Album Reviews

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

ALBUM REVIEWS

Byron Wallen: Portrait

Read "Portrait" reviewed by Chris May

An all too rare event, an album from Byron Wallen. The British trumpeter is part of that cohort of musicians who immediately preceded, and continue to inspire, the young London rebels who have been renewing British jazz since around 2015. So, too, is this album's drummer, Rod Youngs. Youngs was born and raised in the US, where during the 1990s he was Gil Scott-Heron's drummer of choice. But since moving to London, Youngs has been aligned with contemporaries such as ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

According to the Sound: Prism-a-Ning

Read "Prism-a-Ning" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Two British minds and an entire infantry of guests are responsible for the vast array of sounds and shapes resounding through Prism-a-Ning. Going by the name of According to the Sound, pianist Adam Parry-Davies and guitarist Patrick Case have assembled an eclectic collection of tunes which bridge the gaps between fusion, electronica and funk. The first stages of this music took form in Birmingham before the material was recorded in Bristol and finally mixed and mastered in London, forming the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Aaron Diehl: The Vagabond

Read "The Vagabond" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Cardinally invested, engaged and resolute on making the classical hop and the swing vice versa, pianist Aaron Diehl, double bassist Paul Sikivie and drummer Gregory Hutchinson take a deep dive into the many accords and asymmetries shared by Philip Glass and George Gershwin and come up victorious. Flush with tradition and vision, pianist Diehl's musical aesthetic hints at everything and manifests itself wholly on his third for Mack Avenue. Proceeding without artifice, the trio's most agile choreography weaves ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Lakou Mizik: HaitiaNola

Read "HaitiaNola" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

HaitiaNola is proof that lemonade is possible when life hands you lemons. Ten-piece roots-music troupe Lakou Mizik came together to help reassemble Haiti's musical culture in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. They recorded their debut in 2016 and then embarked on an international tour, including a performance at the 2017 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival which was so powerful that they were invited to return the following year. During that 2018 Festival, they recorded sections of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Orkestra Eustoria: HyperGiant Hi-Fi

Read "HyperGiant Hi-Fi" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Bringing together an international assortment of forward-thinkers, Peter Sparacino looks far and wide with the music he presents on the debut from Orkestra Eustoria. Dealing with cellular-level ideals and astronomical designs, both of which can be gleaned from the album cover, this New York-based saxophonist finds himself in front of a powerful pack that can stop on a dime and groove on a higher level than most. With David Binney directing the album's flow by serving as ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Makar Kashitsyn: Jazz Animals

Read "Jazz Animals" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Straight outta St. Petersburg, Rainy Days Records has done a splendid job of documenting some of the strongest emerging voices in Russian jazz, starting with drummer Sasha Mashin's superb Outsidethebox in 2018. Mashin's debut release belied his youth with an assured poise and dynamic vision, and here we have yet another wonderful first outing: alto saxophonist Makar Kashitsyn's Jazz Animals. In keeping with the spirit of this no-longer-fledgling label, Kashitsyn showcases the kinetic energy and breadth of concept Rainy Days ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Ingi Bjarni: Tenging

Read "Tenging" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Almost deliberately, Tenging doesn't make a terribly memorable impression at first. It is subtle enough not to stick in the listener's head and seems shorter than its respectable 42 minutes. This understated quintet recording is patient and quietly confident enough to exist in its own bubble. As it happens, that's exactly the point--Ingi Bjarni Skulason's approach here is about rejecting the world's fast-paced distractions in favor of intuition and mindfulness. The pieces were simply grown with no particular agenda, all ...


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