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CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Parker Abbott Trio: Elevation

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It's hard to imagine a musical palette with more sonic possibilities: It's a bunch of 88s: two pianos, combined with an array of electric keyboards: Moogs, MicroKorgs (sounds like small aliens from the planet Korgon), glockenspiels, melodicas, a Hammond B-3 organ, a Nord Electro, a Microbrute (a diminutive schoolyard bully?), a Moog Sub Phatty. And throw in some inspired drums and percussion. That's Toronto's Parker Abbott Trio. Two keyboardists--Teri Parker and Simeon Abbott, along with drummer Mark Segger--who ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kris Davis: Duopoly

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Query: when does improvised music appear more arranged than written compositions? The question is not a zen koan, it is the notion put forth by the sixteen duets performed by pianist Kris Davis and her eight collaborating partners. Davis, who can no longer be labeled a “rising star" of jazz and improvised piano, is a fully formed mature performer. Her dozen or so discs as leader and multiple collaborations with Michael Formanek, Ingrid Laubrock, Tyshawn Sorey, Jon Irabagon, and Eric ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Kuhn Trio: The Other Shore

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Returning to the music after some 35 years off the scene, reedman Peter Kuhn helms a live date which catches him in consort with two like-minded and accomplished free spirits in bassist Kyle Motl and drummer Nathan Hubbard. Interest in Kuhn has spiked following the reissue of his debut Livin' Right, as part of the splendid double disc set No Coming, No Going (NoBusiness Records, 2016). In the intervening years since The Kill (Soulnote, 1982), Kuhn has discarded charts and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Construction: Centreline Theory

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Centreline Theory is an impressive debut for British drummer, composer Jim Bashford's Construction with his fellow countrymen, bassist Tim Harries (Bill Bruford's Earthworks, Brian Eno), saxophonist Robin Fincker (Vincent Courtois, Whahay) and Icelandic guitar ace Hilmar Jensson (Tim Berne, Jim Black's AlasNoAxis). Bashford is also an educator and busy session artist who seems equally comfortable engaging the free jazz realm, evidenced by his stints with tenor sax titan Paul Dunmall, and jazz fusion among other idioms and spinoffs.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Bennett Thomas: Deeper Journey

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Pianist David Bennett Thomas takes inspiration from God's word. Not unlike Finish pianist/harpist Iro Haarla, on her beautiful duet set Kirkastus (TUM Records, 2015), with saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, where Biblical Psalms informed the music, Thomas' Deeper Journey goes to the Bible for inspiration on half the tunes on this meticulously crafted, subtle--yet modern and adventurous--set of songs. On his previous recording, Headspace (Vectordisc, 2013), Thomas assembled a stellar ensemble, with drummer Erik Johnson and bassist Micah Jones, along ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Andrew Cyrille Quartet: The Declaration of Musical Independence

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Drummer Andrew Cyrille is probably best known for his long association with the avant-garde pianist Cecil Taylor. He has previously appeared on ECM and Watt albums by saxophonist Marion Brown (Afternoon of a Georgia Faun, 1970), Carla Bley (European Tour 1977, 1978), The Jazz Composer's Orchestra (originally on JCOA, 1968), and most recently on Ben Monder's Amorphae (2016). He makes his ECM leader debut here with this quartet with guitarist Bill Frisell, keyboardist Richard Teitelbaum and bassist Ben Street.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

LE POT: Hera

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This Swiss ensemble maximizes the pristine sonic qualities of a church --St. Romain in Raron --that combines a pure, organic soundstage with the complexities of highly expressive jazz and improvisational overtures, including impressionistic interpretations of choice works by famed British classical composer Benjamin Britten. There are occasions when the ensemble projects a thought-provoking ideology of an avant-garde spin on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew jazz fusion era, which of course was groundbreaking yet quite unconventional for its time. Every ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Erik Sondhy: Abbey Road Sessions, Vol 1

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Joey Alexander, the young piano phenom from Bali, has caused quite a splash in the jazz world, a player who is ridiculously talented for one so young. But there's another masterly young piano guy from the Indonesian island: Erik Sondhy. The sessions resulting in Sondhy's debut, Recorded At Abbey Road, Vol. 1, also known as Abbey Road Sessions, Vol. 1, came about on Sondhy's trip to visit his wife's family, where he was able to seize the opportunity ...


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