by heart and art in tandem tend to lead back to the Mediterranean for this man of passion and purpose. It's in that region, growing in the soil of Pignataro's fatherland, ...

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Fernando García: Guasábara Puerto Rico

Read "Guasábara Puerto Rico" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Puerto Rican born (now a New York City resident) drummer/composer Fernando García leads his young sextet through a set blending folkloric bomba rhythms and jazz. García was immersed in bomba after meeting master percussionist and folklorist Rafael Maya in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, where his parents lived. Maya taught the drummer the traditional tune “Guaynabo Mi Tambor," as well as contributing “Se Va" (which has lyrics, but García made an instrumental arrangement). The rest of the set was composed ...

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Pablo Ziegler Trio: Jazz Tango

Read "Jazz Tango" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Jazz Tango--winner of the 2018 Grammy for “Best Latin Jazz Album"--is a distillation of pianist Pablo Ziegler's vision. Leading a trio of American-based Argentinians, Ziegler delivers a program that perfectly encapsulates the titular hybridized form that he knows so well. This exhilarating outing opens on Nuevo Tango patriarch Astor Piazzolla's “Michelangelo 70," a number simultaneously referencing a famed Buenos Aires tango club and the composer's year of departure for Europe. With some chromatic zest and loads of ...

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Guillermo Nojechowicz's El Eco: Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933

Read "Puerto de Buenos Aires 1933" reviewed by Troy Dostert

In 1933, Europeans were only beginning to understand the horrors that the Nazi regime would bring to the continent. But already at that early stage, Jewish communities reacted with alarm to Hitler's rise to power--and many consequently made the decision to emigrate. One of the most common destinations in the Western Hemisphere was Argentina, which had served as a haven for Jews escaping European persecution since the sixteenth century. It is against this historical backdrop that Argentinian drummer Guillermo Nojechowicz ...

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Hart, Scone & Albin: Leading The British Invasion

Read "Leading The British Invasion" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The Hammond organ trio called Hart, Scone & Albin open up Leading the British Invasion by biting into “Rehab," from the songbook of the late British vocalist, Amy Winehouse. The tune--already dripping soul in its original edition--drips some, with the trio's muscular and propulsive approach. The British Invasion the trio addresses throughout the set isn't the one that began in the early 60s, with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Dave ...

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Hart, Scone & Albin: Leading The British Invasion

Read "Leading The British Invasion" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The British are coming, the British are coming! No, not the Redcoats with rifles or tide-shifting rock royalty like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and the like. This time, it's the might and music of the English songstress that's landing stateside. With Leading The British Invasion, this smart and stinging organ trio salutes a number of notable ladies from across the pond. Fifty years worth of history is covered here, as everybody from Dusty Springfield to Adele ...

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Gil Spitzer: Falando Docemente

Read "Falando Docemente" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Bossa Nova music, from Brazil, became part of the America's DNA  in the early 1960s, with albums like Jazz Samba (Verve Records, 1962) and Getz/Gilberto (Verve Records, 1964). The key players: Saxophonist Stan Getz, guitarist Charlie Byrd, vocalist/guitarist Joao Gilberto; composer/pianist Antonio Carlos Jobim. With Falando Docemente alto saxophonist Gil Spitzer--who cites Stan Getz as a major influence--offers up his debut with a Bossa Nova/Getz-ian mainstream jazz sound, with an exquisitely crafted, always enchanting set that also pays ...

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Garry Dial: Rediscovered Ellington

Read "Rediscovered Ellington" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Fans of Duke Ellington who think they've heard it all should prepare themselves for a most pleasant surprise: a treasure-trove of “rediscovered" songs composed or co-written by Ellington, several of which had never before been recorded, wonderfully performed by Germany's world-class WDR Big Band conducted by Rich DeRosa and featuring the prodigious talents of guests Garry Dial on piano and Dick Oatts on alto and soprano saxophones and flute. The story behind that rediscovery dates to 1979 ...

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Swingadelic: Mercerville

Read "Mercerville" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Swingadelic loves a good tribute. This little big band's first date for Zoho was all about Duke--Pearson, not Ellington--and its second set on that imprint focused on the music of New Orleans icon Allen Toussaint. Now the group has set its sights on another singular figure, taking a trip to Johnny Mercer country with positive results. Toussaint was occasionally a tough nut to crack for Swingadelic, as the soul quotient in his world was difficult to consistently ...