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Content by tag "Michael Kocour"

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Unhinged Sextet: Don't Blink

Read "Don't Blink" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Unhinged Sextet is a strong candidate for the best band you'll never hear in a live performance. The members of this cooperative ensemble are spread out across the country, earning their daily bread by training the next generation of musicians, with an emphasis on jazz studies, at various universities. They join forces for brief periods in ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Kocour: Spiffy

Read "Spiffy" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Spiffy is the third album as leader this year (2015) for pianist Michael Kocour who has chosen the occasion to set aside the piano in favor of a Hammond B3 organ. It proves to be an auspicious choice, as does his decision to work as part of a quartet. Kocour's sidemen (saxophonist Eric Schneider, guitarist Bruce ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Kocour: Spiffy

Read "Spiffy" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Though a soulful swing-to-bop ethos reminiscent of the popular organ combos of the mid-to-late twentieth century is evident throughout, at its core Spiffy speaks to the malleability and open-endedness of the standard elements of jazz performance. Michael Kocour is the leader of the date, but the record's triumph is collective in nature. It's difficult to imagine ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Mark Sullivan’s Best Releases of 2015

Read "Mark Sullivan’s Best Releases of 2015" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

This is my first year end list as an AAJ contributor, hopefully the first of many! I reviewed a lot of great music, major label and independent productions alike. Here's the ten that rose to the top of my list of favorites, in no particular order.

Eberhard Weber
Hommage à Eberhard ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with Michael Kocour

Read "Take Five with Michael Kocour" reviewed by Michael Kocour

Meet Michael Kocour:
Michael Kocour is a jazz pianist, organist and composer. He also serves as Director of Jazz Studies in the School of Music at Arizona State University. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most sophisticated pianists in jazz," Kocour has performed at venues around the world and has been ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Kocour: Spiffy

Read "Spiffy" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Keyboardist Michael Kocour revisits his Hammond B3 organ roots in this collection of hard-swinging tunes presented in the tradition of jazz organ legends such as Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, and Don Patterson. McDuff in particular is a stylistic mentor: Kocour met him during his college years while attending the renowned jazz program at the University of ...

Unhinged Sextet: Clarity

Read "Clarity" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The mainstream of jazz could use more recordings like Clarity, a recently released venture by the cooperative Unhinged Sextet. On every track there's something genuinely enjoyable and thought provoking going on, yet the disc doesn't suffer from information overload. The sense of excessive exertion, overt athleticism, sanctimonious references to key points of the jazz tradition--not to ...

Michael Kocour: Wherever You Go, There You Are

Read "Wherever You Go, There You Are" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Wherever You Go, There You Are is akin to visiting pianist Michael Kocour's living room or den for an hour or so and lingering while he entertains you with his singular takes on a number of favorite songs, most of which you've probably heard before but seldom played as well as this. Kocour's lyrical style has ...

Michael Kocour: Wherever You Go, There You Are

Read "Wherever You Go, There You Are" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Solo piano recitals have a refreshing quality about them. The instrument's and by proxy, the performer's, thoughts are undiluted and benefit from the lack of competition with other voices. Pianist, composer, and educator Michael Kocour offers a collection of standards and originals that provide a case-in-point. In an even ten selections, Kocour carves a collection of ...

Unhinged Sextet: Clarity

Read "Clarity" reviewed by Edward Blanco

The debut recording from one of the most exciting new groups around, Clarity documents a boppish session of straight ahead traditional jazz delivered by the Unhinged Sextet, a well-seasoned cast of players from all corners of the country who have joined forces for this dynamic recording. Led by pianist Michael Kocour, Director of Jazz Studies at ...


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