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Silvia Bolognesi: Chicago Sessions

Read "Chicago Sessions" reviewed by Vincenzo Roggero

Quello di Silvia Bolognesi con Chicago è un rapporto privilegiato, fatto di viaggi, di storia e di miti musicali, di stimolanti frequentazioni concretizzatesi discograficamente nel trio tutto al femminile completato dalla violinista Mazz Swift e dalla violoncellista Tomeka Reid per l'ottimo Hear in Now edito nel 2012. Ritroviamo la violoncellista in questo Chicago Sessions insieme a ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shawn Maxwell's Alliance: Bridge

Read "Bridge" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The eponymous debut from Shawn Maxwell's Alliance was a giant step forward for the saxophonist/composer; his previous albums all had musical merit, but all were built with limited color schemes, hewing, for the most part, to jazz norms. With Shawn Maxwell's Alliance (Chicago Sessions, 2014), Maxwell stepped way outside the box, writing music for a dectet ...

lePercolateur: Pop Manouche

Read "Pop Manouche" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Something different and exciting is brewing on lePercolateur's Pop Manouche. This Chicago-based, Hot Club-indebted outfit finds a way to blend the sonic sensibilities of Django Reinhardt's famed band into an alt- pop/alt-folk/alt-instrumental format on their debut album, creating something unique in the process; it's as if songstress Sam Phillips, the beyond-category Pink Martini, indie folk band ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aaron Koppel: Multiverse

Read "Multiverse" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The city of Chicago has always been a breeding ground for musicians looking to expand the horizons of their own art and the styles that they represent, so it should come as no shock that guitarist Aaron Koppel was born and raised in this Midwestern musical mecca. Koppel, who made his initial entrée into the world ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Makaya McCraven: Split Decision

Read "Split Decision" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Drummer Makaya McCraven supposedly “thinks about rhythm last" when composing, yet his music is all about rhythmic perspicacity. McCraven, who was born in Paris, spent his formative years in Massachusetts and eventually uprooted himself to move to Chicago, uses rhythm as a thickening agent, call to arms, catalyst and continual game changer, throughout this engaging debut. ...

Matt Nelson Trio: Nostalgiamaniac

Read "Nostalgiamaniac" reviewed by Alex Marianyi

According to The Oxford English Dictionary, nostalgia is defined as “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past," and a maniac is “an obsessive enthusiast." Chicago pianist Matt Nelson embodies both qualities on Nostalgiamaniac. The sentimentality of his ballad playing and the keen musical citation of past generations of jazz musicians clearly display the conversation ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble: Blueprints

Read "Blueprints" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

When cooking a marvelous soup or stew from scratch with all the finest ingredients, there's that special moment when the culinary creation rushes to a boil and marvelous flavors burst out explosively into the air. It's the penultimate moment only surpassed by the delicious devouring. Contentment follows.

The selections contained in the Chicago ...

Paul Wertico: Impressions of a City

Read "Impressions of a City" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Almost 40 years after its inception and despite many detractors among master musicians and critics, jazz-rock fusion continues to have a tenacious hold on both creators and consumers of instrumental music. Percussionist Paul Wertico's Impressions of a City puts a modern spin on the genre by creating a work that brings together jazz like improvisation and ...

Shawn Maxwell Quartet: Maxwell's House

Read "Maxwell's House" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Chicago-based multi-reedist Shawn Maxwell's third disc as a leader, Maxwell's House, follows in the footsteps of his Originals (Self Published, 2006) and Originals II (Self Published, 2008). All three sets possess a solid mainstream quartet sound, with the piano/bass/drums rhythm team fronted by the leader's tangy-toned alto saxophone.

The disc opens with the highly-caffeinated title ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Howard Levy: Tonight and Tomorrow

Read "Tonight and Tomorrow" reviewed by Matthew Warnock

Tonight and Tomorrow is an intellectually stimulating and highly enjoyable album by virtuoso harmonicist Howard Levy. Featured on both harmonica and piano, even performing both simultaneously on “Sandi," Levy and his trio--bassist Larry Gray and drummer Ernie Adams--perform together as if they've been on the bandstand for years. With an uncanny ability to interpret and anticipate ...