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Content by tag "Motema Music"

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Melissa Aldana: Visions

Read "Visions" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Compositional and instrumental virtuosity always walks along a razor's edge between self-indulgence and purposeful accomplishment. On Visions, sought after saxophonist Melissa Aldana proves that she doesn't only master balancing this edge but that she can also go beyond the complexities of structure, scales and improvisation and naturally create her very own musical aesthetic. In interplay with ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefon Harris: Sonic Creed

Read "Sonic Creed" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

A distanza di un decennio dalla pubblicazione di Urbanus -l'ultimo disco di Stefon Harris con l'ensemble Blackout -sono cambiate molte cose nel mondo del vibrafono jazz: nel 2016 è scomparso Bobby Hutcherson, l'anno successivo Gary Burton s'è ritirato dalla scena attiva e Mike Mainieri, che ha superato gli ottant'anni, ha ridotto l'attività. Lo scettro del miglior ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ben Wendel: The Seasons

Read "The Seasons" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

L'evoluzione del progetto The Seasons di Ben Wendel trova organica espressione in un nuovo collettivo. La prima realizzazione è avvenuta nel 2015, con dodici duo-performance (pubblicate su YouTube) effettuate con altrettanti partner: Joshua Redman, Aaron Parks, Ambrose Akinmusire, Julian Lage ecc... Le composizioni sono state arrangiate l'anno successivo per dei concerti in quintetto alla Jazz Gallery ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ben Wendel: The Seasons

Read "The Seasons" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

For many centuries composers have set to music the different seasons each new year has to offer (lately, some show the tendency of disappearing more and more. Seasons, not composers). Baroque composer Vivaldi's very straightforward division in four on “Le Quattro Stagioni" has to be one of the most prominent examples. Saxophonist and composer Ben Wendel ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ben Wendel: The Seasons

Read "The Seasons" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Stepping out as he occasionally does from the genre-mashing ensemble Kneebody, Grammy-nominated saxophonist / bassoonist Ben Wendel takes up the challenge of interpreting the seasons as they exist in this time of climate upheaval and delivers the dynamic, visceral The Seasons.

In 2015, inspired by Tchaikovsky's “The Seasons," Wendel set about writing and performing ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Blow

Read "Blow" reviewed by Roger Farbey

At first listen, Blow sounds more like a rock album than a jazz one. The catchy “What About The Body" could arguably be mistaken for one of King Crimson's more vituperative numbers featuring Adrian Belew. Ryan Dahle's emotionally-charged vocals are equally at the forefront of the explosive “Club Kidd." But the selection also includes three instrumental ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefon Harris & Blackout: Sonic Creed

Read "Sonic Creed" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

In its most basic function, the music that makes up Sonic Creed serves as a mirror to African American life in the here and now. It explores the history, legacy, struggles, and joys of the Black community, speaking to all of it at once through sound and sentiment.

Sonic Creed arrives almost a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joey Alexander: Eclipse

Read "Eclipse" reviewed by Geannine Reid

Pianist Joey Alexander knows how and when to strike the ivories. At the age of 14 he has already recorded two GRAMMY-nominated studio albums, My Favorite Things (Motema Music, 2015) and Countdown (Motema Music, 2016). Late in 2017, Alexander released Joey.Monk.Live! (Motema Music), a critically acclaimed surprise release to honor Thelonious Monk's centennial. Alexander has released ...

Arturo O'Farrill, Chucho Valdes: Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico

Read "Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Dizzy Gillespie ricordava con amarezza il modo con cui la critica jazz aveva trattato la sua collaborazione col conguero Chano Pozo, giudicandola un'eccentricità marginale. Il trombettista la giudicava invece il momento culminante della sua carriera. Quell'atteggiamento verso il cosiddetto Latin Jazz è ancora diffuso e il multiforme terreno d'incontro tra jazz e musiche dei caraibi è ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Petros Klampanis: Chroma

Read "Chroma" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Il terzo album da leader del bassista greco prosegue e sviluppa quanto espresso nel precedente Minor Dispute (Cristal Records, 2015): una musica melodicamente suggestiva, che fonde danzanti climi folk su eleganti e flessuosi arrangiamenti per archi. Dal disco d'esordio del 2011 inciso per l'etichetta di Greg Osby (Contextual Inner Circle Music) la formula strumentale viene confermata ...