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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Vampires: The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke

Read "The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

The decade old Australian five piece The Vampires, fronted by dueting brass players Jeremy Rose and Nick Garbett, sought out the rising Beninese guitar prodigy Lionel Loueke for their ambitious fifth outing The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke. With the addition of Loueke's virtuoso playing and singular guitar tone to the soothing mix of ethnic-world-influenced music, written ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

SPOKE: (r)anthems

Read "(r)anthems" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

According to the members of SPOKE, this album--the band's third to date--"is both musical rant and anthem." So what does that mean? Well, it means that there's an intentional balancing act between the raw and refined, the focused and the untamed, and the grand and rowdy. Nothing ever goes off the rails and nothing is ever ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Lundbom's Big Five Chord: No New Tunes

Read "No New Tunes" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Certainly not straight-ahead jazz, decidedly not fusion, and not really free-jazz either, guitarist/composer Jon Lundbom and his Big Five Chord have taken a decidedly idiosyncratic path that simultaneously eschews and embraces all of these sub-genres, while largely rejecting their collective stylistic baggage. This judiciously iconoclastic individualism is what one can expect from Lundbom, a musician whose ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Andy Hunter: Think Like A Mountain

Read "Think Like A Mountain" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Trombonist Andy Hunter has taken a seat in many of the most important big bands of the past decade, yet many are still unaware of his skills. He sadly suffers from “section man syndrome": that ailment that afflicts those who are heard by many, yet never truly seen for who they are. Hunter, who has resided ...

Vicious World: Vicious World Plays The Music of Rufus Wainwright

Read "Vicious World Plays The Music of Rufus Wainwright" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Rufus Wainwright is one of those musicians whose work straddles several different musical genres--pop, rock, Broadway, and folk music all figure prominently into his oeuvre. While not a jazz artist by any stretch, Wainwright's music is certainly sophisticated and multilayered enough to withstand instrumental reinvention by modern jazz artists. Even without vocals, Wainwright's artistry literally thrives ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Lundbom & Big Five Chord: Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers!

Read "Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers!" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Since 2003, guitarist Jon Lundbom and his Big Five Chord unit have been crashing and slashing through the jazz-rock idiom, often lying on the perimeter of the avant-garde spectrum. With a support band comprised of solo artists and first-call session aces, the music is often hard-edged and chockfull of off-kilter innuendoes and ballsy soloing excursions.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bryan and the Haggards: Still Alive And Kickin' Down The Walls

Read "Still Alive And Kickin' Down The Walls" reviewed by Dave Wayne

With the music of country music legends Merle Haggard and Bob Wills as a starting point, tenor saxophonist Bryan Murray and his band have been creating fresh, iconoclastic, and somewhat noisy modern jazz for a few years. The Haggards' second CD, Still Alive And Kickin' Down The Walls, picks up where their stunning debut, Pretend It's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jon Lundbom and Big Five Chord: Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers!

Read "Quavers! Quavers! Quavers! Quavers!" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Hot Cup Records has quickly established a reputation for documenting some of the most adventurous and quirky modern jazz around today. The label's flagship band, Mostly Other People Do The Killing (MOPDTK), is an incredibly energetic collective whose members seem to be popping up on all sorts of recordings these days. Half of MOPDTK, saxophonist Jon ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Vicious World: Plays the Music of Rufus Wainwright

Read "Plays the Music of Rufus Wainwright" reviewed by Andrew J. Sammut

Vicious World might have a field day on its tribute to the music of Rufus Wainwright, except the tunes are rarely that lighthearted. Let's just say the septet is moved to musical tears by the singer/songwriter's earnest melodies and bittersweet harmonies.

Even that's putting it mildly. Anxious strings introduce Aaron Irwin's alto sax ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bryan and the Haggards: Pretend It's The End of the World

Read "Pretend It's The End of the World" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

The legend of Merle Haggard is probably as large as the life of the folk music star. Only Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash have a larger legend than Haggard. The writer of “Okie from Muskogee" is the star of this album, Pretend It's The End of the World by this ensemble ...