Multiple Reviews


Lyrical Stories in Music: Jakob Dinesen & Jean-Sebastian Simonoviez, FLOW and Michael Vincent Waller

Read "Lyrical Stories in Music: Jakob Dinesen & Jean-Sebastian Simonoviez, FLOW and Michael Vincent Waller" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

Saying that a piece of music is lyrical presupposes a quality that is hard to define. You know what it is until you need to explain it. The Cambridge Dictionary says that it means: “expressing personal thoughts and feelings in a beautiful way," which doesn't really say much. In music, storytelling is just as elusive. It's easy when you tell a story through words, but musical storytelling without words is hard to define. Perhaps it will do to say that ...


Our Favorite Things: Jazz Greetings from Military Service Bands

Read "Our Favorite Things: Jazz Greetings from Military Service Bands" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 US Army Blues: Swinging in the Holidays (2017) Swinging in the Holidays does so much more than swing. “Five-Sided Dreidel" sings in the traditional “Dreidel" melody until saxophones unravel it like unwrapping Christmas package ribbon and then hand what's left to the drummer and guitarist. From there, guitarist SSG Michael Kramer and drummer MSG Steve Fidyk shoot off like conjoined rockets, setting off electric blue fireworks ...


Inexhaustible Editions: The Little Label That Roars

Read "Inexhaustible Editions: The Little Label That Roars" reviewed by Mark Corroto

In the 1980s, American writer John Corbett traveled Europe searching for out-of-print LPs from small labels which he eventually produced reissues titled the Unheard Music Series first for Atavistic Records, then his own Corbett vs. Dempsey label. His mission was to preserve the music which formed the jazz and improvisation canon but was largely ignored, simply because it wasn't produced by major labels. Enter Inexhaustible Editions and its sub-label Edition FriForma, much like those small labels Corbett helped preserve, is ...


Russell Schmidt Explores The Sacred & Secular In A Pair Of Musical Triptychs

Read "Russell Schmidt Explores The Sacred & Secular In A Pair Of Musical Triptychs" reviewed by David Dupont

Arizona-based pianist and composer Russell Schmidt has a knack for releases that catch one's attention. A 2013 release Anachromysticism was a combination of a CD and a two-record vinyl set, with horn-based music as notable as the format. Schmidt returns with another high-concept issue, the two-volume Jazz Triptych. The first volume is dedicated to “the sacred," Schmidt and company's versions of hymns and other religious oriented material, and the second covers “the secular," a more mix collection including a couple ...


3x3: Piano Trios: August 2019

Read "3x3: Piano Trios: August 2019" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Yoko Miwa Trio Keep Talkin' Ocean Blue Tear Music 2019 When Yoko Miwa and her trio-mates get to talking, it's no wonder they only want to keep going and going. Their playful bantering elevates everything on offer here, from a couple venerable standards through a handful of playful originals showing the same jaunty swing. The leader's style shows a fine mix of steadily catchy rhythms at the low end and smooth ear-pleasing leads on top. ...


Two Duos Go Brazilian

Read "Two Duos Go Brazilian" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The male-female duos on these two recordings delve deeply into Brazilian music, but do so in very different ways. Natalie Cressman & Ian Faquini Setting Rays Of Summer Self Produced 2019 This is a duo recording in the true sense because the only sounds on this disc come from the trombone and voice of Natalie Cressman and the guitar and voice of Ian Faquini. The resulting blend carries a powerful intimacy in ...


Resonance Records: The Art of the Sampler

Read "Resonance Records: The Art of the Sampler" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Resonance Records is a refreshing success story in the modern jazz world, still happily defying the norms of the streaming age with unflagging class and style. Even familiar listeners can lose sight of what a catalogue of material they've gathered, which is where 2019's handful of budget samplers come in. Co-president Zev Feldman declares that he's “always looking for ways to introduce the world to Resonance's records—both historical issues and also our tremendous current artists." With a snazzy set of ...


A World of Piano Trios

Read "A World of Piano Trios" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

The piano trio format is alive and well, judging by this disparate collection of piano trio albums (mostly: a couple of them feature a guest vocalist on a track or two). They come from Israel (recorded in Berlin), Slovenia (recorded in New York City), Greece (recorded in Hungary), Boston, and Asheville, North Carolina. Traditionally the pianist is also the leader, but this collection also includes one cooperative group and one led by the drummer. Anat Fort Trio ...


Elsewhere Piano Series No.1

Read "Elsewhere Piano Series No.1" reviewed by John Eyles

Although its three July 2019 releases came out within a year of Elsewhere's very first album, bringing the first year's total to nine recordings, the fledgling label already feels like a well-established marque with its own distinctive identity and style. This batch of albums reinforces that in several ways. Firstly, the three albums together bear the collective title “Elsewhere Piano Series No. 1," the inclusion of that “No.1" radiating confidence that there will be more series to follow; such self-belief ...


Peter Lewis And Peter Perrett: Sleeper LP's of 2019

Read "Peter Lewis And Peter Perrett: Sleeper LP's of 2019" reviewed by Doug Collette

Peter Lewis and Peter Perrett are both survivors of the contemporary rock milieu, the former of Sixties band Moby Grape, the latter of the Other Ones, whose first brush with fame occurred approximately a decade later. Each man has now released a record under his own name, proof positive of the call(s) of their respective muses, but also of the creative impulse in general. And while both artists hew fairly closely to the style for which they are best known—Lewis ...


Dan Phillips He's Back And He's Proud

Read "Dan Phillips He's Back And He's Proud" reviewed by Mark Corroto

In just a few short years listeners have changed their thinking about Dan Phillips from “who is dis guy?" to “fantastic news, another Dan Phillips release." Maybe we can attribute this response to the wandering nature of the guitarist. He has lived in Chicago, New York, Bangkok, and Tokyo. Now, back in Chicago his music has jelled, crystallizing in several high profile ensembles including the Chicago Edge Ensemble with Hamid Drake, Jeb Bishop, Krzysztof Pabian, and Mars Williams and with ...


3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019

Read "3x3: Piano Trios: July 2019" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It must unofficially be the year of the piano trio or something. They just keep coming, and thankfully each new one is still stimulating and surprising. Shalosh Onwards and Upwards ACT Music 2019 The name means “three," simply enough, and Shalosh is all about embodying that ideal of unity as a humble and mutually supportive unit. Less obviously on the surface (though just as importantly), they're all about getting under the hood ...

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