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ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: Imaginary Cities

Read "Chris Potter Underground Orchestra: Imaginary Cities" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Writing jazz music, says Chris Potter, is “a bit of a zen exercise."

“A lot of what you're thinking about when you're writing is the stuff that's not there. You're thinking about the solos and the way the band is going to play it together--things that can't be notated."

For Imaginary Cities, ...

ARTICLE: CATCHING UP WITH

Nick Hempton's Catch & Release

Read "Nick Hempton's Catch & Release" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Ever since the advent of Napster, musicians and commentators have been sounding the knell for the music industry model that had existed for the better part of the twentieth century. More than fifteen years on, it's clear that the old model lurches on, haggard and zombielike, but no clear and lasting successor has emerged. The à ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Red Garland: The 1956 Trio

Read "The 1956 Trio" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

By the time pianist Red Garland recorded the amalgam of tracks on this essential disc, he'd been playing with the Miles Davis Quintet for about a year. Although he had performed alongside big names before, including Charlie Parker and Lester Young), The Quintet (as it would come to be known) was truly an all-star lineup: Garland, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus

Read "Saxophone Colossus" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Bass drum. High hat. A primal, hollow beat in triple succession. The sequence repeats, increasingly accentuated with quick rim shot bursts and precision hits to the tom.

Then, stage set, the sax leaps in. A bright Caribbean calypso melody, its refrain only twelve notes long. Its vibrancy and simplicity give it an instantaneous appeal--fitting, given the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Clifford Brown / Sonny Rollins / Max Roach Quintet: Complete Studio Recordings

Read "Complete Studio Recordings" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Even now, fifty-three years after Clifford Brown's untimely death (a multiple tragedy that also took the lives of pianist Richie Powell and his wife), his recordings are still being mined for fresh--or rather, refreshed-- releases. Although it's not entirely clear why this particular lineup merits this particular release at this particular time, any Brownie is good ...

Slightly After the Fact: Mark Murphy's Once to Every Heart / Marc Johnson's Shades of Jade

Read "Slightly After the Fact: Mark Murphy's Once to Every Heart / Marc Johnson's Shades of Jade" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

From the usual vantage, singer Mark Murphy's Once to Every Heart and bassist Marc Johnson's Shades of Jade would seem to have little in common, save for the forename of their bandleaders and the fact that they're both on Universal imprints (Verve and ECM respectively). The first is a vocal album of standard ballads backed by ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Luis Mario Ochoa & Friends: Cimarron

Read "Cimarron" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Cimarrón (meaning “free spirit") is the nonet that Havana-born guitarist and composer Luis Mario Ochoa assembled shortly after moving to Canada back in 1990. This eponymous release is not just the ensemble's third album, but also a celebration of its fifteen years of happy existence. Musical guests such as Paquito D'Rivera, Guido Basso, and Ochoa's father, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonathan Kreisberg: Unearth

Read "Unearth" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Two objective characteristics set Unearth apart from guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg's four previous releases. First, it's a quintet outing, as opposed to the trios that created his eponymous 1996 debut, Trioing (2000), Nine Stories Wide (2004) and New for Now (2005). Second, it's original material from start to finish, which yields a strangely contradictory effect. Kreisberg the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Max Nagl Ensemble: Quartier du Faisan

Read "Quartier du Faisan" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

You could say that the Max Nagl Ensemble puts an exciting contemporary spin on classic-sounding material. Or you could say the group takes contemporary material and gives it a universally accessible classic sound. Either way, you'd be right. This is an extremely flexible and versatile outfit that's hard to pin down, and so fun-loving and spontaneous ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chris Higginbottom: One

Read "One" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Drummer Chris Higginbottom's first album as leader is a straight-ahead quartet outing with Seamus Blake (tenor and soprano sax), Aaron Goldberg (piano) and Orlando le Fleming (bass). None of these four musicians are household names--yet, at any rate--but none are green by any standards. All have frequently gigged around their current stomping ground, New York, and ...