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3x3: Piano Trios, vol. IV

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Yonathan Avishai
Joys and Solitudes
ECM Records
2019

Though Yonathan Avishai isn't exactly alone on his debut as leader, half the recording is well suited to quiet times away from the world, or perhaps being enjoyed with minimal company--the trio at hand is comfortable with silence as any ECM ensemble should ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Liebman: On the Corner Live!

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The idea is easy to dismiss at first glance. At a rough count, this seems like the 127th Miles Davis homage to come along since tribute recordings became a widespread thing. It took a long time for the original On the Corner (Columbia, 1972) to gain acceptance with its thick relentless jungle-funk and lack of conventional ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Daniel Herskedal: Voyage

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You know what they say: nothing opens doors and wins people over like playing an instrument. It can make the most unlikely artist into a star. It may seem like rock guitarists or charismatic saxophone players get most of the attention, but learn to handle a tuba and it can really take you anywhere.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Swana / Tim Motzer / Doug Hirlinger: Channels

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It's a jungle in here. The atmosphere is thick and close, even when things are still. Strange creatures keep flitting through the trees and rustling the bushes. The air never stays quiet for very long amidst the eerie calls of strange birds. The here in this case is a landscape that is imaginary, but that makes ...

Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Sirius Juju and Unspeakable Garbage at Jerry's on Front

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Mostly Other People Do the Killing/Sirius Juju/Unspeakable Garbage
Jerry's on Front
jny: Philadelphia, PA
February 16, 2019

Twenty blocks and a world away from the clubs and bars of Philadelphia's city center, the experimental art space of Jerry's on Front is a room one would hardly imagine for music at all. It's a nondescript ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Quantum Trio: Quality Studio Live

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Like its cover, Quality Studio Live is an interestingly skewed mix of the familiar and the distorted. It was indeed recorded in a studio (with sound quality to match), yet it benefits from the vibe of a live audience. The deliberate structures of the pieces still allow for kinetic interpretations in the moment. The musical ideas ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Counterfictionals: No Hay Banda

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Considering the meaning of “No hay banda"--"there is no band"--you can immediately expect some humor and irony from Kristoffer Rosing-Schow and his motley friends (who certainly are a band, and a beguiling one at that). If you also recognize the phrase from the Club Silencio scene in David Lynch's movie Mulholland Drive, it won't be a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ramiro Marziani: The Martian's Playground

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We've heard those proverbs about the devil's playground, so what would the equivalent be for Martians? The evidence here would suggest a mix of the odd, wacky, exuberant and playful. Ramiro Marziani's hands are anything but idle on his guitar throughout this whirlwind of a recording. One moment he's practically shredding with extra metallic crunch, the ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume

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Sonar
Live at Moods
7d Media
2018

Imagine the gamelan-infused minimalism of 1980s King Crimson crossed with the droning heavy-rock menace of Sunn O))). Imagine Steve Reich if he discovered metal and turned to devil worship. You may be approaching the distinct neighborhood of Sonar, though their strange brew is far ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Massimo Discepoli: The Right Place on the Wrong Map

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It seems Massimo Discepoli's right place is in territory not just unexpected, but off the usual map entirely. He's based in Italy, though the music doesn't feel rooted in any earthly setting; he's worked primarily as a drummer, but The Right Place on the Wrong Map is a swirling soundworld with the most understated of percussive ...