Album Review

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Ira B. Liss Big Band Jazz Machine: Mazel Tov Kocktail!

Read "Mazel Tov Kocktail!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Any big band that has been alive and kicking for forty-two years surely deserves a Mazel Tov or two. Ira B. Liss formed his San Diego-based Big Band Jazz Machine in 1979, and it has been standing tall on the local scene ever since. Although the band puts its best foot forward at the outset on this spicy Kocktail!, producing a lively kick on guest Andrew Neu's irrepressible “Gimme That," the remainder of the session is more a mixed drink, ...

ALBUM REVIEW

U.S.E. Trio: Twilight

Read "Twilight" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Stealing conspiratorially under your feet, the dark balladry of Twilight speaks modal, stark, humorous. Then perhaps it recoils and rebuilds. Shifts shapes and defines. Says yes when it means no and vice versa. So, at the behest of their own slippery, interior curvature, U.S.E. Trio, saxophonist Andrew Urbina, drummer Matt Scaranoand bassist/leader Sandy Eldred, follow-up the enjambments of Impact (LabelWhoAble, 2020) with the rhizome like Twilight. A boisterous, worthy successor, Twilght opens with “Tonal Gravity," and maybe your ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Out To Dinner: Play On

Read "Play On" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Record producers don't always get the same amount of attention as the musicians featured on an album, but their role and influence is vital in the recording process. Take The Beatles' producer, George Martin, for example. His involvement brought the music to a new level. This is also the case with Blue Note co-founder Alfred Lion, whose direction led to some of jazz music's most important recordings. Following Lion's lead, Posi-Tone Records' producer Marc Free tries to capture the spirit ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Aki Takase: Auge

Read "Auge" reviewed by John Sharpe

While it might be Aki Takase's name which grabs the attention thanks to her illustrious track record, the trio on Auge represents a true co-operative, as the Berlin-based Japanese pianist joins forces with Swiss bassist Christian Weber and German drummer Michael Griener in a perfectly balanced triumvirate. Takase draws on an ouevre which famously encompasses almost the entire history of jazz, stretching from projects reimagining Fats Waller, Duke Ellington, and Eric Dolphy all the way to freeform ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Ally Venable: Heart Of Fire

Read "Heart Of Fire" reviewed by Doug Collette

The virtues so readily apparent on guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Ally Venable's last album, Puppet Show (Connor Ray Music, 2018), remain fully in evidence on her Ruf Records debut. It is telling, however, that for Heart Of Fire, the sultry poses she struck on the cover of the previous LP give way to those focusing on the way the blueswoman wields her instrument. Strutting her stuff with the guitar on the grinding opener/itle song, the stripped-down trio including Elijah Owings on ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Alister Spence Trio With Ed Kuepper: Asteroid Ekosystem

Read "Asteroid Ekosystem" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Australian pianist/keyboardist Alister Spence—with his avant-garde credibility established via free-roaming work with his trio and collaborations with pianist/composer/bandleader Satoko Fujii—takes another let's-see-what-happens exploratory step in a collaboration with guitarist Ed Kuepper on the double CD outing, Asteroid Ekosystems, a sonic trek into the extraterrestrial area of space debris between Mars and Jupiter. Or not. Maybe the title was tagged on, after the two day recording sessions, after an “off-the-cuff" show in Sydney in March of 2018. Nevertheless, that ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Benoit Delbecq: The Weight of Light

Read "The Weight of Light" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Parisian pianist & composer Benoît Delbecq has not recorded a solo album in more than a decade. His collaborations are with impressive company including Tim Berne, Tom Rainey, Lotte Anker, Mark Turner, Steve Argüelles, Gerald Cleaver, Marc Ducret, Gerry Hemingway, Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Kris Davis. It is Davis' Pyroclastic Records that Delbecq calls home for the eclectic collection The Weight of Light. Delbecq is not a household name in the U.S.A.; many of his recordings ...


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