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ALBUM REVIEWS

Emmet Cohen: Master Legacy Series Volume 3 Featuring Benny Golson & Albert "Tootie" Heath

Read "Master Legacy Series Volume 3 Featuring Benny Golson & Albert "Tootie" Heath" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Set aside for the moment that the combined age of the elders here is 174 years. Emmet Cohen's Masters Legacy Series Volume 3 Featuring Benny Golson & Albert “Tootie" Heath is not only a mouthful of a title, but also irascibly and irrepressibly old school. It's as if Cohen, in his youthful (29) zeal and zest to translate what the masters can still impart, not only wanted to capture a generational performance but the very air these two statesmen inhabit. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ben Flocks: Mask of the Muse

Read "Mask of the Muse" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It was probably inevitable that the start of the 2020's would see something of a comeback for the Roaring Twenties of the last century. You could say that puts Ben Flocks ahead of the curve for releasing this homage to mark the change of decade... well, except that it's not just rooted in the previous gilded age, and it's not of the roaring variety either. Mask of the Muse is more than a time capsule anyway. It could make a ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Masa Ishikawa: Dialogue

Read "Dialogue" reviewed by Don Phipps

The happy set of ten originals Masa Ishikawa composed for his album Dialogue suggests a budding talent. A visiting professor of jazz at the University of Iowa, Ishikawa, along with his bandmates, demonstrates a precise and light touch, where bluesy readings have just the right sense of playfulness. Born in Fukushima, Japan, Ishikawa teams up on this session with vibraphonist Christopher Varga, who has played with such notables as Terrence Blanchard and the late Jay McShann, bassist Eric ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sam Newbould Quintet: Blencathra

Read "Blencathra" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Blencathra, the debut album from British-born, Amsterdam-based saxophonist Sam Newbould's quintet, presents half a dozen of the leader's forward-leaning compositions and arrangements whose general point of view may be subdued, at times veering toward melancholy, but is never less than engaging. One of Newbould's strengths, even when the music is leisurely and pensive, lies in his ability to fully engage every member of the quintet in the ardent expression of its finer points. In other words, the group dynamic is ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Donna Khalife: Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Read "Hope is the Thing with Feathers" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Two-and-a-half years after her powerful debut, Heavy Dance (Self- Produced, 2017), Lebanese double bassist and singer Donna Khalifé returns with another sparkling statement. It is not an especially long time between releases, but there are significant differences between the two recordings. Heavy Dance, with guitar and saxophone to the fore, was a frequently stormy affair of edgy dissonances, odd metres and punchy angularity. Hope Is The Thing With Feathers, by contrast, is a more melodious experience. Its colors are brighter ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Amanda Addleman: Into the Light

Read "Into the Light" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

There are a lot of young singers around whose music draws equally from the fluidity of jazz and the confessional focus of the singer-songwriter genre. San Francisco's Amanda Addleman is one of those. This CD mixes personal original songs with standards and she delivers both with a deceptively light but powerful voice and understated passion. Her voice has a gauzy, high-flying quality that fits perfectly with her languid, easy-flowing music, rhythms built on electric piano and guitar that ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Benny Benack III: A Lot Of Livin' To Do

Read "A Lot Of Livin' To Do" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Benny Benack III does it all. A trumpeter, vocalist, writer and arranger with a swaggering soul and the chops to back up the panache, he's clearly done his fair share of living already. He may be young—only at the tail end of his twenties, believe it or not—but he seriously has his act together in every way, shape and form, as this album proves. Fronting a tight quartet with Takeshi Ohbayashi on piano, Christian McBride on bass ...


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