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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alexander Hawkins: Unit[e]

Read "Unit[e]" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

With each subsequent release, pianist-composer Alexander Hawkins further cements his place in the top tier of modern, forward-thinking artists. The Oxford, UK native has worked as a leader in nonet, ensemble, quartet, trio and solo formats and is a member of the Convergence Quartet featuring cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, drummer Harris Eisenstadt, and bassist Dominic Lash. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chicago / London Underground: A Night Walking Through Mirrors

Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

As an artist and a surveyor of a broader universe, Rob Mazurek focuses on the journey rather than on planting a flag in undiscovered territories. Whether on his multi-instrumental solo work Mother Ode (Corbett vs Dempsey, 2014) or in the large ensemble formation of his most recent Exploding Star Orchestra project, Galactic Parables: Volume 1 (Cuneiform, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Convergence Quartet: Owl Jacket

Read "Owl Jacket" reviewed by Stefano Merighi

Il sodalizio del Convergence Quartet, benchè saltuario, rimane vitale e convincente, come dimostra questo Owl Jacket, che offre un repertorio vario e ben strutturato, arrivando a toccare le corde di un lirismo accorato, come ad esempio nell'iniziale “Dogbe Na Wo Lo," vicina a certe cose del Don Cherry “folklorico."

Una melodia curiosamente affine ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Convergence Quartet: Owl Jacket

Read "Owl Jacket" reviewed by John Sharpe

Owl Jacket forms the fourth release over a nine year period from the Convergence Quartet. At the outset, few would have predicted that it would become a going concern, uniting as it did two unknown young English improvisers in pianist Alexander Hawkins and bassist Dominic Lash and two of the brighter emerging talents on the New ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Stefan Keune/Dominic Lash/Steve Noble: Fractions

Read "Fractions" reviewed by John Sharpe

German reedman Stefan Keune has shown a strong affinity for British improv since making a connection with drummer Paul Lytton in 1990. Since then his discography records a number of dates with guitarist John Russell, including appearances at London's now dormant Freedom of the City festival. This limited edition LP, recorded at Russell's Mopomoso gathering at ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alexander Hawkins: Song Singular

Read "Song Singular" reviewed by John Sharpe

Pianist Alexander Hawkins shines brightly in the firmament of the UK jazz scene. Already his resume is impressive. As well as leading his own ensemble, he features as part of outstanding collectives like the transatlantic Convergence Quartet with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and drummer Harris Eisenstadt, and Decoy with fellow countrymen bassist John Edwards and drummer ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dominic Lash: Opabinia

Read "Opabinia" reviewed by John Sharpe

As British bassist Dominic Lash explains in the liners to his Quartet's debut Opabinia, both the album and several of the tracks on it are named after extinct creatures excavated as fossils from the Burgess Shale of British Columbia. That inspiration arises from both the fabulous nature of the animals and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould's musings ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alexander Hawkins: Song Singular

Read "Song Singular" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The concurrent releases of pianist/composer Alexander Hawkins solo and ensemble recordings demonstrate the up-and-coming artist's exceptional range of compositional skills across dissimilar formats. The young Oxford, UK native has been a much sought after sideman, working with free jazz sax legend Evan Parker, saxophonist Joe McPhee and renowned South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo. Hawkins is also ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2013

Read "John Sharpe's Best Releases of 2013" reviewed by John Sharpe

Here are twelve new releases which stood out from those I heard this year, in no special order.

Mostly Other People Do The Killing
Slippery Rock
(Hot Cup Records)

Leader and bassist Moppa Elliott's songwriting talents haven't deserted him: his charts, named after small Pennsylvania towns, are bursting at ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Convergence Quartet: Slow And Steady

Read "Slow And Steady" reviewed by John Sharpe

It might just be that the third record from the Transatlantic Convergence Quartet is its best yet. Recorded live at north London's Vortex at the conclusion of a short British tour, the band was firing on all cylinders. Not that its previous two outings were in any way remiss. Live In Oxford (FMR, 2007) documented a ...