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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Froy Aagre Offbeat: Countryside

Read "Countryside" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

Featuring finely crafted compositions and precise, yet stirring performances, Countryside is an ambitious and lovely followup to Frøy Aagre Offbeat's debut album, 2004's Katalyze. The album sports varying moods, veering from stately elegance to moments of more delicate humor and whimsy.

Composed and arranged by the saxophonist/leader, each track has obviously been worked over ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Eclectic Troubadors: Eclectic

Read "Eclectic" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

Dave Phelps and the Eclectic Troubadours live up to their name with consistently quirky music that approaches the listener from a variety of different angles, not all of them successful. The most obvious antecedent is the Grateful Dead, particularly the song-oriented era of Workingman's Dead/American Beauty. The album is split down the middle between relatively straightforward ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Reynolds: Can't Wait For Perfect

Read "Can't Wait For Perfect" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

Way too many jazz “composers come up with a derivative riff and hastily christen the piece a composition. While that may be technically true, there is quite a difference between these works and full-bodied, sturdy efforts that can stand on their own. Fortunately for listeners, saxophonist Bob Reynolds easily earns the title of composer with the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jimmy Junebug Jackson: On My Way Home

Read "On My Way Home" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

Drummer and vocalist Jimmy “Junebug Jackson steps out from the shadow of his former employer, Jimmy Smith, to pay tribute to two other legends, Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson, on this recording. In particular, On My Way Home salutes the eponymous duet album Adderley and Wilson cut together in 1961.

As is fitting for ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joseph Patrick Moore: Decade 1996 - 2005

Read "Decade 1996 - 2005" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

There is a certain bravery in presenting snapshots of yourself over the course of a decade, as bassist Joseph Patrick Moore does on this appropriately titled compilation. Including a generous nineteen tracks, Decade features Moore in a variety of settings backed by a diverse group of musicians. As expected, his bass work is the focus here, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Chambers: The Outlaw

Read "The Outlaw" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

The Outlaw is an adventurous recording which finds veteran drummer Joe Chambers focusing on vibraphone, piano and marimba as much as the drum kit. In the liner notes, Chambers comments, “I'm not interested in playing drums behind anybody now. On this album, I'm trying to reestablish myself as a mallet player. Unfortunately, the album also reveals ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

David Ullmann: Hidden

Read "Hidden" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

Like an ace pitcher, guitarist and composer David Ullmann keeps us on our toes with a wily array of different looks, angles and spins on Hidden. There is a sense of movement throughout the tracks, as if one were wandering through a city and passing through various neighborhoods. Tabla and Fender Rhodes are employed, along with ...

Rale Micic: Serbia

Read "Serbia" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

Serbia is a lyrical, tightly wound affair that rarely rises above a whisper, but weaves a dreamy spell. Working with a sympathetic band that includes trumpet/flugelhorn player Tom Harrell, Rale Micic's guitar sparkles against lush accompaniment.

Both the album's title and its opening track, “Dimitrije, Sine Mitre, are nods to Micic's heritage. Played solo ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jack Brass Band: You Don't Know Me

Read "You Don't Know Me" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

At first thought, the notion of a New Orleans-style brass band based in Minneapolis recalls the famed Jamaican bobsled team. However, similarities between the two quickly disappear once you listen to You Don't Know Me. After all, the plucky Jamaican team ultimately finished the Olympics in 28th place, while the Jack Brass Band has crafted a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Phil Hawkins: H2O

Read "H2O" reviewed by Stephen Latessa

With steel pans as the lead instrument and a lineup that also includes drums and percussion, there is little doubt that H2O will have an emphasis on groove. Of course, while the churning bottom is an undeniable focus of the music, Phil Hawkins has also composed some light, airy melodies to float above the beats. The ...