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Andreas Varady: The Quest

Read "The Quest" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Early-career hype can be a peculiar mix of blessing and curse. Andreas Varady certainly deserves some praise, and one could hardly ask for a more generous mentor and endorser than Quincy Jones ("It's not every day that you see a 15-year-old kid playing like George Benson!"). Pre-teen virtuosity and study of influences, however, inevitably have to ...

Glenn Zaleski: Solo vol. 1

Read "Solo vol. 1" reviewed by Geno Thackara

In a way every piano recording is alike, yet of course no matter how many are made, they're inevitably distinct--each performer (and indeed each piano) has a tone and a voice nothing else can duplicate. With a resume as impressive as Glenn Zaleski's, it's somewhat surprising this is his first trip showcasing that voice unaccompanied. He's ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Minimalist Guitar: Clouds and Dreams

Read "Minimalist Guitar: Clouds and Dreams" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Jakob Bro
Returnings
ECM Records
2018

Jakob Bro sounds quiet (even by his standards) on his third date for ECM, following up the aptly-titled Streams (ECM, 2016) with a recording even more spare and contemplative. His telepathy with favorite collaborator Thomas Morgan stays close as ever, while Palle Mikkelborg provides ...

Ivo Neame: Moksha

Read "Moksha" reviewed by Geno Thackara

A solo album is generally a defining statement of identity, especially for musicians who juggle multiple outlets, but Ivo Neame has such a hard time sitting still that even he must have a hard time pinning down his sound for very long. His piano makes a key voice (pun unintended) in the Escape Hatch quartet and ...

Goldbug: Naacal

Read "Naacal" reviewed by Geno Thackara

When thinking of ancient civilizations, it's natural to start with, say, Sumerians or Egyptians. The Naacal aren't exactly first to leap to mind--not least because nobody knows if they actually existed. There was a certain amount of creative license in the earliest writings about pre-Mayan people in Central America and the lost continent of Mu. Barry ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

The Dixie Dregs at Scottish Rite Auditorium

Read "The Dixie Dregs at Scottish Rite Auditorium" reviewed by Geno Thackara

The Dixie Dregs
Scottish Rite Auditorium
Collingswood, NJ
March 9, 2018

They've always remained one of the most under-the-radar of fusion bands. The Dixie Dregs' every-damn-thing-at-once musical stew could have hardly been better designed to elude widespread exposure--too much jazzy complexity for a group of rockers, too much country and folk ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

The Art of the Duo: Keys and Reeds

Read "The Art of the Duo: Keys and Reeds" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Two duos, both alike in dignity, though taking the approach to very different ends:

Anat Cohen and Fred Hersch
Live in Healdsburg
Anzic Records
2018

What's taken these two so long? Okay, of course they've both juggled collaborations and cross-pollinations in many different contexts, and considering the nature ...

David Series: Meerkat Parade

Read "Meerkat Parade" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Apparently the official term is “clan" or “mob" when meerkats gather in a group. Despite their being social animals, nothing suggests they'd be organized enough for anything resembling a parade--that would only be a silly distraction from the business of burrowing, foraging and avoiding the jackals. Nonetheless David Series and a sharp crew find some good ...

Martin Wind: Light Blue

Read "Light Blue" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Releasing a defining album is a pretty nice way to celebrate hitting age 50. If it's a particularly solid outing, so much the better. Martin Wind's milestone comes as he also marks 25 years as a recording player. It seems faintly miraculous that there's really time for him to do his own thing, considering that he's ...

Katie Thiroux Trio at South Jazz Parlor

Read "Katie Thiroux Trio at South Jazz Parlor" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Katie Thiroux Trio
South Jazz Parlor
jny: Philadelphia, PA
February 24, 2018

In time-honored Philly tradition, South is the kind of venue that recognizes jazz as a vital staple rather than just another aspect of business. Nestled on a corner in Center City's bustling north side (go figure), the place features ...