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Content by tag "Hrayr Attarian"

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Petra van Nuis: Lessons Lyrical

Read "Lessons Lyrical" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Chicago based vocalist Petra van Nuis and her husband guitarist Andy Brown have impeccable artistic synergy, something that is superbly demonstrated on their delightful duet album Lessons Lyrical. The 17 standards that van Nuis and Brown interpret are stripped down to their basic melodic elements and are reconstructed with such warmth and intimacy that highlight the ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lusine Grigoryan: Komitas: Seven Songs

Read "Komitas:  Seven Songs" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Pioneering ethnomusicologist Komitas (Soghomon Soghomonian) is best known for transcribing and preserving Armenian popular music in the late 19th and early 20th century. He was, however, also a singer, choirmaster and an accomplished composer in the western classical tradition. The 2017 Seven Songs on ECM label's New Music Series features expressive pianist Lusine Grigoryan interpreting 28 ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lena Bloch: Heart Knows

Read "Heart Knows" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Tenor saxophonist Lena Bloch has a cool, cerebral style and a definite and captivating lyricism. Her second release Heart Knows demonstrates this quite well. In addition, Bloch showcases her inventive compositional skills as she contributes four intriguing originals to the album.

One of Bloch's mentors, multi-reed player Yusef Lateef inspired the poetic and multilayered ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gregory Lewis: Organ Monk Blue

Read "Organ Monk Blue" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Pianist Thelonious Monk is organist Gregory Lewis' primary source of inspiration, so much so that Lewis has adopted the stage name Organ Monk. His first two releases were mostly homages to Monk and replete with the latter's originals. After forays into other material, including the poignant The Breathe Suite (Self Produced, 2017) about recent racial injustices ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jen Shyu: Song of the Silver Geese

Read "Song of the Silver Geese" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The dramatic and sublime The Song of the Silver Geese is vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu's magnum opus. On it Shyu draws from her dual cultural ancestry as well as other east Asian heritages to craft memorable performance art replete with dynamic spontaneity, unique instrumentation and exquisite poetry. The nine-piece suite is divided into “doors" and ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Newsome and Jean-Michel Pilc: Magic Circle

Read "Magic Circle" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Intimate, innovative and captivating Magic Circle is an album of duets between soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. Although they perform primarily standards their interpretations are anything but conventional. Both musicians are known for their individual styles and singular approaches to improvisation and they showcase these superbly on the current disc.

Pianist and ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lucio Balduini: El Bosque Brillante

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Argentinian guitarist Lucio Balduini creates a mystical and dramatic ambience on his third release as a leader, the intriguing, El Bosque Brillante. Each of the 11 tracks that comprise the album are abstract soundscapes evoking specific moods and emotions.

“Cascada Milagrosa" for instance opens with Balduini's melancholic and contemplative melody that flows elegantly over ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shilpa Ray: Door Girl

Read "Door Girl" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Singer-songwriter Shilpa Ray brings her signature pitch black humor and intelligent phraseology to the dozen tunes on her 2017 Door Girl. Most of the music bears hints of retro, 1950s, effervescent rock which contrasts with Ray's mordant poetry and her eerie, expressive keyboards with poignancy and to dramatic effect.

The introspective “Morning Terrors Nights ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fabian Almazan: Alcanza

Read "Alcanza" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

There is no doubt that pianist and composer Fabian Almazan's Alcanza is a unique and boldly inventive work. On it Almazan deftly fuses the tonality and stylings of a string quartet with those of his piano trio. He also adorns this captivating composition with the scintillating romanticism of guitarist and vocalist Camila Meza's hypnotic singing. The ...

Nicole Mitchell: Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds

Read "Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Composer and flutist Nicole Mitchell has released her magnum opus with the provocative and stirring Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds. The single suite is a musical dramatization of the futuristic allegory that Mitchell wrote for the album. It is a short story set in the year 2099 and is about the symbolic struggle between the decaying ...