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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Richard Pellegrin: Down

Read "Down" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

In an All About Jazz review of pianist/bandleader Rich Pellegrin's Episodes IV-V (OA2 Records, 2015), the author states that Pellegrin's style lies “somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between jazz and 21st century classical music." That also holds true with Down, the third quintet offering from the Assistant Professor at Florida State University.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Kocour: East Of The Sun

Read "East Of The Sun" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Pianist Michael Kocour--a longtime member of the Chicago jazz community, now on the faculty of Arizona State University--presents his third solo piano album. His previous solo album Wherever You Go, There You Are (OA2 Records, 2015) was a mix of originals, jazz and popular standards, even including a few electric piano tracks. This one (which Kocour ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Kocour: East Of The Sun

Read "East Of The Sun" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Michael Kocour's solo piano recital is comprised of great American songs, most of which were popular in the early-to-mid twentieth century. There's nothing dated or anachronistic about the ways in which he handles the material. Throughout the record's ten tracks, Kocour establishes a state of equilibrium between a fealty to traditional song forms and jazz practices; ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mason Razavi: Quartet Plus, Volume 2

Read "Quartet Plus, Volume 2" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

If “Riverbed," which opens Mason Razavi's burnished sequel to Quartet Plus (First Orbit Sounds, 2014) were a doorway, it would welcome listeners like guests of honor to an intimate yet lively gathering of close friends and family. Such is the feeling of hospitality and warmth that pervades this thoroughly nourishing album. Over this and the next ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Kocour: East Of The Sun

Read "East Of The Sun" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The ease of expression with which pianist Michael Kocour unspools standards tends to belie the greatness of his playing. With extreme comfort and control he lays out one beautiful performance after another, all the while presenting a fine balance between technical accomplishment and creative bent.

East Of The Sun--the sixth leader (or co-leader) ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kristen Strom: Moving Day: The Music of John Shifflett

Read "Moving Day: The Music of John Shifflett" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The esteemed bassist John Shifflett was for roughly thirty years a mainstay in countless San Francisco Bay Area sessions and recordings until his untimely passing in April 2017. Gone, that's true, but far from forgotten. Shifflett, as it turns out, had another largely hidden talent as a composer of bright and accessible jazz tunes, seven of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow: Music in My Mind

Read "Music in My Mind" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

After a series of well-received mainstream recordings, Chicago-based alto saxophonist Shawn Maxwell moved into a “taking more chances" mode with Shawn Maxwell's New Tomorrow (OA2 Records, 2016). Much of the sound there fell into the exploratory, even avant-garde area. He delves further into that territory with Music In My Mind.

With albums titled Originals ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ben Markley Quartet: Basic Economy

Read "Basic Economy" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Pianist/composer Ben Markley has enough jazz pedigree to draw interest from jazz fans on an international level. After all, he has performed with such notables as Brian Lynch, Terell Stafford, and Eddie Henderson. His work on the jazz scene in Denver is well regarded, as is his work as Director of Jazz Studies at the University ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tucker Antell: Grime Scene

Read "Grime Scene" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Tucker Antell knows how to make an entrance. The two-minute solo stand that opens Grime Scene finds his stentorian saxophone blowing brusque and fluid across a wide swath. It plays like a strong man's lament-cum-catharsis, but what follows on the same track is something else: a bluesy shuffle with foot tap-inducing properties. This marks the first ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Danny Green Trio Plus Strings: One Day It Will

Read "One Day It Will" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Charlie Parker, alto saxophonist/bebop pioneer, got the ball rolling on the adding of strings to jazz. This went down in the late 1947 through 1950, on a pair of releases on Mercury Records introducing the sound of the Yardbird backed by a symphony orchestra. These sets were later compiled by Verve Records and issued in 1995 ...