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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Liebman, Rudolph & Drake: Chi

Read "Chi" reviewed by John Ephland

Chi is another trio outing with saxophonist Dave Liebman and percussionist Adam Rudolph, the third leg on this stool being drummer Hamid Drake. It is a kind of follow-up to 2018's alternately serene and propulsive The Unknowable (RareNoise), on which Liebman and Rudolph were joined by percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. Unlike The Unknowable, Chi was recorded in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar

Read "Fractal Guitar" reviewed by John Ephland

A guitar lover's delight, the Swiss Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar reeks of the many splendid effects the instrument can bellow, belch, intimate, cry out and sing. And all within the narrow yet liberating, pattern-based corridors Thelen's ofttimes arhythmic funkfest conjures. With nods to David Torn, Robert Fripp, Glenn Branca and even Nik Bartsch, the aesthetic creates ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Eraldo Bernocchi: Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It

Read "Like A Fire That Consumes All Before It" reviewed by John Ephland

RareNoise is one of those labels, one of those rare (no pun intended) labels, where format and style have become irrelevant. A recent sampling of the soon-to-be historic label should suffice in telling their ongoing musical odyssey. Pit one against the other: 2018's Anguish, featuring among others, Nordic phenom Mats Gustafsson in a wild-haired hoedown of ...

Elio Villafranca: Five Islands & A Revolt

Read "Elio Villafranca: Five Islands & A Revolt" reviewed by John Ephland

The setting was Systems Two, a well-known, state-of-the-art recording studio in Brooklyn. The sessions, occurring over five days in May (7-11) 2017, were set up to record Cuban pianist/composer Elio Villafranca's sixth album, the elaborate and thoroughly rehearsed double-CD Cinque (artistShare), the music previously performed in shows at Lincoln Center in 2015.

Present at ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Gilmore Keyboard Festival

Read "Gilmore Keyboard Festival" reviewed by John Ephland

Gilmore Keyboard Festival
Kalamazoo, Michigan
April 25 to May 12, 2018

Thursday night is always the second night of the biennial Gilmore Keyboard Festival. Thursday night is also the first night for jazz, the festival putatively a classical music rollout with jazz confections, albeit well-considered, strewn throughout this 22-day cultural jewel based ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Norma Winstone: Descansado - Songs For Films

Read "Descansado - Songs For Films" reviewed by John Ephland

Norma Winstone has had her current trio since 2001, long enough to have released five albums (four for ECM). Descansado, a celebration of cinema through the language of music, is that fourth CD, and it's a winner from start to finish. The album's title derives from a Armando Trovajoli composition, used in Italian director Vittorio De ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

36th International Tampere Jazz Happening

Read "36th International Tampere Jazz Happening" reviewed by John Ephland

36th International Tampere Jazz Happening
Tampere, Finland
November 2-5, 2017

They were the winner of this year's Europe Jazz Network (EJN) Award for Adventurous Programming. Receiving the award at April's jazzahead! conference in Bremen, Tampere Jazz Happening and Artistic Director Juhamatti Kauppinen celebrated what has become 35 years of top-drawer programming. The ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Los Angeles Guitar Quartet's European Debut of Pat Metheny Commission Highlights Uppsala International Guitar Festival

Read "Los Angeles Guitar Quartet's European Debut of Pat Metheny Commission Highlights Uppsala International Guitar Festival" reviewed by John Ephland

14th Annual Uppsala International Guitar Festival
Uppsala, Sweden
October 11-15, 2017

While much if not most of this year's Uppsala International Guitar Festival-once again held in the music-friendly Konsert & Kongress building-was devoted guitarists and music emanating from the worlds of classical, Brazilian, Tango and Flamenco, other musical strains were ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Karuna at LaFontsee Gallery

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Karuna
LaFontsee Gallery
Grand Rapids, Michigan
April 23, 2017

Flute loops were the first sounds heard. Part of a music arsenal, the inconspicuous electronics served to heighten what was a vast array of traditional percussion instruments on hand. The duet Karuna was ending their spring 2017 Midwest tour before a modestly ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Dwiki Dharmawan's Pasar Klewer Plays Indonesia

Read "Dwiki Dharmawan's Pasar Klewer Plays Indonesia" reviewed by John Ephland

Dwiki Dharmawan's Pasar Klewer
Various Locations
Bandung and Jakarta, Indonesia
March 2-5, 2017

It was supposed to just be a soundcheck and rehearsal. But the energy and focus delivered as Indonesian pianist/composer Dwiki Dharmawan ran his Pasar Klewer band through the various numbers most of this group had recorded in ...