Album Reviews

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Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out

Read "Hiding Out" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Mike Holober has been Hiding Out rather openly for the past ten years or so, waiting for the proper time to gather together his world-class Gotham Jazz Orchestra and record for the first time since 2009's widely acclaimed album Quake (Sunnyside), in which his picturesque compositions and arrangements were compared favorably to those of Duke Ellington and Gil Evans, to name only two. In the interim, Holober has hardly been sitting on his hands, serving time as director of New ...

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Lookout Farm: At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Hamburg 1975

Read "At Onkel Po's Carnegie Hall: Hamburg 1975" reviewed by Chris May

Fasten your seat belt, please. Dave Liebman and Richie Beirach's club date with Lookout Farm barely lets up during an hour of ferocious jazz going on jazz-rock. It's in roughly the same bag as Miles Davis' post-Bitches Brew (CBS, 1970) electric albums, some of which had Liebman in the lineup. The tape lay in the vaults of German radio station NDR, for whom it was recorded for broadcast in 1975, until its rediscovery by Jazzline Records. It forms part of ...

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Petros Klampanis: Irrationalities

Read "Irrationalities" reviewed by Mark Corroto

You'd expect a strong pulse on Irrationalities by bassist Petros Klampanis. What comes as a beautiful surprise is the diversified approach he utilizes in his compositions and performance. Not that we don't hear a variety of approaches on he previous outings. Both Chroma (Minos-EMI, 2017) and Minor Dispute (Inner Circle Music, 2015) concentrated on a chamber sound with string ensembles. Here Klampanis pares down his expression to the a simple trio. A piano trio maybe actually be the ultimate ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Cobb's Pocket

Read "Cobb's Pocket" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Is there anything more satisfying than the simmer-and-swing sonics of an organ combo on the move? How about one fronted by one of jazz's premiere harmonic players and backed by one of the most distinguished drummers in the music's history? Following up their successful meeting on Harmonicus Rex (Self-Produced, 2016), Hendrik Meurkens and nonagenarian icon Jimmy Cobb join forces to deliver a beautiful set of music that alternately cooks, smolders and seduces. And with guitarist Peter Bernstein and organist Mike ...

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Darek Oleszkiewicz: Blues For Charlie

Read "Blues For Charlie" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The serious jazz musician or listener will tell you that to hear the music that prolific bassist Charlie Haden left us, is to be given a rare gift. Haden's extraordinary abilities first made an impact in the 1950s. Perhaps best known for his work with the Ornette Coleman Quartet, Haden's most influential mark was in the form of improvisation. He was a pioneer in pushing the bassist role beyond rudimentary rhythms and becoming an integral part of the band's conversation. ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Cobb's Pocket

Read "Cobb's Pocket" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

It may be posited that what Louis Armstrong was to the trumpet, Toots Thielemans was to the mouthorgan. With Thielemans now blowing in the Upper Room, the field is open to aspiring and worthy replacements. Hendrik Meurkens fits that bill appropriately and is a leading contender, for sure. Like his aforementioned hero, Meurkens is not only a superior harmonica player, he is, like Thielemans, a multi-instrument-playing musician. Cobb's Pocket, a very fine effort, has Meurkens fronting a ...

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The Casimir Connection: Cause and Effect

Read "Cause and Effect" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Though perhaps best known as a writer, arranger and leader of big bands, particularly the seventeen-piece Giant Steppes, saxophonist Diane McLoughlin is no stranger to the cut and thrust of small ensemble dynamics; the London-based musician plays with both the Alison Rayner Quintet and the Chris Hodgson Quartet. The Casimir Connection, however, is a different proposition; a new quartet, its debut release is a chamberesque blend of contemporary classical, Eastern European folk and jazz. McLoughlin's elegant and subtly layered through-composed ...

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Joachim Zoepf: Geschmacksarbeit

Read "Geschmacksarbeit" reviewed by John Eyles

Among other skills, Germany's Joachim Zoepf plays various saxophones as well as bass clarinet and piano. Having recently come across free improv, in 1989 he recorded for the first time, the result being the solo album Solo Reeds -Elements (Musikverlag H. Burger & M. Müller, 1989) on which he played soprano and baritone saxophones plus bass clarinet. In his relatively small discography, it is notable that Geschmacksarbeit ("Taste Work," in English) is Zoepf's sixth solo recording and on it he ...

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Larry Corban: Emergence

Read "Emergence" reviewed by Geannine Reid

New York guitarist Larry Corban has once again come together with the Aperturistic Trio—pianist James Weidman, bassist Harvie S, drummer Steve Williams—for his fifth recording Emergence. Though titled like a debut album Emergence features a seasoned Corban employing a Gibson L-5 that easily navigates bold swinging on up-tempo burners, and tender musings on lyrical ballads. The ensemble is augmented by the indomitable saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi who adds an element of fierceness to four of the eight tunes. “Table ...

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Michael Dease: Never More Here

Read "Never More Here" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Trombonist Michael Dease released Bonafide (Posi-Tone Records) in 2018. The disc was a testament to some of his influences—pianist Geri Allen, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, trombonist J.J. Johnson. For his 2019 testament, Never No More Here, he tips his hat to saxophonist Charlie Parker. But he doesn't cover “Confirmation" “or “An Oscar For Treadwell" or “Segment," familiar Parker tunes; nor does he offer up ”Loverman" or ”Star Eyes," familiar Parker vehicles. Instead Never No More Here“ reflects on the artists that ...

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Jo Berger Myhre & Ólafur Björn Ólafsson: Lanzarote

Read "Lanzarote" reviewed by Gareth Thompson

A testament to water and fire, Lanzarote is the fourth largest island in the Canary archipelago. In the 1960s, tourism was encouraged there at all costs, elements of which survive in Brit-pubs and karaoke bars on the waterfront at Puerto del Carmen. But the island's moon-like terrain has more recently lured visitors seeking yoga and yurts, hammocks and health foods. They say it makes a great place to reflect on the world's natural wonders. Norwegian bassist/pianist Jo Berger ...

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Marbin: Strong Thing

Read "Strong Thing" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Marbin consists of saxophonist Danny Markovitch, drummer Everette Benton Jr, guitarist Dani Rabin, and bassist Jon Nadel. Marbin has previously released seven albums: Marbin (Self-released, 2009), Breaking the Cycle (MoonJune, 2011), Last Chapter of Dreaming ( MoonJune, 2013), The Third Set (MoonJune, 2014), Aggressive Hippies (Marbin Music, 2015), Goatman and the House of the Dead (Marbin Music, 2016), and Israeli Jazz (Marbin Music, 2018). Their eighth album, Strong Thing, contains ten originals based in the jazz-rock fusion style.


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