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Harrison Bankhead Quartet: Velvet Blue

Read "Velvet Blue" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Harrison Bankhead's time has come. The Advancement of Creative Music (AACM) is on a roll with the release of Velvet Blue. For decades, the bassist has been the bedrock upon which great Chicago jazz has been built. He was the foundation for legendary players like Fred Anderson, Von Freeman, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Malachi ...


Triptet: Figures in the Carpet

Read "Figures in the Carpet" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Triptet's music is hard to categorize within one particular genre. The Seattle based group's second release, Figures in the Carpet, is a unique cross between the hypnotic ambience of synth-pop and avant-garde jazz's complex and dissonant harmonies. Elegiac and mystical motifs and free-flowing spontaneity endow the album with a thematic unity.

The deconstructed lullaby “Surfactants," ...


Sylvain Leroux: Quatuor Creole

Read "Quatuor Creole" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Flautist Sylvain Leroux's debut, Quatuor Créole, is an enchanting mélange of Guinean sounds, French influences and jazz inflections. In that aspect it is essentially Creole, but not necessary a work of New Orleanian or Haitian folkloric music.

Leroux plays the tambin, a West African reed flute, and a dozon ngoni, a lute from ...


Eugene Chadbourne and Warren Smith: Odd Time

Read "Odd Time" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

All art is activist; or at least it should be when it challenges established and accepted forms that play to the laissez-faire, the reactionary and the antisocial--and the greater good of the greater number of people experiencing (or trying to experience) it. The music of Beethoven was just so, the composer cancelling the dedication of his ...


Harrison Bankhead Sextet: Morning Sun, Harvest Moon

Read "Morning Sun, Harvest Moon" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Harrison Bankhead's uniqueness is not restricted solely to his bass playing, which is touched by the melodicism of Ray Brown and the authority and inventiveness of Charles Mingus in a voice singularly his own. Bankhead is a composer with a sensibility finely attuned to a painterly impressionism, while being unafraid to fly in the face of ...


Yuganaut: Sharks

Read "Sharks" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

It is somewhat easy to be fooled, by the playfulness of Yuganaut's musicians, into thinking that Sharks is a flippant album. So, as rapidly as the thought occurs let it perish. The music on this album is deep as the ocean of sound from where it comes, and the musicians do a fine job of exploring ...


William Hooker Trio: Yearn for Certainty

Read "Yearn for Certainty" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

Drummer William Hooker can tell stories in many more ways than one. On Yearn for Certainty, he works his majestic tenor vocal chords as he recites a poem that accompanies the initial track, “Ingratiated Beam--Leroy." One track later, on the superbly crafted, rhapsodic melody of “Century's Soles," Hooker manipulates his ensemble of drums to tell a ...


The OtherTet: The OtherTet

Read "The OtherTet" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

The seemingly innocuously titled The OtherTet is far from an exercise in making-music in a modern idiom. A generation ago, speculation would be rife about minimalism and atonalism, terms that are laughable in today's context of existential angst. Therefore, when contemporary musical compositions delve into the macabre and the irony of contemporary existence a new idiom ...


Warren Smith: Old News Borrowed Blues

Read "Old News Borrowed Blues" reviewed by AAJ Italy Staff

Nonostante una carriera ormai cinquantennale, gli album pubblicati a nome di Warren Smith si possono contare sulle dita di una mano. Avevamo dunque riposto grandi aspettative su questo Old News Borrowed Blues. Purtroppo la qualità della registrazione è tale da sminuire il piacere dell'ascolto. Un vero peccato perché l'album si preannuncia, sin dal titolo, interessante. Nel pensiero di Smith, ...


Tom Abbs & Frequency Response: Lost & Found

Read "Lost & Found" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Tom Abbs is a multi-instrumentalist who, besides violin and didgeridoo, plays bass, tuba and cello on this CD. He has enlivened the free jazz scene in New York, not only through his collaborations with Cooper-Moore and Steve Swell among others, but with his music as well. He thinks with a vivid imagination and as such injects ...