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

ALBUM REVIEW

Black Art Jazz Collective: Ascension

Read "Ascension" reviewed by Ian Patterson

The name has obvious political resonance. Indeed, the raison d'être of the Black Art Jazz Collective, the sextet founded by Wayne Escoffery, Jeremy Pelt and Jonathon Blake in 2013, is to celebrate African American excellence on the one hand, and--not unrelated--to raise political consciousness on the other. The BAJC's debut album,Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club (Sunnyside Records, 2016) paid homage to W. E. B. Dubois and Barack Obama, while recalling, too, the history of slavery. Ascension plows a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Black Art Jazz Collective: Ascension

Read "Ascension" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On Ascension, the Black Art Jazz Collective, a like-minded sextet co-founded in 2012 by trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and saxophonist Wayne Escoffery to salute the artistry of their mentors and musical heroes while moving the idiom forward into the twenty-first century, is unbending in its allegiance to the straight-ahead canon espoused by the architects of modern jazz. It's a stance that gives rise to pluses and minuses. On the upside, this is splendid music, rhythmically and melodically pleasing, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Larry Willis: I Fall in Love Too Easily

Read "I Fall in Love Too Easily" reviewed by Jack Bowers

I Fall in Love Too Easily is subtitled “The Final Session at Rudy Van Gelder's," as it is not only descriptively but literally the last recording session by veteran pianist Larry Willis, who died at age seventy-six in September 2019, one year after the album was completed at the renowned Van Gelder studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. The occasion also represented a homecoming of sorts for Willis who launched his six-decades-long career at that same studio in 1965, cutting ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Dena DeRose: Ode to the Road

Read "Ode to the Road" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To those who may have wondered what ever happened to singer / pianist Dena DeRose, the answer is nothing—and everything. DeRose has lived for the last fifteen years in Graz, Austria, where she is professor of jazz voice at the University of Music and the Performing Arts. She still tours frequently, sometimes returning “home" to the states for gigs and / or record dates. Along the way, DeRose has met and befriended a sizable number of talented artists, three of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Eric Alexander: With Strings

Read "With Strings" reviewed by Jack Bowers

To paraphrase Cole Porter: “Bird did it, Chet did it... even many vocalists I bet did it..." And now tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander did it--recorded an album with strings, that is. This represents quite a departure for Alexander who is widely known as one of the more emotive and resourceful improvisers on the scene; but so it was too for Charlie Parker, the foremost architect and unquestioned sovereign of the bop movement who was the first post-Swing Era superstar to ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Houston Person: I'm Just a Lucky So and So

Read "I'm Just a Lucky So and So" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Perhaps tenor saxophonist Houston Person is indeed A Lucky So and So, as he professes on his newly recorded album of that name, but it has taken far more than luck to sustain a long and successful career that spans more than half a century and numbers more than sixty albums as leader of his own groups. Person's “luck," such as it is, has been bolstered by his remarkable ability to connect with listeners—call it charisma or whatever you will—while ...

ALBUM REVIEW

George Cables: I'm All Smiles

Read "I'm All Smiles" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes

At a time when jazz is being pulled in every direction at once in search of a future some fear may not exist, musicians such as George Cables, Essiet Essiet and Victor Lewis are proving that, for those who listen, there is no place quite like the present. Essiet became the trio's bassist for its 2012 Highnote release My Muse, and has remained since. Cables has been fortunate with drummers throughout his career as a band leader. During the 1970s ...


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