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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Gluck Trio: Returning

Read "Returning" reviewed by Henry Smith

The piano trio can be a difficult format for free playing. It is too easy for the piano, so easily a dominating instrument, to overshadow the bassist and drummer, rendering them as backup to the more harmonically complex keyboard. This is fine, and an enormous amount of great music has been made in this format, but ...

Boom Box: Jazz

Read "Jazz" reviewed by Henry Smith

Free jazz can have some fairly antisocial connotations. Too often, the term raises an undeserved fear in the uninitiated, as freedom can be scary. That hardly necessitates that it lack beauty, lyricism or intimacy, however; it simply means that those traits are arrived at by organic means rather than controlled ones.

Few artists ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kissima Diabate: Beug Fallou

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A Senegalese-born drummer, Kissima Diabate has been playing nearly all his life. Born into a griot family, the percussionist's impressive résumé found him becoming a djembe soloist in the Ballet D'Afrique Noir at age twelve and, only four years later, a solo drummer and dancer for the Ballet National Du Senegal. Yet Diabate's renown in his ...

Quartet Base: Allo ?

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Pulling from a number of musical outlets, Quartet Base--part of the exciting French Circum collective--voids genre delineations on this, its first offering. Largely stemming from its unique instrumental line-up, including guitarist Sebastien Beaumont, trumpet and vocalist Christophe Motury, bassist Nicolas Mahieux and drummer Peter Orins, the group is able to find the common ground between, at ...

Fred Anderson: Staying in the Game

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Tenor saxophone veteran Fred Anderson has remained a fixture on the free jazz scene since his co-founding of the AACM. Seemingly never inactive, Anderson follows up the critically acclaimed quintet album From the River to the Ocean (Thrill Jockey, 2007) with a more intimate trio outing. Featuring the previous album's bassist, Harrison Bankhead, alongside drummer Tim ...

John Hughes / Alberto Braida: Mobile

Read "Mobile" reviewed by Henry Smith

Taking the standard piano trio lineup and stripping it of its drums is a potentially devastating move. Without an overt rhythmic presence, the pianist and bassist are both put on double duty, having to simultaneously retain both rhythmic and melodic interest throughout. Too often the resultant music does neither. Yet Hamburg-based bassist John Hughes and Italian ...

Steve Lacy: The Forest and the Zoo

Read "The Forest and the Zoo" reviewed by Henry Smith

Soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy's impressive career was filled with many benchmarks, but 1966's The Forest and the Zoo is surely one of his strongest. Having corrected the erroneous phasing on the original release of the album, this reissue sees the two side-long quartet works sounding better than ever.



Playing no small part ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sun Ra: Concert for the Comet Kohoutek

Read "Concert for the Comet Kohoutek" reviewed by Henry Smith

Composer, keyboardist and bandleader Sun Ra's intimate connection with the cosmos is well documented, but it was rare that Ra was given cause for real celestial celebration. That opportunity did come in 1973 however, when Ra and his orchestra played a show in celebration of Kohoutek, a comet whose sighting was billed as the “Comet of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Traum: Tanto Impresos Como Sistemas

Read "Tanto Impresos Como Sistemas" reviewed by Henry Smith

Drummer Ben Hall and cellist Hans Buetow have been frequent musical collaborators since their time at Bennington College in Vermont, USA, participating in various group settings that tread the boundaries between basement noise, free jazz and modern composition. Employing Oberlin graduate Chris Riggs' guitar work, the tandem has resuscitated Traum, a unit whose work sways from ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Norman Howard / Joe Phillips: Burn Baby Burn

Read "Burn Baby Burn" reviewed by Henry Smith

Having been virtually forgotten about since his appearance on Albert Ayler's Spirits (Debut, 1964), trumpeter Norman Howard nevertheless continued his career at least long enough to record two sessions for ESP in 1968. The results were shelved for a number of years before being released on cassette in miniature editions until now. That Burn Baby Burn ...