New & Noteworthy

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

August 2007

Read "August 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Antonio SanchezMigrationCam Jazz2007

Drummer Antonio Sanchez lets his hair down on this vibrant modern jazz outing with guests pianist Chick Corea and guitarist Pat Metheny. The twin saxophone attack of Chris Potter and David Sanchez (no relation) enhances the band's bravura, especially on Joe Henderson's classic “Inner Urge, given a snappy and complex reading. The drummer smothers his kit with crisp break-outs and polyrhythmic flurries on some of his own pieces plus tunes by ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

July 2007

Read "July 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Daniel SmithThe Swingin' BassoonGuild Music2007

Bassoonist Daniel Smith switch hits from classical to swing to hard bop on this rewarding studio set. Other than some choice solos by pianist Martin Bejerano, the quartet stays in the background, providing support to Smith's amazingly fluid lines, which shine forth through a set of jazz standards. You can just imagine saxophonist Charlie Parker on bassoon during the band's take on “Scrapple From The Apple. Here ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

June 2007

Read "June 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Kiko LoureiroUniverso InversoIndependent2007

Brazilian jazz-fusion guitarist Kiko Loureiro's scorching, plugged-in guitar licks create a compelling contrast here with Yaniel Matos' acoustic piano work. Loureiro is a precocious young chops-meister who favors climax-driven solos colored by sustain and distortion effects--plus an occasional nod towards Allan Holdsworth during some of the more legato-based passages. Less frenetic than some of his American peers, Loureiro's clean licks and advanced grasp of dynamics offer a knockout blow. ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

May 2007

Read "May 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Adam Lane/Ken Vandermark/Magnus Broo/Paal Nilssen-Love4 CornersClean Feed2007

Here's an early contender for my 2007 best-of list, in which Adam Lane continues his progress towards the top echelon of modern jazz bassists/improvisers. The band combines turbo-mode power and semi-structured pieces--and rattles the senses. At times, Lane amps up his double bass and the quartet's blistering, groove-oriented persona glows in mottled fashion. Lane and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love's dual polyrhythmic attack creates a massive but pliant undercurrent ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

April 2007

Read "April 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

DimliteThis Is EmbracingSonar Kollektiv2006

Dimitri Grimm (Dimlite) revs up a party atmosphere with synth-based layers, quirky noises and quaint melodies on this his third release. Vocalists are featured on some tracks, and trippy textures are coupled with old fashioned space-rock. However, Grimm's solid beats include a modern upgrade. On “Hungeryears & Advanced Communication, he stirs the pot with madcap background banter, and elsewhere adds urban rap to the mix. But Grimm varies the sound ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

March 2007

Read "March 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Age Of NemesisTerra IncognitaMagna Carta2006

This Hungarian progressive-metal band excels in the composition department. There's a plot which involves a girl who connects with an angel to visit the afterlife, and the album's overall theme mines the phantasmagorical seam so often favoured by prog-metal outfits. That aside, the quintet conveys a flair for dynamics. Herculean crunch chords convey a feeling of triumph, before segueing into melodically-tinged choruses--it's a massive wall of sound, full of ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

February 2007

Read "February 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

John Carter/Bobby Bradford QuartetSeekingHatology2006

Recorded in Los Angeles back in 1969, this reissue is good enough to be classified as desert-island fare. Originally part of the co-operative New Art Jazz Ensemble, the late multi-woodwind musician/composer John Carter and trumpeter Bobby Bradford present a hip and ultra-modern vision of West Coast jazz. It's timeless, progressive music that holds its weight in glistening, up-tempo style nearly four decades after the fact. The horn players engage in ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

January 2007

Read "January 2007" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Walter BeasleyReady For LoveHeads Up2006

Saxophonist/composer Walter Beasley is one of the real superstars of contemporary or smooth jazz. With several producers and a tight accompanying ensemble, he offers sounds of romance and in-the-pocket grooves. As an alto and soprano technician, Beasley sports a sweet-toned and silky-smooth delivery atop savory synth treatments spiced with funk and soul. He rekindles memories of classic Motown with soothing vocals heard on “Miss You, and glides through softly ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

December 2006

Read "December 2006" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Richard Pinhas Metatron Cuneiform 2006French guitarist and electronics wiz Richard Pinhas' soars to lofty heights on his latest album, a double-disc fiesta. He sports a blazingly fuzzed-out sound, marked by scorching single note runs and inventive sound manipulation and distortion. Pulsating, asymmetrical rhythms play a key role in the music too. Pinhas and his band-mates inject rich chemistry into their space-rock loops, with sweeping violins and other laptop-basd effects. As an added ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

November 2006

Read "November 2006" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Joan SanmartiScandal?Satchmo Jazz2006

Veteran Spanish jazz guitarist Joan Sanmarti and his quintet venture towards classic, hard-bop, swing and excursions into the free zone during this rather jaunty session. With Frederic Carlquist and Victor de Diego providing a dual-core saxophone attack, the leader's fluent lines and solid compositional acumen intimate arching angles and elements of suspense. Sanmarti chooses his notes wisely amid a sequence of briskly articulated single note flurries and intricate progressions. On “Block ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

October 2006

Read "October 2006" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Spontaneous Music EnsembleBiosystempsi2006

A re-issue of the original 1977 Incus LP featuring thirty-five additional minutes of previously unreleased music. Drummer and cornetist John Stevens' groundbreaking freedom-of-expression unit is given some nice packaging, featuring historical factoids by Ian Vickers and former SME member, saxophonist Evan Parker. The band itself was akin to a collective, yet this outing marked a diversion, largely due to the absence of horns (although Stevens blows the cornet in spots). The ...

NEW & NOTEWORTHY

September 2006

Read "September 2006" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Chet Doxas QuartetSidewalk EtiquetteJustin Time2006

Twenty-five year old saxophonist Chet Doxas surges onward as one of Canada's modern jazz young lions. Here with his quartet, Doxas blends a slightly retro, jazz-fusion vibe with shifting rhythms and straight-ahead swing vamps, and the band's forthright gait certainly packs a punch. Doxas himself favors an edgy sound, where harmonic development is hardwired into unexpected time changes, probing solos, cyclical currents and arresting dynamics. The album contains enough ...


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