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CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Deanna Witkowski: Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns

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The improvisatory phrase and the song of praise don't stem from the same place, but who's to say they can't break bread together? With Makes The Heart To Sing: Jazz Hymns, pianist Deanna Witkowski erases lines between the strict-toned sacred and malleable secular, creating music that manages to be tradition-minded and open-minded all at once. The fifteen tracks contained herein pull from myriad sources and eras. An African-American spiritual cozies up next to a 17th-century German hymn, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eric Alexander: Song of No Regrets

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Eric Alexander, who has been wielding as impressive a tenor saxophone as anyone on the scene for more than two decades, returns to the studio for what seems the umpteenth time with an abundant stockpile of point-blank pleasures on Song of No Regrets, an essentially Latin-grooved session that leaves room on the first two numbers for the superlative trumpet work of guest artist Jon Faddis. One of Alexander's strengths, and perhaps the one that has caused him ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mat Maneri: Sounding Tears

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In the wake of Evan Parker's 2013 and 2014 residencies at New York's The Stone, a slew of tremendous recordings has emerged showcasing the British saxophonist's encounters with the luminaries of the downtown scene. Prominent among them are Miller's Tale (Intakt, 2016) with the electronics of Ikue Mori, violinist Mark Feldman and pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, Either, Or And (Relative Pitch, 2014) with the same pianist, and Ninth Square (Clean Feed, 2015) with guitarist Joe Morris and trumpeter Nate Wooley. But ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wingfield - Reuter - Sirkis: Lighthouse

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Once again, the sky is the limit for these estimable artists who execute spontaneous compositions in the studio without any overdubs or heavy editing. It's largely about the musicians' synchronous game-plan and intuitive interactions during these resonating and impactful works, crossing genres or stylizations that lie somewhere between freeform progressive rock and jazz rock. Lighthouse follows up The Stone House (Moonjune, 2016), even though it was recorded first, and features the core trio of burgeoning guitar hero Mark Wingfield, Touch ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joao Espadinha: Kill The Boy

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"Kill The Boy," title of Portuguese guitarist Joao Espadinha's first album, is taken from G.R.R. Martin's novel “A Feast For Crows," fourth in the epic fantasy series, “A Song Of Ice And Fire," which went on to become the immensely popular television series “Game Of Thrones." But there is no violent medieval escapism here; no white walkers, no dragons, no raunchy sex. Instead Espadinha is intent on portraying his first faltering steps into the adult world. His ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Houston Person: Rain or Shine

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Tenor saxophonist Houston Person, now in his eightieth decade, has made no concessions to Father Time, choosing instead to use his many years in the jazz trenches to forge a style all his own, bathed in blues and soul but never turning a deaf ear to the allure of a seductive and tasteful melody. Each of these components is clear as the midday sun on Rain or Shine, a well-designed studio session on which Person shares the front line with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Albert Ayler: Copenhagen Live 1964

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Even more than 50 years on, there's still never been anyone quite like Albert Ayler. Or for that matter like this 1964 Quartet, which was one of the few ensembles during his career to match the tenor saxophonist against equally forward thinking peers. Bassist Gary Peacock was fresh from pianist Bill Evans' Trio, cornetist Don Cherry was based in Europe having worked with both Ornette Coleman and Sonny Rollins, while Sunny Murray had held the drum stool in pianist {{Cecil ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trio S: Somewhere Glimmer

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New York-based clarinetist, banjoist, Doug Wieselman (Lou Reed, Bill Frisell, Yuka Honda) is often immersed within the new music realm, including jazz and most of its offshoots. Highly in demand, the artist also composes for theater and TV. With Trio S' second release, he skirts the boundaries of ambient-electronic stylizations, jazz, folk and modern chamber, with cellist Jane Scarpantoni, and first-call drummer, percussionist Kenny Wolleson. The trio fuses an acoustic-electric array of exquisite, delicate and artful melodic inventions ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wingfield Reuter Sirkis: Lighthouse

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The trio of Mark Wingfield (guitar), Markus Reuter (touch guitar) and Asaf Sirkis (drums) gathered at La Casa Murada Studios in Spain in February, 2016 to improvise the music on this album. There was so much creativity in the air that bassist Yaron Stavi asked to join them for another session--The Stone House (Moonjune Records, 2017)--which was recorded second, but released first. This might make Lighthouse seem anticlimactic, but it definitely is not. The music these musicians made ...


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