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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Waldrop: Origin Suite

Read "Origin Suite" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Drummer / vibraphonist Michael Waldrop's intriguing Origin Suite (deftly arranged by Jack Cooper) sweeps away musical boundaries to make its points, one of which is that big-band jazz needn't be ensnared in a time warp but is capable of changing with the times to engender songs that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are thematically stylish. ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017

Read "John Kelman's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by John Kelman

For those who may have noticed, there have been no best of lists coming from yours truly since 2014; sadly, the chronic health problem that has reduced my previous writing pace to a crawl continues without much respite. My best of the year lists have always been predicated upon having reviewed the releases chosen, and with ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows

Read "Oceans of Vows" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Un lavoro singolare e affascinante. Grazie a un finanziamento della Shifting Foundation Alex Cline ha scritto e registrato un'ambiziosa suite, che si presenta in un doppio compact di raffinata eleganza. Due ore di musica ispirate all'Avatamsaka Sutra (in inglese Flower Garland Sutra), uno dei massimi testi della tradizione buddhista e a versi del monaco vietnamita Thich ...

Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows

Read "Alex Cline's Flower Garland Orchestra: Oceans of Vows" reviewed by John Kelman

Despite being a key participant in the “Left Coast" scene of more avant-leaning music from the American west coast--in particular, part of the Cryptogramophone imprint that, while less active than in its “glory days" during the first years of the new millennium--Alex Cline releases so infrequently as a leader that any new music from the percussionist/composer ...

Michael Vlatkovich: Mortality

Read "Mortality" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Wow. Where to start? Apropos of its title, Mortality is huge. Vast. Complex. Quixotic. Musically, it's a mega-ambitious work that fuses operatic vocals, several styles of jazz, heavily-scored contemporary classical music and flat-out improvisational wailing in the most appealing ways possible. Interestingly, Michael Vlatkovich, a West Coast trombone virtuoso and composer / improvisor of considerable merit, ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Ross Hammond: Holding onto the Wave

Read "Ross Hammond: Holding onto the Wave" reviewed by Troy Collins

Sacramento-based guitarist Ross Hammond has been steadily gaining attention, courtesy of a tireless performing schedule reinforced and documented by a series of diverse albums issued on his own Prescott Recordings imprint. Hammond's releases have featured a variety of instrumental lineups, ranging from lyrical solo recitals to frenetic collective improvisations. His most recent endeavor is Cathedrals (Prescott ...

Ross Hammond Quartet: Adored

Read "Adored" reviewed by Troy Collins

Adored is the debut of Sacramento-based guitarist Ross Hammond's Quartet. Although Hammond's previous recordings have featured an array of configurations (ranging from solo recitals to spontaneous improvisations with various West Coast peers), this date is among the most impressive in his growing discography. For the first time, the relatively young guitarist leads an all-star quartet of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Vol. 5: Stuttgart May 25, 1981

Read "Unreleased Art Vol. 5: Stuttgart May 25, 1981" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Recorded during a European tour by Pepper's “comeback quartet" with drummer Carl Burnett, bassist Bob Magnusson and pianist Milcho Leviev, Unreleased Art Vol. 5: Stuttgart May 25, 1981 is a genuine labor of love: Not only the performers' love of music but also the devotion of this alto saxophonist's fans, who sent their own recordings of ...

ARTICLE: FROM THE INSIDE OUT

40 Year Old Bitches, New MilesTones & Others, Too

Read "40 Year Old Bitches, New MilesTones & Others, Too" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Antibalas

Who is This America?

Ropeadope Records

2010

Few American bands have been more influential in the global Afrobeat movement than the Brooklyn collective Antibalas. Keeper of the African protest flame ignited by Nigerian musician/activist Fela Kuti in the 1970s, Antibalas' reach is expansive and impressive: it contributed to the ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wayne Peet Quartet: Live at Al's Bar

Read "Live at Al's Bar" reviewed by John Kelman

Some things are worth the wait. It's taken four years for Left Coast keyboardist Wayne Peet to mix this live recording from Al's Bar in Los Angeles, and another two to release it. But Live at Al's Bar--featuring guitarists Nels Cline and G.E. Stinson, along with drummer Russell Bizzett--is the kind of recording that never goes ...