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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Art Lillard's Heavenly Band: Reasons to Be Thankful

Read "Reasons to Be Thankful" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Although drummer Art Lillard's Heavenly Band makes its home about as far from heaven as one could plausibly roam--New York City, to be precise--the music it produces on Reasons to Be Thankful (recorded in 2000 and released six years later) evokes at times an empyrean vibe, thanks in part to blissful arrangements by Lillard and guitarist ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Brian Charette: Music for Organ Sextette

Read "Music for Organ Sextette" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

While there've been a few exceptions, many jazz organ-based recordings deliver the same old grind of not deviating too far from the Jimmy Smith or Charles Earland grease and grits format. But not in the case of Brian Charette's Music for Organ Sextette , a release that balances harmonically complex ideas with catchy melodies.

NEWS: INTERVIEW

Jazz Saxophone Firebrand Jay Collins Takes a Leap to the Funky Side

Jazz Saxophone Firebrand Jay Collins Takes a Leap to the Funky Side

Who says that all sax players with world-class jazz chops must restrict themselves to the Blue Notes and Village Vanguards of the world? Not Jay Collins. A product of Portland, Oregon's surprisingly vibrant jazz scene in the late 80's and early 90's, Jay's footing in the jazz world is more than solid. It's not just any jazzman who ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sarah DeLeo: I'm In Heaven Tonight

Read "I'm In Heaven Tonight" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

On The Nearness of You (Self Produced, 2006), vocalist Sarah DeLeo exhibited her diaphanous, spherical voice on a collection of off-the-beaten path standards, all well suited to her most welcome, conservative vocal style.

She does not veer far from this approach on I'm In Heaven Tonight, again choosing songs that have not been thoroughly ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

New Zealand: A New Destination For Improvised Music?

Read "New Zealand: A New Destination For Improvised Music?" reviewed by Jay Collins

When one thinks of spots for progressive freely improvised music, New Zealand is hardly the first to spring to mind. But, believe it or not, the country has seen a recent upsurge and considerable growth in the scene, thanks to a small number of dedicated souls in the capital city of Wellington. This collective of independent ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sun Ra: Spaceship Lullaby

Read "Spaceship Lullaby" reviewed by Jay Collins

Sun Ra watchers have to be thrilled with Atavistic’s recent efforts to present rare and previously unreleased Saturnistic material. The label's first release was the Cold War-era classic Nuclear War, followed by Music From Tomorrow’s World, a compendium of two previously unreleased live sessions from the tail end of the Chicago Period. The series’ latest issue ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Peter Br: FMP 130

Read "FMP 130" reviewed by Jay Collins

Without a doubt, the cooperative consisting of saxophonist Peter Brötzmann, pianist Fred Van Hove and drummer Han Bennink is one of the most celebrated, if not the most influential, free improv trios in Europe. Recorded for FMP three years after the group's astonishing and portentous 1970 debut, Balls, this accurately titled record, known as FMP 130, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jason Roebke: Rapid Croche

Read "Rapid Croche" reviewed by Jay Collins

The Chicago jazz/improvised music scene is legendary, whether the topic concerns the AACM school or more recent experimenters. Drawing upon the inspiration the past and local legends like Fred Anderson, Hal Russell and more recently, Ken Vandermark, the second and third waves consist of an amazingly diverse and invigorating talent pool, now emerging as impressive musicians ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Two From Monk

Read "Two From Monk" reviewed by Jay Collins

Fellow jazz fans are likely familiar with Columbia’s reissue program of the '80s and '90s. These “Columbia Jazz Masterpieces” were packaged with an ugly blue/purple border that cropped the original album art and contained muddy and sometimes horrific sounding “remastering” jobs. Attempting to make up for past sins, Sony’s Columbia Legacy division has been responsible for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alterations: Voila! Enough

Read "Voila! Enough" reviewed by Jay Collins

Alterations was a collective of four British improvisers, Steve Beresford, David Toop, Terry Day and Peter Cusack, sparked by the unpredictability of free improvisation and the mixture of seemingly incongruous elements. Formed in 1977 by Cusack, the group reveled in an aura of “productive friction,” with their interactions being both collective and combative. They thrived on ...