CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Omar Sosa & Seckou Keita: Transparent Water

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Omar Sosa would make an excellent global ambassador. He seems to make friends and erase boundary lines wherever he goes. Back in 2012, the Cuban pianist connected with Senegalese kora guru Seckou Keita through a mutual musical associate--drummer Marque Gilmore. Sosa and Keita struck up a quick friendship at that initial meeting, ultimately leading to the creation of this radiant collaboration. They laid down the basic tracks for the project in 2013 and added some other worldly (and otherworldly) voices ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rema Hasumi: Billows Of Blue

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Pianist Rema Hasumi, Japanese-born and now New York City-based, calls her compositions sound stories. Those “stories" sound like tales drifting out of a dream land: untethered to time and place, free-flowing and graceful, strikingly pretty, sometimes spooky, and starkly rendered, with the input of her empathic trio that includes bassist Masa Kamaguchi and drummer Randy Peterson, on her second album release, Billows of Blue. Hasumi's trio approach brings to mind the late Masabumi Kikuchi--whom she cites as an ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Derby Derby: Love Dance

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The French trio Derby Derby consists of Alan Regardin on electrified trumpet, drummer Fabrice L'houtellier and bassist Sylvain Didou. Their debut album Love Dance was recorded in Nantes, France in late 2016, several months after the three first musicians met. Through the intersection of jazz, ambience and noise, the music works reiteration, beat and tone into and unanticipated lavishness.The group members are not strangers to cross-pollinating styles. Regardin has played in the French group Pang Pung Bleu le ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Thornetta Davis: Honest Woman

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Twenty years might seem like a long time in between records, but for blues singer Thornetta Davis, it's always been about getting it right. Started to sing at age fifteen, joined several bands as vocalist, released Sunday Morning Music in 1996. Fast forward to today and Honest Woman reveals Davis as a mature, commanding vocalist, introspective composer, and demanding producer. Long before Motown, Detroit had an illustrious history associated with the blues going back to the days of Hastings Street, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Trouble Kaze: June

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Wherever pianist Satoko Fujii and her husband, the trumpeter Natsuki Tamura ply their trade, the unusual follows. Without fail, both--individually and together--have been the purveyors of a collective catalog that has never failed to astound. One of their many outlets has been the free-improvisational group Kaze with drummer Peter Orins and trumpeter Christian Pruvost. While Fujii and Tamura are the drawing card names, Orins--a fine composer in his own right--was the original initiator of the quartet. This variation--Trouble Kaze--was again ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Nu Band: The Final Concert

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The title refers to trumpeter Roy Campbell's last appearance with the outfit he founded with drummer Lou Grassi twelve years before. Campbell died in 2014 at the age of 61, 21 months after this March 2012 live date from Bad Hofgastein, Austria at the conclusion of a European tour. This limited edition LP constitutes the seventh entry in the band's discography and affirms their credentials at the pinnacle of the free-bop game. Both Campbell and reedman Mark ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rodrigo Amado's Motion Trio: Desire & Freedom

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Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's mark of distinction is generally centered on his assertive approaches to experimentation within numerous offshoots and slants of the jazz vernacular. He's become a major player on the Euro progressive jazz scene amid sessions with American free-thinking acolytes, trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist John Hebert, trumpeter Dennis Gonzalez and many others of note. Here, Amado performs with his fellow countrymen for a blossoming asymmetrical affair, firmly rooted in a spirited free-form jaunt, teeming with buoyant flows and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Billie Davies - A Nu Experience: On Hollywood Boulevard

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There could not be much more of a musical, emotional or just vibe difference than that between drummer Billie Davies' latest album On Hollywood Boulevard and her previous project, Hand In Hand In The Hand Of The Moon. However, although they inhabit completely different worlds, both projects had a very long gestation and originate in Davies' reactions to specific events in her life, the latter to her interaction with painter Serge Vandercam, while the former to living in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joel LaRue Smith: The Motorman's Son

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The impact that parents can have on their children is absolutely incalculable. They're responsible for rearing and guiding, instilling and imprinting a series of attitudes and virtues on what essentially amounts to a human blank slate. Their acts inspire the actions and beliefs that come to largely define their progeny. That's an idea that pianist Joel LaRue Smith clearly understands and embraces with The Motorman's Son. Smith's parents left New Orleans in the '40s, joining The Great ...


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