Articles

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra: URBAN(E)

Read "URBAN(E)" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's a rocky history surrounding jazz-classical hybrids. But, in truth, that has little to do with any potential incompatibility. Instead, it's usually misguided maneuvering and/or an excessive show of dominant traits from one side or the other that mars said unions. When done right a wedding of those worlds can truly birth brilliance. Just listen to Urban(e) for proof. Noted trombonist, composer, arranger and educator Mike Fahie's unabashed love for classical music and jazz is clear and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra: Urban(e)

Read "Urban(e)" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Most Western music, irrespective of its origin and premise, inhabits the same harmonic, chordal and rhythmic universe. So it should not be surprising that classical music, in the hands of a skilled arranger, can be readily recast in a jazz idiom, even one that is housed within a big-band framework. On Urban(e), trombonist Mike Fahie's New York-based Jazz Orchestra braves that challenge, quickening Fahie's translations of works by Frederic Chopin, Igor Stravinsky, Claude Debussy, Bela Bartok, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rudy Royston: PaNOptic

Read "PaNOptic" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Record label bosses probably do not hear the words “solo drum album" too often. Or if they do, judging by the paucity of such exemplars on the market, they likely only have to hear the phrase the once. After three impressive albums on Dave Douglas' Greenleaf Music label, to wit, 303 (2014), Rise of Orion (2016) and Flatbed Buggy (2018), drummer Rudy Royston happily confounds expectations with a solo drum album. No overdubs, no electronics, just skin, cymbals and a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Rudy Royston: PaNOptic

Read "PaNOptic" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Like many jazz musicians in 2020, drummer/composer Rudy Royston has felt the direct effects of living in the coronavirus world. The Texas native, now a New Jersey resident, found his streams of income drying up without gigs, but then experienced a fortunate twist of fate that stood him up. Head above water, the artist pays it forward by helping other musicians. The tracks that appear on PaNOptic were previously recorded but not released. Partnering with the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Webber / Morris Big Band: Both Are True

Read "Both Are True" reviewed by John Sharpe

On Both Are True Canadian composers and reed players Anna Webber and Angela Morris reimagine the language of the big band. They extend the tradition through adventurous arrangements spiced with the unpredictability of improv, by co-opting the nimbleness of a much smaller group, and reveling in non-standard techniques. Webber has already garnered plaudits for the work of her Simple Trio with Matt Mitchell and John Hollenbeck, while Morris' ventures such as the Motel Trio boast a lower profile so far. ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Dave Douglas: Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie At Zero Gravity

Read "Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie At Zero Gravity" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

The distinctive trumpet of Dizzy Gillespie (1917-1993), with the idiosyncratic upward angle of its bell, is transformed into a starship on the cover of Dave Douglas' Dizzy Atmosphere: Dizzy Gillespie in Zero Gravity, seemingly soaring above the stratosphere, in Earth orbit. Douglas has a history of nodding to past greats: pianist Mary Lou Williams on Soul On Soul (Sony Legacy, 2000), saxophonist Wayne Shorter on Stargazer (Arabesque, 1997), and on a pair of Riverside discs that explored the music of ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Mareike Wiening: Metropolis Paradise

Read "Metropolis Paradise" reviewed by Don Phipps

Composer-drummer Mareike Wiening's album, Metropolis Paradise, is a homage to her six-year residency in New York. And what a special time it must have been--judging from the music--a warm, sunny collection of shimmering and breezy beauty. Wiening wrote all the compositions, and they reflect what might be a perfect day sitting in Central Park under a warm sun, watching the butterflies scatter through the flowers. Wiening's ensemble is very tight, but this does not mean rigid. Instead, it ...


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