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Christian Sands: Reach Further

Read "Reach Further" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

With full gale Monk-ian intensity and flair, pianist Christian Sands' five song EP, Reach Further bursts open with “J-Street" like the grandest, most swinging first flower in the new jazz garden. Then you hit repeat. Repeat again. Then you remember there are four more songs and the garden bursts with color.

Comprised of two ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Six on Cellar Live

Read "Six on Cellar Live" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Cory Weeds' record label Cellar Live has become a welcome home to straight-ahead mainstream jazz in the same way that Arbors Records has been the beacon for traditional jazz and swing. Think Norman Granz's Pablo label tele-transported deep into the 21st Century. Six recent releases illuminate Cellar Live's importance to jazz as a whole and to ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Emmet Cohen: Master Legacy Series, Volume 2

Read "Master Legacy Series, Volume 2" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Let's not mince words. Everything you want from a great jazz trio recording -electricity, pacing, innovation, dynamic virtuosity and interplay, flights of fancy and passion -are found in great abundance on Emmet Cohen's newest Master Legacy Series Volume 2.

Recorded live June, 2017 in Vancouver, B.C., pianist Cohen, featured elder and bassist extraordinaire Ron ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Mike Jurkovic's Best Releases of 2017: Pianos Lead the Way

Read "Mike Jurkovic's Best Releases of 2017: Pianos Lead the Way" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

There are some years when certain artists and their instrument stand tallest among the tall. This year it was piano players. Established names, exciting discoveries. Creation music for repeated listening, relentless invention, insight, humor, new equations. Each with a particular turn, a defining touch, that takes you past the chaos of our harshest days.

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard

Read "Christian McBride and Tip City at Village Vanguard" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Christian McBride and Tip City
Village Vanguard
New York
November 29, 2017

With a jovial toast to his band and the packed and boisterous Vanguard crowd, Christian McBride and Tip City began their first set as you'd expect they'd kick off their second, burning on all cylinders, each player ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Benny Benack III: One of a Kind

Read "One of a Kind" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although he's got fine chops as a trumpeter, Benny Benack III also has serious ambition as a vocalist, as demonstrated on his first record as a leader, One of a Kind. It takes a good deal of self-confidence to pull off such a feat, and to his credit Benack does an admirable job of it. When ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Emmet Cohen Featuring Jimmy Cobb: Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1

Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Young pianist Emmet Cohen has a reverence for the history of jazz and a deep abiding yearning to preserve the music of the masters and to this end, Cohen developed the concept of a Masters Legacy Series intended to be a collection of recordings and interviews with various living jazz icons who began their careers fifty ...

ARTICLE: BAILEY'S BUNDLES

Piano – Emily Bear, Dan Cray, Lisa Hilton, Emmet Cohen, Julien Labro

Read "Piano – Emily Bear, Dan Cray, Lisa Hilton, Emmet Cohen, Julien Labro" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Like jazz vocal releases, piano-led affairs are legion. The jazz piano combo is a format that is difficult to get either bad or good. Here are five recent releases looking for the latter.

Emily Bear Trio
Into the Blue
Edston Records
2015

The immediate charm ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Emmet Cohen Featuring Jimmy Cobb: Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1

Read "Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Emmet Cohen aims to honor the jazz masters. He starts with drummer Jimmy Cobb, on the Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1, a mostly piano trio affair featuring Cobb himself in the the drummer's chair.

Cobb is best known for his participation in one of the jazz world's most famous recording, Miles Davis' Kind ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

2016 Detroit Jazz Festival

Read "2016 Detroit Jazz Festival" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

2016 Detroit Jazz Festival
Hart Plaza
Detroit, Michigan
September 2-4, 2016

The staging of North America's largest free jazz festival must indeed be some kind of massive undertaking. In the years since artistic director Chris Collins has taken the reins of the festival, there have been many changes, some for the ...