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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Nate Najar Trio: Jazz Impressions

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On “Jazz Impressions" the Nate Najar Trio takes us back to a dark, tiny, smoky, nightclub circa 1956. The question is, do we want to go there? From the opening lines of the Count Basie blues “Taps Miller" we can hear where the group is going, and haven't we all been there before? Najar's solo consists ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bennett Paster and Gregory Ryan: Grupo Yanqui

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Somehow these young New York guys seem to never let you down. On Grupo Yanqui (are they the anti-Grupo Mets?) leaders Bennett Paster and Gregory Ryan showcase their hip, cerebral, groovy originals and two standards in a series of fine and energetic performances. Ryan's “Miller Time" is a hard Latin Funk groove with an interesting and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ray Barretto and New World Spirit: Trancedance

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Ray Barretto and New World Spirit are one of the finest ensembles in Latin jazz and on the elegantly swinging “Trancedance" they prove why throughout. The date opens with a simply wonderful arrangement of a simply wonderful Monty Alexander tune, “Renewal". Pianist John Di Martino's solo is a delight, as is the playing of special guest ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Henri Salvador: Room With A View

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On his new Blue Note release, “Room With A View", Henry Salvador croons softly of “Jazz, Silver Moonlight". On the opener and the title track, Salvador overdubs his voice to less than wonderful results. The disc has a decided retro feeling to it, as the rhythm sections Latin and Bossa Nova accompaniments seem a little stuck ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Keith Ganz and Sean Smith: A Wish For A Wish To Come True

Read "A Wish For A Wish To Come True" reviewed by Jim Josselyn

This recording, with its soft acoustic guitar and bass, reminds me, in mood and tempo, of the recording that Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny made a few years back. The disc opens with guitarist Keith Ganz’s title track, a soft, pretty ballad with a memorable melody and pretty changes. Bill Evans’ “Time Remembered" is similar in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The David Liebman Group: The Unknown Jobim

Read "The Unknown Jobim" reviewed by Jim Josselyn

You simply can’t go wrong here--the David Liebman Group is one of the most accomplished and versatile combos in jazz, and the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim speaks for itself. The twist here is that these wonderful and rather obscure gems from the Jobim book are mostly played with a straight-ahead swing jazz feel, instead of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Ardoin and Zydekool: Pullin

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To my knowledge, zydeco is a style of music that combines elements of many styles of music such as rhythm and blues, funk, rock, jazz and blues and features the accordion. According to Sean Ardoin on “Zydekool Rollin", it comes from the southwestern part of Louisiana. In Ardoin’s hands it certainly is a boisterous, upbeat, “happy" ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Latin Jazz Quartet: Bye-Ya!

Read "Bye-Ya!" reviewed by Jim Josselyn

Need a jolt? Feel like dancing? Or just need assurance the state of Latin jazz is alive and well? This superb recording should accomplish all of those things in spades. A truly international collective, LJQ sports a Dutch trumpeter, Dutch bassist, Curacao (ian?) pianist, German congero and Cuban drummer. The date opens with “Balor Di Bida", ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Pierre Bensusan: Intuite

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Performing an entire program of solo guitar is quite a challenge. Range, dynamics and tone are some of the inherent pitfalls of the instrument. More classical and new-age folk than jazz, Pierre Bensusan tackles the challenge straight ahead on “Intuite" with mixed results. “Kadourimdou" opens the session with a provocative, bluesy, muted bass figure, percussive slaps ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bebo Valdes Trio: El Arte Del Sabor

Read "El Arte Del Sabor" reviewed by Jim Josselyn

When three musicians come together with total command of their instruments and the music they are playing, the results are usually quite satisfying, and when each member of an ensemble sublimates his ego to perform the function the music demands of his instrument the collective is stronger, performing like a well-oiled machine. That is certainly the ...