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Floyd Domino's All-Stars: Boogie Minor

Read "Boogie Minor" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On the debut album as leader of his Texas-based sextet (enlarged to seven-strong on seven numbers by the reliable vocalist Emily Gimble), veteran pianist Floyd Domino plays his trademark Western swing leavened with large doses of blues, boogie, stride and barrelhouse. There's a touch of jazz secreted therein too, but no matter what one calls it, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The 14 Jazz Orchestra: The Future Ain't What It Used to Be

Read "The Future Ain't What It Used to Be" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The Future Ain't What It Used to Be, the second album by South Florida's impressive The 14 Jazz Orchestra, is by and large like its precursor: swinging, straight-down-the-fairway big-band jazz underlined by leader Dan Bonsanti's admirable charts. As before, each of the songs was written by a blue-chip composer, from Chick Corea and Antonio Carlos Jobim ...

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Annie Chen Octet: Secret Treetop

Read "Secret Treetop" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Over the years, jazz has widened its horizons to encompass a broad range of music that many of those who practiced and/or appreciated the more traditional forms might not recognize, let alone endorse. Among the more recent genres is “world music," which embodies various rhythmic and harmonic elements of jazz without assimilating its core values. On ...

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The Gil Evans Orchestra: Hidden Treasures - Monday Night Sessions, vol 1

Read "Hidden Treasures - Monday Night Sessions, vol 1" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Even though the name Gil Evans has a hallowed ring these days, the late composer / arranger's music remains for many aficionados an acquired taste. On the other hand, while that is the Gil Evans Orchestra performing on Hidden Treasures, Volume 1, the lion's share of the music brought to light isn't his--Evans wrote only two ...

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Kristen Strom: Moving Day: The Music of John Shifflett

Read "Moving Day: The Music of John Shifflett" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The esteemed bassist John Shifflett was for roughly thirty years a mainstay in countless San Francisco Bay Area sessions and recordings until his untimely passing in April 2017. Gone, that's true, but far from forgotten. Shifflett, as it turns out, had another largely hidden talent as a composer of bright and accessible jazz tunes, seven of ...

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Dale Head and the MindWinder Orchestra: Swing On The Rocks

Read "Swing On The Rocks" reviewed by Jack Bowers

No matter how ambitious the concept or scrupulous the plan, a musical enterprise can be no better than its material. For Swing on the Rocks, vocalist / trumpeter Dale Head's idea was to embed and amplify fourteen classic rock songs within the powerful framework of an eighteen-piece orchestra--an idea that no doubt looked awesome on paper. ...

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Entourage Jazz: Wishes You a Cool Yule

Read "Wishes You a Cool Yule" reviewed by Jack Bowers

One of the more vexing aspects of many if not most holiday albums is the fact that they are recorded and released during the holiday season. Not only does that make the reviewer's task more troublesome, it can't be good for sales either. Who would want to buy a Christmas-themed album in February or March, let ...

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Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra: Down a Rabbit Hole

Read "Down a Rabbit Hole" reviewed by Jack Bowers

If you must venture Down a Rabbit Hole, as Ayn Inserto has done on the first album as leader of her Jazz Orchestra in a decade, it's comforting to encounter in its depths musicians of the caliber of trombonist John Fedchock, tenor saxophonist George Garzone and trumpeter Sean Jones who add luster and bravado to the ...

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Darrell Katz and the JCA Orchestra: Rats Live on No Evil Star

Read "Rats Live on No Evil Star" reviewed by Jack Bowers

It's a pretty sure bet that appraising any album whose title is also a palindrome isn't going to be a stroll in the park, even more so when the orchestra in question is the Jazz Composers Alliance (rule of thumb: the longer the name, the more abstruse the music) and the instrumentation includes voice, marimba, EWI, ...

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Lucas Pino's No Net Nonet: That's a Computer

Read "That's a Computer" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Saxophonist Lucas Pino's adventurous New York-based No Net Nonet is on record for the third time with That's a Computer (yes, there's a story behind that but it's too lengthy to recount here), which underscores Pino's usual flair for anomalous compositions and arrangements. Except for drummer Jimmy Macbride, who came on board in 2017, every member ...