Multiple Reviews

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Joost Lijbaart: Under The Surface

Read "Joost Lijbaart: Under The Surface" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Dutch drummer Joost Lijbaart (known for his work with Dutch saxophonist Yuri Honing) first performed with this trio at the request of vocalist Sanne Rambags, along with guitarist Bram Stadhouders (known for his work with the Netherlands chamber choir, American drummer Jim Black and Norwegian vocalist Sidsel Endresen). At the time Rambags was twenty years old, Stadhouders thirty, and Lijbaart fifty, so the band could truly be described as a “three generations band." The group immediately established enough ...

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Three releases on Iluso Records

Read "Three releases on Iluso Records" reviewed by John Eyles

Iluso Records was formed in 2013 by the Australian drummer Mike Caratti and the Madrid-born, New York-based guitarist Alvaro Domene, the two having met and become close friends in 2007 when they were both studying on the jazz course at Middlesex University, London, and maintained contact after they left London in 2011. They initially formed the label to release a CD by Gran Masa, a quartet which they had put together with two Spanish musicians. In its early days, Iluso ...

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3x3: Piano Trios, vol. V

Read "3x3: Piano Trios, vol. V" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Nick Sanders Trio Playtime 2050 Sunnyside Records 2019 Nick Sanders understandably sees some turbulence ahead at the midpoint of the century (not to mention the decades leading up to it). Disturbing as this cover may seem, though, he and a couple adventurous trio-mates make sure this speculative portrait keeps its focus on the figurative playground. Their sequence of brief musical snapshots covers a wide range of feels with liveliness and try-anything abandon above all. ...

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Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery: Masters At Work

Read "Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery: Masters At Work" reviewed by Doug Collette

Any and every respectable collection of jazz music, whether digital or physical, should contain at least some of the works of pianist Bill Evans and guitarist Wes Montgomery. Icons of their respective instruments, both musicians also created varied ensemble templates of adventurous modern jazz, and while it is true many are already available in the marketplace, it's fairly safe to say none are any more lovingly or lavishly produced and packaged than a recent pair released on the Resonance label. ...

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The Sounds of Saxophones

Read "The Sounds of Saxophones" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

The saxophone continues to be one of the cornerstone instruments of jazz. Here are three recent recordings that demonstrate different approaches to the use of saxophones in the music. Jordan Pettay First Fruit Outside In Music 2019 Jordan Pettay is a young Julliard graduate who makes her debut recording here, playing alto and soprano. Spirituality is a big part of her music and she plays several hymns during the set in ...

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Four releases on Another Timbre from a "wonderfully fertile grey area"

Read "Four releases on Another Timbre from a "wonderfully fertile grey area"" reviewed by John Eyles

Just after he had launched his Another Timbre label, in late 2007, Simon Reynell said, “I've been a fan of contemporary music since my late teens. I first got into it through the classical end— Stockhausen, Nono, Berio, Cage—but soon discovered free improvisation. I was always more drawn to improvisation which, to my ears at least, connected more to contemporary classical music than free jazz. My interest in contemporary classical music has continued alongside my passion for improv, so I ...

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Alex Chilton: Roots In The Sky

Read "Alex Chilton: Roots In The Sky" reviewed by Doug Collette

Even (or perhaps especially) if Alex Chilton had lived to a ripe old age rather than passing prematurely at the age of fifty, his post-Big Star stylistic expeditions would've garnered more than a little attention. His history as an original member as one of the earliest progenitors of power-pop certainly would've piqued curiosity about such projects as Songs From Robin Hood Lane and From New Orleans to Memphis, if only because each represents as exploration of roots that goes back ...

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Piano in Solitude

Read "Piano in Solitude" reviewed by Geno Thackara

There are people who play the piano, and then there are some who create a whole other state of consciousness with it. While these three may not be among the more common household names in the jazz world, here they each offer a master class in the craft to make you wonder just why the hell not. Lewis Porter Solo Piano Next to Silence 2019 Bill Evans this ain't. There are some ...

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Graham Parker: Sparks Keep Flying!

Read "Graham Parker: Sparks Keep Flying!" reviewed by Doug Collette

It can be brave or foolish (perhaps even a combination of both) for any artist to revisit one of their seminal works as Graham Parker has done here. But the illuminating view he's offered of this music, taken from two markedly different perspectives, reaffirms just how provocative is the material and, in turn, how inspiring it is for the musicians who play it, including the author himself. Released to complement these titles is a book of tablature (duly and extensively ...

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Lone Justice: Newfound Ways To Be Wicked

Read "Lone Justice: Newfound Ways To Be Wicked" reviewed by Doug Collette

Despite the righteous advocacy of a like-minded artist by the name of Linda Ronstadt at the outset of its ultimately still-born career, Lone Justice stands as one of the most egregious victims of hype this side of Moby Grape. Charmingly guileless in the nascent stages of their evolution, the group ultimately succumbed to errant execution in the studio as misconceived as the marketing by their record label. In contrast to the homogeneous likes of the debut and the anonymous overproduction ...

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Introducing Reel to Real Records

Read "Introducing Reel to Real Records" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

As the driving force behind the Cellar Live label, saxophonist Cory Weeds has been busy doing his share to promote contemporary jazz, so it comes as a pleasant surprise that he has found the time to start the archive label Reel to Real. Unlike reissues that are sometimes lost treasures that are found again, an archive release is a found treasure that has never been heard before. Weeds has found the perfect partner in producer Zev Feldman ...

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Voices Without Words

Read "Voices Without Words" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It's all too easy to forget the voice as an instrument in itself--arguably the most expressive one we have, especially if these examples are any indication. Here we have two offerings to remind us what mind-bending possibilities it can offer. Ikarus Mosaismic Ronin Rhythm Records 2019 A good architect can build a framework solid and sturdy enough to handle whatever burden it needs to. A truly artistic one can add any shapes ...