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The Black Butterflies: Luisa

Read "Luisa" reviewed by Matt Marshall

On their two previous releases, 1 de Mayo (2010) and Rainbows for Ramon (2012), The Black Butterflies built soulful, searching jazz with dense, kinetic layers of Latin and African rhythms. Using both group improvisation and individual statements, they freely, yet unhurriedly, explored the boundaries of their music, often lingering in spots to let the tonal palette ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Banda de los Muertos: Banda de los Muertos

Read "Banda de los Muertos" reviewed by Matt Marshall

It is common practice among groups that play Sinaloan banda music--a style that emerged from small village brass bands in Northwestern Mexico after the Revolution, typically featuring a few clarinets, trumpets, trombones and saxhorns, plus a tuba, snare drum and tambora--to link their name to their place of origin. Thus we get Banda El Recodo and ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Atomic at Nighttown

Read "Atomic at Nighttown" reviewed by Matt Marshall

Atomic
Nighttown
Cleveland Heights, OH
February 10, 2015

Fresh in the glow of its 50th anniversary celebration, kicked off by a party a few nights earlier and extending through the end of the month, Nighttown put its eclecticism fully on display February 10, presenting powerful Scandinavian free-jazz group Atomic. The Nighttown ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bob Dylan: Shadows in the Night

Read "Shadows in the Night" reviewed by Matt Marshall

After spending the past 50-plus years mining the traditional music of what Greil Marcus has termed “old, weird America," and expanding it into the contemporary worlds of folk, rock, country, gospel and other singular hybrids thereof, on Shadows in the Night Bob Dylan gives us his take on the Great American Songbook. Thankfully, Dylan doesn't jettison ...

The Nels Cline Singers: Macroscope

Read "The Nels Cline Singers: Macroscope" reviewed by Matt Marshall

With the release of this album by The Nels Cline Singers, Detroit's Mack Avenue Records takes a bold leap into the outer fringes of jazz. Their impressive slate of artists already included the likes of Kenny Garrett, Sean Jones and Christian McBride, who are open to pushing jazz boundaries, but the label had no one who ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Matt Marshall’s Best Releases of 2013

Read "Matt Marshall’s Best Releases of 2013" reviewed by Matt Marshall


Rudresh Mahanthappa
Gamak
(ACT)
Ivo Perelman/Joe Morris/Balazs Pandi
One
(RareNoise)
Chris Potter
The Sirens
(ECM)
Joe Lovano Us Five
Cross Culture
(Blue Note)
KAZE
Tornado
(Circum-Libra)
Ketil Bjørnstad
La notte
(ECM)
Howie Smith/Mike Nock
Opal Dream ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Jazz Orchestra: Burstin' Out!

Read "Burstin' Out!" reviewed by Matt Marshall

Covering the Great American Songbook can be tricky, thankless work for a singer. The options for handling the material just aren't as numerous (i.e., nigh infinite) as they are for instrumentalists. Severely warping a melody, chopping it up or getting rid of it altogether work perfectly well if you're blowing through a horn. But such abstractions ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

2013 Tri-C JazzFest: Cleveland, OH, April 19 - 27, 2013

Read "2013 Tri-C JazzFest: Cleveland, OH, April 19 - 27, 2013" reviewed by Matt Marshall

34th Annual Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland
Cleveland, OH
April 19-April 27, 2013
There was a determined effort by Tri-C JazzFest Managing Director Terri Pontremoli to give this year's event more of a festival atmosphere than it has perhaps enjoyed in years past. For starters, many of the outlying venues, such as the East Cleveland library, a regular ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Lakeland Jazz Festival 2013: Kirtland, Ohio, February 22-24

Read "Lakeland Jazz Festival 2013: Kirtland, Ohio, February 22-24" reviewed by Matt Marshall


41st Annual Lakeland Jazz Festival
Kirtland, Ohio
February 22-24, 2013

Scanning the list of guest artists who have appeared at the Lakeland Jazz Festival since its inception in 1973 reveals a history of acts with connections to the Northeast Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/Western New York area, with an internationally recognized name--Clark Terry, Donald Byrd, Kenny ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Howie Smith / Mike Nock: Opal Dream

Read "Howie Smith / Mike Nock: Opal Dream" reviewed by Matt Marshall



Although their paths didn't cross until 1988, when they first met and performed together in Sydney, Australia, saxophonist Howie Smith and pianist Mike Nock are both important figures in the development of jazz Down Under. Nock, a native of New Zealand, returned to Australia in 1985 after working 25 years in the U.S. with ...