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Dominick Farinacci: Lovers, Tales & Dances

Read "Lovers, Tales & Dances" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

The mass appeal of a jazz recording does not necessarily compromise its value or its artistic integrity; it simply means that the artist has mastered the difficult task of balancing the creative and the commercial. Trumpeter Dominick Farinacci has done just that on his debut album, Lovers, Tales & Dances.

Farinacci sounds a ...


Jenny Scheinman: Crossing the Field

Read "Crossing the Field" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Se il disco che porta semplicemente il suo nome e cognome si muove sulle tracce di un cantautorato di matrice folk-pop, questo Crossing the Field svela le migliori ambizioni strumentali di Jenny Scheinman, talentuosa violinista in grado di passare con disinvoltura da Norah Jones a Bill Frisell, dalla Tzadik alla ditta Tononi/Cavallanti. La band è composta da ...


Jenny Scheinman: Jenny Scheinman

Read "Jenny Scheinman" reviewed by John Kelman

Those only familiar with Jenny Scheinman's two discs for Tzadik--The Rabbi's Lover (2002) and Shalagaster (2004)--may be taken aback by the violinist's leap into singer/songwriter turf on Jenny Scheinman. Others who've followed her work with Americana-centric guitarist Bill Frisell on albums including the sample-rich Unspeakable (Nonesuch, 2004) and the more compositionally focused History Mystery (Nonesuch, 2008) ...


Bob James: Angels of Shanghai

Read "Angels of Shanghai" reviewed by Jeff Winbush

Albums by Bob James come in two flavors.

One is polished, professional and predominantly safe smooth jazz featured on most of solo output and all of his collaborations with the “supergroup," Fourplay. This is where James has established his reputation as one of the more reliably radio-friendly musicians in the business.

The other ...


Jean-Luc Ponty: The Acatama Experience

Read "The Acatama Experience" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been six years since Jean-Luc Ponty last released a studio disc. Contrasting with the more heavily produced Life Enigma (JLP, 2001), The Acatama Experience places greater emphasis on the violinist's working band. It's also a record that consolidates his early years as a straight-ahead player with his 1970s fusion and later forays into funk and ...

Bob James: Urban Flamingo

Read "Urban Flamingo" reviewed by Tracey Nolan

Bob James has never decided whether he's a jazz musician or an R&B musician. He doesn't have to--he can be both, simultaneously, playing funky, infectious tunes that are melodic and groove hard. Urban Flamingo, his most recent effort, could be written off simply as “lifestyle music," or smooth jazz doomed to become background ambience at wine ...


Nelson Rangell: Soul To Souls

Read "Soul To Souls" reviewed by Mark Sabbatini

If you've never heard saxophonist Nelson Rangell, you may find Soul To Souls a pleasant step beyond typical smooth radio fodder. Listeners familiar with his work will find it, for better or worse, a return to safety.

Rangell put out unpolished fusion albums with scattered moments of innovation during his early years, hit a ...


Apollo's Fire, Jeannette Sorrell: Scarborough Fayre-Traditional Tunes from the British Isles and the New World

Read "Scarborough Fayre-Traditional Tunes from the British Isles and the New World" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century popular music provides a unique prism through which to view how our present structures have evolved. Scarborough Fayre-Traditional Tunes from the British Isles and the New World is a cleverly programmed cycle of songs and song types common in Britain and America before and after American independence. It is enlightenment, for example, ...


Imani Winds: The Classical Underground

Read "The Classical Underground" reviewed by Russ Musto

Imani Winds is a contemporary woodwind quintet whose music is quietly breaking down the artificial barrier between the classical and jazz idioms. The group's members--Valerie Coleman (flute), Toyin Spellman (oboe), Mariam Adam (clarinet), Monica Ellis (bassoon), and Jeff Scott (French horn)--are young Afro-Americans intent on integrating their American Negro and Afro-Caribbean musical traditions into their chosen ...


Nelson Rangell: My American Songbook Vol. 1

Read "My American Songbook Vol. 1" reviewed by Mark Sabbatini

It's about freakin' time.

Nelson Rangell's squandered most of his career on saccharine smooth jazz only rarely offering insight into his ability, with nearly all of that coming during his early recordings of the late '80s and early '90s. He doesn't completely fulfill that promise on My American Songbook Vol. 1, but it's his ...