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Balagan Cafe Band: Balagan Cafe Band

Read "Balagan Cafe Band" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

The Balagan Café Band is a London-based trio--guitarist Christian Miller, violinist Richard Jones and cellist Shirley Smart--whose sound encompasses traditional tunes, jazz standards, medieval romance and music for the lute. On this, the band's debut release, the core trio and guests take those influences and create an impressively diverse and enjoyable collection of tunes, played with skill and flair. “Balagan" is Hebrew for “a big mess," but forget any negative connotations of that definition: the Balagan Café Band ...

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John Martin: The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure

Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The Hidden Notes--Spirit Of Adventure by saxophonist John Martin and his quintet (Ralph Wyld on vibes, guitarist Rob Updegraff, drummer Tim Giles and Tim Fairhall on bass) (mentioned briefly here) is a project that has had a four-year gestation. Calling the naturally occurring harmonics that are produced over the fundamental by all instruments the “hidden notes," Martin has put enormous effort into bringing out and controlling the harmonic possibilities of the saxophone through multiphonics, controlling the overtone patterns through different ...

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Josh Ison: Perceive React

Read "Perceive React" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The road to saxophonist Josh Ison's debut recording Perceive React is a very interesting one of connecting up with and finding players whom one admires, asking them to take part in a recording session, their acceptance, and finally their meeting for the first time and clicking impressively.Ison had been concentrating on finding the core of what it means to be in the moment and ego-less when improvising in a free setting. He happened to hear bassist Henry Grimes ...

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Alex Merritt Quartet: Anatta

Read "Anatta" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Everyone, listeners and composers/players bring their life experience to the music at hand. Jazz musicians in particular, especially today when many, if not most, compose as well as perform, pour themselves once into a composition, and then again when performing it. The performer aims to virtually disappear, to separate the distance and space between himself and the listener, and allow the music to flow. Of course, the listener is also asked to fully “be present" and , in a sense, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Vitor Pereira Quintet: New World

Read "Vitor Pereira Quintet: New World" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Vitor Pereira reveals in the sleeve notes that the inspiration for this collection was the fear that our world had reached a tipping point “where an increasingly globalised economic system powered by unscrupulous profit orientated multinational corporations is on the verge of collapse." It's a plea for a new, fairer, world where wealth is not concentrated in the hands of a self-appointed, entitled, elite who dictate societal outcomes without contributing their share through, among other things, taxation. So ...

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Vitor Pereira Quintet: New World

Read "New World" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

New World is the second album from this quintet, led by the London-based Portuguese guitarist and composer Vitor Pereira. Like the band's 2012 debut, Doors, the music reflects the many influences which Pereira has learnt from but New World sees his work move a step further, his voice as a writer and instrumentalist developing a more distinctive sound. The quintet has undergone a transformation since that debut album--the instrumentation remains unchanged but Pereira and altoist Chris Williams (from ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Vitor Pereira Quintet: New World

Read "New World" reviewed by Roger Farbey

This is Portugal-born, now London-based Vitor Pereira's second album for the F-IRE label which again features alto saxophonist Chris Williams, already renowned in the UK for his stellar work with Led Bib and Let Spin. It takes just a few plays but once you “get it," the albums starts to fall into place as something quite remarkable. The chief asset of this quintet is the employment of the two saxophones, playing the ensemble passages alternatively in unison or harmony. This ...


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