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Josh Lawrence & Color Theory: Contrast

Read "Contrast" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Josh Lawrence & Color Theory's Contrast features a host of varied, sturdy and invigorating compositions by the leader, an ensemble that plays them with élan, a number of arresting soloists, and a rhythm section that rapidly moves between sly and rambunctious. While all of these factors are important, they don't adequately capture the record's essence. Perhaps ...

Josh Lawrence & Color Theory: Contrast

Read "Contrast" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Trumpeter Josh Lawrence has had a long and diverse trek to where he is now. Beginning in his native New Jersey, he has embraced jazz culture in Philadelphia, Europe, and finally New York City, where he has gained a solid reputation as a musician, bandleader, and composer.

On his second release for the Posi-Tone ...

David Gibson: Inner Agent

Read "Inner Agent" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The idea of creating a safe space to allow for disregarding safety may be paradoxical in nature, but it makes perfect sense when contextualized or couched in jazz terms. There can be no resolution of faith in one's surroundings and colleagues without taking the trust fall, there can be no reward without risk, and there can ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

David Gibson: Propelling The Story Forward

Read "David Gibson: Propelling The Story Forward" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's late morning on Sunday, January 17, 2016--a wintry New York day that will later see snow--and much of Brooklyn seems to be in a state of hibernation or hiding. There are few signs of life on the streets, but there's no shortage of action in the basement of the former Public School 9 Annex. That's ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Joanna Pascale: To Tell a Story in Song

Read "Joanna Pascale: To Tell a Story in Song" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Among jazz vocalists, there are two main categories: those who belt out a tune with flourish, ornamentation, punctuation, and improvising known as “scat." Ella Fitzgerald is the prime representative of that approach. Then there are those who omit the superfluous, carefully crafting every word and note, bringing out the underlying emotions. Think of Billie Holiday. Joanna ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Gee Swing Orchestra: Swing Makes You Happy!

Read "Swing Makes You Happy!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Swing Makes You Happy! isn't just an album title: it's a mantra and belief system that guides the George Gee Swing Orchestra, a little big band intent on rekindling the ear's love affair with music associated with a bygone era.

Gee has been in the big band business for more than three decades, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Gibson: Boom!

Read "Boom!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Trombonist David Gibson's Boom!--his sixth leader date, and third release on the Posi-Tone imprint--is something of a fresh start. His two previous releases--A Little Somethin' (Posi-Tone, 2009) and End Of The Tunnel (Posi-Tone, 2011)--were cut from the same cloth, as each largely focused on funk, soul jazz, and swing; both albums also featured the same quartet--Gibson ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

George Gee: Swing Makes You Happy!

Read "Swing Makes You Happy!" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The George Gee Swing Orchestra swings in the manner of Gee's friend and mentor, Count Basie, albeit on a somewhat smaller scale (Gee's group numbers only eleven, and that includes vocalists Hilary Gardner and John Dokes). Even so, the Basie spirit is ever-present, and if Swing Makes You Happy, Gee's eighth album as leader (and first ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Orrin Evans: Hot Irons In The Fire

Read "Orrin Evans: Hot Irons In The Fire" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

A pianist with great chops, great touch and an attack that fancies many influences from fierce swing to gospel, Orrin Evans is one of the outstanding creative musicians on the New York City scene. His work, no matter what the context--and he loves different contexts--is downright riveting at times.

But for the 38-year-old who ...

Orrin Evans' Captain Black Big Band: Mother's Touch

Read "Mother's Touch" reviewed by Jack Bowers

New York-based pianist / composer (and two-time Grammy Award nominee) Orrin Evans served notice with his first big-band album for Posi-Tone Records that there was an impressive new ensemble on the scene, a message that is firmly underscored by the second, the cryptically named Mother's Touch, whose tone and temperament mirror Evans' contemporary point of view. ...