Content by tag "Jim Olin"

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Marcos Toledo with James Robbins and Dan Nadeau: Winter

Read "Winter" reviewed by Jim Olin

Marcos Toledo is an exciting jazz guitarist who loves to come up with sophisticated melodies and intricate arrangement ideas inspired by the greatest jazz performers. His latest album Winter collects originals and standards for a hard bop affair. Toledo unites with two other talented musicians on these songs, double bassist James Robbins and drummer Dan Nadeau. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Rauh and Cameron Mizell: What We Have In Common

Read "What We Have In Common" reviewed by Jim Olin

Charlie Rauh and Cameron Mizell combine the immediacy of folk music with the unique twists of jazz. Their guitar playing is nuanced, making the most out of every detail of their performances. Rauh and Mizell both have a knack for focusing on the small things, making each moment special. However, they can also work on the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Richard Pena: Hey, Don Rey!

Read "Hey, Don Rey!" reviewed by Jim Olin

Puerto Rico-based composer/guitarist Richard Peña may be well-versed in Latin jazz but he isn't afraid to venture beyond the genre. Peña has a passion for setting the bar higher. With every release, he explores something new. On Hey, Don Rey!, Peña investigates post-bop and fusion sounds.

What is most impressive about Peña's playing style ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Shuhei Kokuryo: First Episode

Read "First Episode" reviewed by Jim Olin

For a debut album, First Episode displays a remarkable amount of self-confidence and inventiveness from its creator.

Shuhei Kokuryo is an accomplished jazz saxophonist from Nagoya City, Japan. Heavily inspired by Charlie Parker, First Episode was written and recorded in New York wherein Kokuryo had his skills sharpened by Seamus Blake, who even co-wrote ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jonathan Karrant: Live

Read "Live" reviewed by Jim Olin

Jonathan Karrant is a soulful vocalist with a broad melodic reach, showcasing his might in this concert in Las Vegas at the globally-renowned Smith Center. The album combines standards and lesser-known fare, each given a smooth, appealing rendition.

Karrant is certainly a dynamic performer as this show vividly showcases. This beautiful concert document is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tobiasz Siankiewicz: Time To Begin

Read "Time To Begin" reviewed by Jim Olin

Not all debut albums are blooming with the self-confidence and boldness that saxophonist Tobiasz Siankiewicz displays on Time To Begin. But then there aren't many driven, direct and forward-thinking artists such as Siankiewicz with a passion and skill for timeless jazz tones, especially on a first time to bat. What's really amazing about his sound is ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Derek Menchan: The Griot Swings the Classics

Read "The Griot Swings the Classics" reviewed by Jim Olin

Multi-instrumentalist Derek Menchan refers to them as “snapshots in black," and certainly the covers from the American Negro collection on The Griot Swings the Classics delivering a rich history lesson, especially in the context of the shocking racial division happening in the 21st century. But from just a pure musical standpoint, the album is strong and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Rafa Selase: Red Blooded American

Read "Red Blooded American" reviewed by Jim Olin

Powerful lyrics and seamless melodies with a timeless feel define the new album from Rafa Selase, which bridges the gaps between folk, hip-hop, and jazz. It also echoes the pioneering spoken-word music of Gil Scott-Heron in its real and vivid poetry. As one can interpret from the title, Selase reflects on the social and political environment ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Long Time No Time: First Time Full Time

Read "First Time Full Time" reviewed by Jim Olin

The Canadian band Long Time No Time must have a fondness for wordplay. The title of their new album, First Time Full Time, is quite clever, already revealing that this five-piece band wants to have fun. It is also a group with a passion for combining the energy of rock with the intricacy of jazz. That's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

H & J Quintet: Reminisce

Read "Reminisce" reviewed by Jim Olin

H & J Quintet's Reminisce easily separates itself from most jazz releases with its heavy influence of Brazilian and ecclesiastical music, an original combination that already makes the album refreshing. The flute--not a common item in jazz circles--is also an integral part of their sound. Consisting of Berklee alumni, H & J Quintet is a contemporary ...