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Sylvie Courvoisier: D'Agala

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Boldly innovative pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and her trio, on the brilliant and emotive D'Agala, interpret nine intimate and impressionistic musical tributes. Each original composition is intricately constructed around motifs inspired by the individual dedicatee and has plenty of room within it for spontaneous expression.

For insitance, “Bourgeois's Spider (for Louise Bourgeois)" invokes the famous ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cecilia Sanchietti: La Terza Via

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Italian drummer Cecilia Sanchietti is an elegant musician and thoughtful composer. Both attributes are amply demonstrated on her second release as a leader La Terza Via, loosely translated as “The Third Side of the Coin." Of the ten captivating pieces that comprise the album seven are Sanchietti's originals and the other three seamlessly fit within the ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Diva Jazz Orchestra: 25th Anniversary Project

Read "25th Anniversary Project" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The Diva Orchestra, with its vibrant sound and stellar soloists, is one of the premier large ensembles in jazz today. It also happens to be one of the few made up entirely of women. Therefore, it is both a creative hot bed for talented musicians and a forum for female instrumentalists, who remain sorely underexposed, to ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Abbey Rader and John McMinn: Phenobarbital Sessions

Read "Phenobarbital Sessions" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Improvised soundtracks in motion pictures have a venerable tradition. Perhaps the best known among them remains trumpeter Miles Davis' Ascenceur Pour L'Echafaut (Fontana, 1958). Film director Jorge Rubiera, who had made a documentary on the intrepid drummer Abbey Rader, approached him for a score for his project “Phenobarbital." Rader together with longtime collaborator saxophonist John McMinn ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Abbey Rader: Ritual

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The stimulating Ritual is an energetic and intricate improvised session that drummer Abbey Rader lead on the 27th January of 2016. Although this absorbing music is free flowing and created on the spot it has a definite, fluid structure to it. The primary reason for this is the shared musical vision among Rader and his side ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Petra van Nuis: Lessons Lyrical

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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

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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 ...