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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Layale Chaker and Sarafand: Inner Rhyme

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Arabic poetry is the primary source of inspiration for Lebanese violinist and composer Layale Chaker's innovative and vibrant debut Inner Rhyme. Recorded in New York with her band Sarafand (named after a Palestinian village that was abandoned in 1948) this original music is full of subtle wit and sublime emotion.

In crafting this exquisite ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Burak Bedikyan: New Beginning

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On his fourth release as a leader, the thoughtful and captivating New Beginning, pianist Burak Bedikyan has matured both as a composer and improviser. The album is Bedikyan's first with a trio and consists mostly, although not entirely, of original material. The cadence and the melody within each piece transform in delightfully surprising ways while maintaining ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Matador: Ducon

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Uruguayan guitarist and composer Santiago Bogacz, who goes by the stage name Matador, has already proven his virtuosity and adventurous spirit on a number of eponymous solo EPs, each with gorgeous abstract art work as a distinguishing feature. Ducón is his second duet release after the poetic Cabala (Self Produced, 2018). This time he has teamed ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Two Exciting And Poignant Albums From Wendy Eisenberg

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A fearless improviser with a refreshing disregard for genre, Wendy Eisenberg is a poet, banjoist and vocalist yet Eisenberg's guitar fully showcases her mastery. This virtuoso explores all dimensions of her instrument with fiery elegance and a vibrant sense of adventure to her music. In 2018 she released two stimulating and unique albums: Its Shape is ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Attarian's Dozen: The Twelve Best Recordings from 2018

Read "Attarian's Dozen: The Twelve Best Recordings from 2018" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The year 2018 was, musically speaking, a good year. The label Pi Recordings did it again with six magnificent albums, three of which made it in my top twelve. In addition, two feminist themed gems are included as well as four by master pianists. An intimate and adventurous duet, a meeting of great minds and a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kyle Nasser: Persistent Fancy

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Saxophonist Kyle Nasser follows his 2015 self-released debut, the captivating Restive Soul, with the equally intriguing Persistent Fancy. On it Nasser's writing has matured and his ideas crystalized resulting in vibrant and compelling originals.

The title track is an intricately crafted and passionate tune that brims with refreshing spontaneity. Bursts of saxophone notes complement ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Abbey Rader West Coast Quartet: Second Gathering

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Drummer Abbey Rader is a consummate improviser and an innovative bandleader. His intrepid creativity evolves and transforms with each recording. The 2018 Second Gathering is no exception. On it Rader leads his West Coast Quartet on five spontaneously composed multilayered tracks that bear his indelible mark of cerebral spirituality.

The ambience of “Uncovering the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Petra van Nuis: Because We’re Night People

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On the elegant and delightful Because We're Night People Chicago natives, vocalist Petra van Nuis and pianist Dennis Luxion, interpret thirteen night-themed tunes with charm and sophistication. The two musicians are superbly matched, she with her refined grace and emotive vocals and he with his vibrant lyricism. The pair performs a selection of standards in a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Balazs Balogh: Borderline Inspirations

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Hungarian drummer Balázs Balogh leads a multinational group on his intelligent and charming debut Borderline Inspirations. For it he has also penned seven elegant, poetic and sometimes provocative originals. Balogh has been leading an award-winning quintet since 2014 that includes several of those who appear on this captivating album which also showcases Balogh's noteworthy compositional skills. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Porter: Charlie Porter

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Trumpeter and composer Charlie Porter exhibits his innovative spirit and his brilliant musicianship on his self-titled debut as a leader. Working with a rotating cast of Portland (Oregon) area musicians, Porter performs ten of his originals and one cover with a refreshingly unique style and captivating spontaneity.

Similar in concept to tenor saxophonist Benny ...