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Leonardo Pavkovic: Nothing is Ordinary

Read "Leonardo Pavkovic: Nothing is Ordinary" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

More than any other person, Leonardo Pavkovic has made me write some crazy shit.

Pavkovic is the primal force behind the joyously eclectic MoonJune Records, which he established in 2001. “Established" may not be the right word: “I am truly an unusual and rules breaking call-it-record-company with a 'label' identity despite the fact that ...

Sun Ra: Exotica

Read "Exotica" reviewed by Chris May

Spring 2018 is delivering a welcome batch of Sun Ra reissues, some of them remastered editions of existing albums, others newly put-together compilations. Among the compilations, two stand out: the previously reviewed Sun Ra Plays Gershwin (Enterplanetary Records, 2017) and now Exotica. Both are mellifluous beauties which showcase Ra's unapologetic love of a good tune. Listeners ...

Sun Ra: Sun Ra Plays Gershwin

Read "Sun Ra Plays Gershwin" reviewed by Chris May

Here is a treat for all lovers of the Great American Songbook. Well, maybe not quite all, for the confluence of names in the album title Sun Ra Plays Gershwin may sound ill-matched to Ra's detractors. But that would be to ignore Ra's love of good tunes and his sure touch when it came to arranging ...


Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe

Read "Culture Clubs: Part IV: When Jazz Met Europe" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The Geography of Jazz--When Jazz Met Europe In 2004 Maureen Anderson, a researcher at Illinois State University contributed a dissertation to the journal, African American Review, titled The White Reception of Jazz in America. Ostensibly, her article deals with stories published in high profile periodicals and journals from 1917 and into the 1930s, written by white ...


Joy, Joy and More Joy

Read "Joy, Joy and More Joy" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

Last week we were not quite done with our theme revolving around Jazz & Joy and playing tunes that either inspired joy or were inspired by the experience of joy by the artists who composed them. So here is more dopamine enhancing jazz for you. Music that should turn a grey day into a sunny one. ...


Kris Davis & Craig Taborn: Octopus

Read "Octopus" reviewed by Don Phipps

Combining discrete notes with splashes and collages of sound, the music of pianists Kris Davis and Craig Taborn on Octopus showcases improvisational prowess at the highest levels. The live recording challenges listeners with electric and sometimes jarring compositions that appear to send shards of musical light in every direction.

Davis provides two compositions for ...


William Parker: Embracing The Unknown

Read "William Parker: Embracing The Unknown" reviewed by Luke Seabright

His is one of the most distinctive and respected voices on double bass today. William Parker, the tireless composer, multi-instrumentalist, educator and poet, is still today omnipresent on the contemporary free jazz scene. What's more, he has been consistently for the last four decades. The William Parker Sessionography: A Work in Progress by Rick Lopez clocks ...


Shakers n' Bakers: Heart Love

Read "Heart Love" reviewed by Mark Corroto

For most of us it is, and always has been, red states and blue states. I'm talking us vs. them, liberals and conservatives, or my ball team and yours. Same goes for music. The moldy figs vs. beboppers and later, neocons vs. avant-gardists. Yet, some musicians like Albert Ayler, as a radical departure from the norm, ...


Savoy Records: From Newark To The World

Read "Savoy Records: From Newark To The World" reviewed by Jordan Levy

On June 26, 1942, James Petrillo, President of the American Federation of Musicians, the nations union for working musicians did the unthinkable and announced a recording ban on all major labels. The ban was set in place due to perceived uneven compensation for musicians. The AFM ban on recording occurred at a critical time, as it ...


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. ...