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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Gary Hassay & Ellen Christi: Tribute to Paradise

Read "Tribute to Paradise" reviewed by Ty Cumbie

Jazz artists who adhere strictly to a free improvising agenda are generally doomed to sacrifice wider recognition. Here are two perfect examples: Ellen Christi is among the finest jazz vocalists in New York. She's made a lovely, intimate duo recording with Gary Hassay, a saxophonist who has all the technique of his best contemporaries, plus a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Giardullo: No Work Today: Nine for Steve Lacy

Read "No Work Today: Nine for Steve Lacy" reviewed by John Eyles

To record an album dedicated to another musician--especially one as recently dead and as revered as Steve Lacy--is a risky business. The risk is greater if it is also an album of unaccompanied playing. If you're too reverential, you may be accused of cashing in and/or plagiarism; if you're too individualistic, you may be accused of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dominic Duval and Joe McPhee: Rules of Engagement Vol.2

Read "Rules of Engagement Vol.2" reviewed by Trevor MacLaren

Rules of Engagement Vol. 2 is the first recording by this duo in roughly five years. Though they often play together, it is still a rare treat to get a collaborative disc out of them. Dominic Duval makes a great choice for his second volume in the Rules of Engagement series by choosing a familiar player ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Heward Trio: Let Them Pass (laissez-passer)

Read "Let Them Pass (laissez-passer)" reviewed by Javier AQ Ortiz

In the case of any abstract interpretation of human experience, it is not necessary to get--or even know--the author's point of view in order to assail it at any level. In the case of Let Them Pass (laissez-passer), the first recording by the John Heward Trio, it does help to be aware of the collective spur ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Gebhard Ullmann: BassX3

Read "BassX3" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

BassX3, reedman Gebhard Ullmann's exploration of soundscapes dwelling in the lower end of the sonic spectrum, huffs in on on a low tone, a bass flute rumination joined shortly by the elastic sound of a bowed bass.

Two basses--Chris Dahlgren (Jazz Mandolin Project), and Peter Herbert, internationally known for his film and dance scores--join Ullmann, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Heward Trio: Let Them Pass

Read "Let Them Pass" reviewed by Rex  Butters

This international trio of skilled improvisers reflects on the experiences of their expatriating pater familiae, some moving to Canada, some moving to the US. They explore their ancestors' leap into the unknown by leaping into these seven different impressions of passage. Drummer/leader John Heward and reedman Joe Giardullo share an association with Joe McPhee. Seattleite Bisio ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Heward Trio: Let Them Pass (Laissez-passer)

Read "Let Them Pass (Laissez-passer)" reviewed by John Kelman

Spontaneous composition, as opposed to free improvisation, finds a group of musicians working towards creating some kind of recognizable construct; sometimes, in fact, as in the case of the title track from Marilyn Crispell's '01 release, Amaryllis , what begins as a free improvisation becomes an actual piece with a thematic form that, in this case, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Steve Swell/Perry Robinson: Invisible Cities

Read "Invisible Cities" reviewed by Clifford Allen

With Invisible Cities, trombonist Steve Swell and clarinetist Perry Robinson have created a unique snapshot of duo improvisation that, as much as it sounds like a Saturday afternoon loft rehearsal when the rhythm section was too busy, is a compelling document of the affinity between improvisers.

Robinson, of course, is the veteran of the two, having ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Heward Trio: Let Them Pass

Read "Let Them Pass" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

Before recording the seven pieces on Let Them Pass, bassist Mike Bisio, drummer John Heward, and mulit-reedsman Joe Giardullo reflected intensely, Philip Egert’s liner notes tell us, “on how their parents and grandparents had immigrated to Canada and the United States...(coming) with little more than a ‘Laissez-passer’ in their pockets.” Liner notes do not often provide ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Burton Greene: Live at Grasland

Read "Live at Grasland" reviewed by Clifford Allen

You would not be faulted for raising an eyebrow at the appearance of a Burton Greene solo record. It is not without precedent, of course, for 1998’s Shades of Greene (Cadence Jazz) and It’s All One (Horo, 1975) set a worthy course. Nevertheless, Greene’s music has been fruitfully explored in ensemble recordings, from the classic open-communications ...