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Shamie Royston: Beautiful Liar

Read "Beautiful Liar" reviewed by Patrick Burnette

Shamie Royston has played with Tia Fuller, Ralph Peterson, Sean Jones, and Terri Lynn Carrington, so her credentials are well up to spec, but the glamour-shot artwork and album title ("Beautiful Liar," at least to this writer, suggests a quiet-storm vibe) might lead one to assume that Royston's second date as a leader is an overly-polished ...

Kairos Sextet: Transition

Read "Transition" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Given all the well-deserved attention that drummer Dafnis Prieto has been getting lately, it's understandable that one of his projects, the Kairos Sextet, is eager to acknowledge its debt to that supremely polyrhythmic composer and bandleader. But, make no mistake, this is a band really coming into its own, with plenty to say and a collective ...

Kayo Hiraki: Manhattan Sunset

Read "Manhattan Sunset" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Like a fine lemon sorbet, Manhattan Sunset, the sixth album from pianist and veteran NY presence Kayo Hiraki, is that refreshing, necessary pause between courses that enables you to fully enjoy the vast jazz menu.

With an airy, elegant touch, tangible zeal and seasoned respect for her art, Hiraki leads her tried-and-true sidemen, bassist ...

E. J. Decker: Bluer Than Velvet: The Prysock Project

Read "Bluer Than Velvet: The Prysock Project" reviewed by Geno Thackara

E.J. Decker probably could write a book if they asked him--his shaping influences and history of musical collaborations (not to mention social activism) would make it a fascinating one indeed--but it would be so much nicer to hear him sing it. A voice smooth as, well, velvet (pardon the obvious simile) lets him put a rich ...

Carl Michel: Music in Motian

Read "Music in Motian" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Late drummer, texturalist, bandleader, and composer Paul Motian holds a revered space in the post-bop of the last half century. From early stints with Lennie Tristano and Coleman Hawkins to his seared-into-legend work with Bill Evans on Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside Records, 1961), and Waltz for Debby (Riverside Records, 1962)); through his fiery live ...

Hiroaki Honshuku's Racha Fora: Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz

Read "Happy Fire - New Kind of Jazz" reviewed by Troy Dostert

There's certainly no shortage of self-confidence in a musician who decides to subtitle an album New Kind of Jazz, as does Hiroaki Honshuku on the third release by his jazz fusion band Racha Fora. The group does possess a distinctive sound, to be sure, in large part due to its instrumentation: with Honshuku the dominant presence ...

Dafnis Prieto Big Band: Back to the Sunset

Read "Back to the Sunset" reviewed by Troy Dostert

The astonishingly talented and prolific drummer Dafnis Prieto has done a lot since moving to the States from his native Cuba in 1999. He's made a host of sideman appearances with musicians of widely varying stripes, including Peter Apfelbaum, Michel Camilo, Steve Coleman, Marilyn Lerner, Brian Lynch, Henry Threadgill, Chucho Valdés, and John Zorn. He won ...

ARTICLE: BLUES DELUXE

Winter 2018

Read "Winter 2018" reviewed by Doug Collette

Blues Deluxe is a regular column comprised of pithy takes on recent blues and roots-music releases of note. It spotlights titles in those genres that might otherwise go unnoticed under the cultural radar.

Logan Magness
Memphis On My Mind
Wolf River Records
2018

The core four musicians ...

Jeff Williams: Lifelike

Read "Lifelike" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Sounding as real as real gets, Lifelike's forward thinking drummer/composer Jeff Williams' heady sextet sure sound like they're all sitting in on a late night, cramped back room cutting session, with each player challenging, coaxing the other to new heights and horizons.

Williams, an alumni of such name drops as Stan Getz, Dave Liebman, ...

Manuel Valera: The Planets

Read "The Planets" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Cuban-born pianist Manuel Valera is not unknown to jazz-heads who make it their business to listen and champion. But, since his acclaimed 2004 debut Forma Nueva, a couple of Grammy nods, and last year's quietly brilliant The Seasons, Valera's name and exciting blend of culture, tradition, and progression has spread deservedly like wildfire through the larger ...