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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Mazzarella Trio: Counterbalance

Read "Counterbalance" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although he is well-accustomed to working in other settings, alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella is perhaps at his strongest in a trio format: specifically, the sax-bass-drums configuration that allows for both maximum harmonic freedom and focused rhythmic interaction. In 2017 his Meridian Trio (featuring bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Jeremy Cunningham) released Triangulum (Clean Feed), an excellent ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Russ Johnson: The Headlands Suite

Read "The Headlands Suite" reviewed by Troy Dostert

One thing's certain when you listen to a Russ Johnson record: you're going to hear music made with care and craft. Johnson is a discerning composer and trumpeter, and he has a special talent for producing thoughtful compositions that possess enough fluidity and creativity to remain fresh even after repeated encounters. He's also adept at drawing ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Edgefest 2018: The Chicago Connection

Read "Edgefest 2018: The Chicago Connection" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Edgefest
Ann Arbor, MI
October 17-20, 2018

This year, Ann Arbor, Michigan's Edgefest Festival turned to Chicago for inspiration. An astonishing array of talented musicians, most with roots in Chicago's storied past or its vibrant present, made appearances at the Kerrytown Concert House for four days of exceptional music that could generally ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Vision Festival 2018

Read "Vision Festival 2018" reviewed by John Sharpe

23rd Annual Vision Festival
Roulette
New York, NY
May 23-28, 2018

Introduction The Vision Festival somewhat surprisingly but reassuringly stands proud as the longest-lived annually produced jazz festival in New York. While the central plank remains what the Festival terms avant jazz, it's interspersed with poetry, dance, art, and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nick Mazzarella Trio: Ultraviolet

Read "Ultraviolet" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Nick Mazzarella's first trio recording Aviary in 2009, clocked in at just 30 minutes. Although brief, the compelling force of the saxophonist's presence signaled a new unblemished voice in jazz. He has gone on to become a strong presence in the Chicago jazz scene, performing with Ken Vandermark (Audio One & Chicago Reed Quartet), Rob Mazurek (Exploding ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Paul Giallorenzo's Git Go: Force Majeure

Read "Force Majeure" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Pianist Paul Giallorenzo's Force Majeure, his second album with his ensemble GitGo, covers a wide variety of motifs but maintains a consistently stimulating, darkly hued ambience. This and Giallorenzo's unique style and modal harmonies give the disc its cohesive character.

The music ranges from the free flowing, five-way conversation on “A Tone" to the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kyle Bruckmann's Wrack: ...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire

Read "...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire" reviewed by Troy Collins

...Awaits Silent Tristero's Empire is an epic four-part suite based on the fictitious songs found scattered throughout celebrated author Thomas Pynchon's early novels V., The Crying of Lot 49, and Gravity's Rainbow. Oboist Kyle Bruckmann conceived this post-modern “musical phantasmagoria" as the first long-form composition written for Wrack, his experimental chamber jazz ensemble, employing an expanded ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Fred Lonberg-Holm's Fast Citizens: Gather

Read "Gather" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

When a band gathers some very imaginative musicians into its fold, it can only lead to one thing: an amazing listening experience. Fast Citizens has proved that over the years from the time saxophonist Keefe Jackson formed the band in 2003 and released Ready Everyday (Delmark Records, 2006), through to to Two Cities (Delmark Records, 2009), ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Aram Shelton: Everything for Somebody

Read "Everything for Somebody" reviewed by Troy Collins

Currently based in Oakland, California, alto saxophonist Aram Shelton initially rose to prominence as a member of the fertile Chicago jazz scene, where he resided from 1999-2005. His tenure in the Windy City resulted in a number of lasting relationships; one of the most notable is his Quartet with tenor saxophonist Keefe Jackson, bassist Anton Hatwich ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Aram Shelton: Everything For Somebody

Read "Everything For Somebody" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Alto saxophonist Aram Shelton cannot break his Chicago habit. We're not talking that monkey woman Joe Williams used to sing about, back in the day. Shelton, who left Chicago a few years back for the Bay area of California, returns to the windy city often, both physically and for its sound.

His second quartet recording, ...