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Keith Pray's Big Soul Ensemble: Live at the Lark Tavern

Read "Live at the Lark Tavern" reviewed by Alexander M. Stern

Live recording can be a mixed blessing. On a live album, an artist has an opportunity to capture the raw energy created in performance before an audience. When the band is cooking and the audience is whooping it up, it is clear that while music is made in rehearsal halls and recording studios, it lives onstage. ...

Pronto: All Is Golden

Read "All Is Golden" reviewed by John Dworkin

There's a new game in the music world: Six degrees of Wilco. Current Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen's band Pronto is the latest degree in a wide network of Wilco connections. All Is Golden is Pronto's debut and Jorgensen composed and sings all the material. The musical influences are varied: power pop; retro '70s funk; Chicago Transit ...

Brian Patneaude: Riverview

Read "Riverview" reviewed by John Dworkin

Saxophonist Brian Patneaude, guitarist Mike Moreno, organist Jesse Chandler, and drummer Danny Whelchel are all relatively young, open-minded musicians. While having distinct approaches, they share a modern sense of rhythm and phrasing, often blurring barlines, playing motivically, and possessing the ability to follow their ideas where they seem to go naturally. There's a fluidity of execution ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Martin Bisi: Sirens Of The Apocalypse

Read "Sirens Of The Apocalypse" reviewed by John Dworkin

Experimental indie artist Martin Bisi's Sirens Of The Apocalypse, including extensive artwork and an embedded video, is akin to a pop/punk reflection of Baz Luhrmann's 2001 film, Moulin Rouge. It's kitschy, self-serious, goofy, theatrically carnivalesque, and generally in-your-face. And like Luhrmann's film, it will likely elicit polarized opinions. Some will be so wildly annoyed they'll stop ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Samo Salamon & Aljosa Jeric Quartet: Mamasaal feat. Mark Turner

Read "Mamasaal feat. Mark Turner" reviewed by John Dworkin

Mamasaal is a recording led by guitarist Samo Salamon and drummer Aljosa Jeric featuring the relentlessly creative saxophonist Mark Turner. Salamon and Jeric both hail from the newly post-socialist country of Slovenia. Having been recently formed after the collapse of the Eastern Bloc, maybe there is something to the idea of jazz being a truly “democratic" ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jesse Lewis: Atticus

Read "Atticus" reviewed by John Dworkin

The cover art of Jesse Lewis' Atticus is a simple yet striking image: a leaf with its veins replaced by digital circuitry cupped in a pair of hands. The leaf as precious motherboard. The interpretations of the image on its own could vary, but how it relates to Lewis's recording is relatively clear. How nature fits ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Pillars and Tongues: Protection

Read "Pillars and Tongues: Protection" reviewed by John Dworkin

Pillars and Tongues
Protection
Contraphonic
2008



After listening through Pillars And Tongues' Protection, the listener may be left with the feeling of having attended a new style, post-religion Mass with liturgical forms composed by Tom Waits, John Fahey and Arvo Part. Old rituals are transformed and making art ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Jason Crigler: The Music Of Jason Crigler

Read "Jason Crigler: The Music Of Jason Crigler" reviewed by John Dworkin

Jason Crigler

The Music of Jason Crigler

Rudy Records

2008



Guitarist/singer/songwriter Jason Crigler's The Music Of Jason Crigler, nearly a decade in the making, opens with the words: “I think at first she might be dead." The irony is that four years earlier, after Crigler suffered a massive brain hemorrhage, doctors ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Never Enough Hope: The Gift Economy

Read "The Gift Economy" reviewed by John Dworkin

Tobin Summerfield's Chicago ensemble Never Enough Hope is a modern musician's Noah's ark. The players come in pairs: two trumpets, two alto saxophones, two tenor saxophones, two lower range saxophones, two violins, two mid-range strings, two basses, two guitars, two vibraphones and two drum kits. The resemblance in instrumentation to a traditional jazz big band is ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Frank Rosaly: Little Hell Volume 1 - Apathy of a Cow

Read "Frank Rosaly: Little Hell Volume 1 - Apathy of a Cow" reviewed by John Dworkin

Frank Rosaly
Little Hell Volume 1 - Apathy of a Cow
Contraphonic
2008



When looked at in its entirety, Chicago record label Contraphonic's Little Hell project can be seen in multiple lights: social activism, historical record, artist collective, creative electroacoustic improvisation, and/or dislocated sound art installation. ...