Jazz Articles

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Modus Factor: The Picasso Zone

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Hollow, reverberant trumpet. Electric grooves. Ambient undertones. Infectious bass. Slippery electronic textures mixed with lithe improvisational flights. Modus Factor's debut The Picasso Zone is a stellar example of modern jazz's hybrid nature as well as the creative surge coming out of Canada's jazz scene of late.Conceived by drummer Chris Lesso and featuring Brownman Ali on electric trumpet and Ian de Souza on bass and effects, Modus Factor belongs firmly to the Miles Davis electric period branch of jazz. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The MUH Trio: The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark

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Italian pianist and bandleader Roberto Magris has been busy on several musical fronts. The first is his recent study of hard bop as evidenced by his recent J-Mood releases including Mating Call (2010), Morgan Rewind: A Tribute to Lee Morgan Vols. 1 & 2 (2012, 2013) and One Night in With Hope and More...Vols. 1 & 2 (2012, 2013). The second musical front Magris has been addressing is the rediscovery of overlooked masters as in the releases of Sam Reed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eve Risser White Desert Orchestra: Les Deux Versants Se Regardent

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Known for her adventurous approach to her instrument, French pianist Eve Risser takes a correspondingly maverick attitude to her first leadership vehicle, the White Desert Orchestra. Not that the two styles are in any way analogous. Rather Risser melds and translates disparate concepts into offbeat constructs which span jazz, improvisation, rock and contemporary classical, but remain beyond genre. Both the name of the ensemble and the cover images hint at the stimulation she draws from iconic landscapes in the western ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Konstrukt: Molto Bene

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Many listeners still cannot fathom the concept of Turkish free jazz. Consider though, the origins of free jazz both in North American. The United States claims John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, and Cecil Taylor. But let us recognize that Europe produced Evan Parker (England), Bengt Nordström (Sweden), John Tchicai (Denmark), Brötzmann (Germany), and Han Bennink (The Netherlands). Moreover, consider Ayler spent many years in Sweden, Coleman performed with the Master Musicians Of Jajouka, Taylor's lengthy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Glenn Zaleski: Fellowship

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Ever overcook a dish? The end result is usually dry and wilted. How about undercooking? Has one of your meals ever succumbed to that fate? If it has, you've probably been disappointed by the raw and shapeless dish sitting before you. In composition, as in cooking, you need to find the perfect temperature that sits between those extremes. Go too far in either direction and the magic is ruined. Pianist Glenn Zaleski gets that. “Overwriting can stifle improvisation, but underwriting ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Various Artists: E.S.T. Symphony

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One of the most widely popular piano trios in modern memory, e.s.t. combined jazz, classical, rock, and extended techniques in an organic and original way that hasn't been heard before. Since the tragic, accidental death of the visionary pianist/composer Esbjörn Svensson in 2008, there have been a handful of piano trios that provided a glimmer of hope that the “next e.s.t." was near at hand. Releases such as The Tingvall Trio Skagerrak (Skip Records/Soulfood), Sebastian Liedke Trio To Walk in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trouble Kaze: June

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Avant-garde pianist/composer Satoko Fujii augments her quartet, Kaze, with an additional piano and another drummer, to create Trouble Kaze, for the release of June. In Fujii's eighty-plus CD discography, Kaze can be counted as one of her most adventurous modes of artistic expression. With trumpeters Natsuki Tamura and Christian Pruvost working an array of extended techniques to push the limits of their instruments to the maximum; with Fujii's prepared and inside-the-piano ministrations, and the often explosive drumming from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benedikt Jahnel Trio: The Invariant

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Sometimes there's no substitute for experience, as demonstrated by this trio as it celebrates its tenth anniversary as a working unit. Last heard on Equilibrium (ECM, 2012), it's an international group that met through a series of lucky coincidences: Berlin-based pianist/composer Benedikt Jahnel is joined by Spanish bassist Antonio Miguel and Canadian drummer Owen Howard. Jahnel has also appeared on ECM as a member of Cyminology, a jazz group with culturally and ethnically diverse influences which primarily performs with Persian ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Dan Phillips Returns To Chicago

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Somewhat of a mystery man, guitarist Dan Phillips recorded two CDs in Chicago in 2015 and 2016. One a trio session, and the other a septet with a cast of heavyweights from the Windy City. Phillips, a Berklee and Northwestern graduate, has been living and teaching in Bangkok, Thailand since the turn of the new millennium. Born in Illinois, he spent five years in New York, and returned to Chicago for another five before decamping to Bangkok. It's just as ...


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