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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Blues Against Youth: Apprentice

Read "Apprentice" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

Somewhere, in a hushed place between Vicksburg and Yazoo City, an old riverboat must be chugging under the sun, clumsily pushing its cargo on the cloudy waters of that forgotten river, leading memories firmly astray. The old, Mighty Mississippi is just a few miles down, its stream running parallel to its tired cousin's lazy stroll, its ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ameen Saleem: The Groove Lab

Read "The Groove Lab" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

Composer Irving Berlin once famously said that “everybody ought to have a Lower East Side in their life." True and, although technically speaking Brooklyn is not part of the octagon that thrives between Houston Street and FRD Drive, the groove, that precious intimate rumble of inspiration, is the one element that connects one area with the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Funk Off: Things Change

Read "Things Change" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

The whole point, when it comes to marching bands, is that they have to well, stroll around while playing their instruments. I guess, you guess, that the whole point is lost on CD, where the mono-dimensional (time) facet of the spectrum monopolises the dynamics of the whole. Things Change makes obviously no exception, but does it ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jaga Jazzist: Starfire

Read "Starfire" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

First things first: let's leave the definition of Jaga Jazzist music for last. Or, better, let's not even consider using labels. Let's not rush to conclusions, let's not fall in the sweet traps of music criticism where one plunges in forced by adjectives, hyperboles, comparisons, clever rhetoric and assorted namedropping. First things first, we said, as ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Francesco Nastro Trio: Colors of Light

Read "Colors of Light" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

As soon as one lets Francesco Nastro's fingers fondle those keys the way he does on “E all'Improvviso il Sole," the musical geometries that create Colors of Light finally come to life. The music springs from a cocoon-like environment in which pianists the likes of Bill Evans and Brad Mehldau must have forgotten their instruments around, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Remote Viewers: Pitfall

Read "Pitfall" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

I love a bit of Remote Viewers in the evening. If it's not in the scarcely busy second to last northbound Victoria Line carriage, I follow their urban drifts while strolling, hands in my pockets, on a straight line: the shortest trajectory from A to home. The things you see while listening to this London-based septet ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

The Necks at Cafe Oto

Read "The Necks at Cafe Oto" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

The Necks
Cafe Oto
London
October 8, 2014

It is always a good sign when the imposing windows of Cafe Oto are misted up. If one could see through the condensation, if one could, with just one finger, remove the minuscule droplets amassed on the vertical plains, one ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The Remote Viewers: Crimeways

Read "Crimeways" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

There is an almost indiscernible, cynical element in The Remote Viewers' music. It is probably hidden between the folds of its noir aesthetics, where contemporary fables of cops and thugs, the fuzz and hoodlums, seem to flourish in the dark corners of complex rhythmic patterns and atonalism. Or it is maybe the juxtaposition between the nocturnal, ...

Einar Scheving: Land Mins Fodur

Read "Einar Scheving: Land Mins Fodur" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

It is jazz, all right. But it is that kind of jazz that manages to flow in a natural, effortless way. The rigid canons of composition are refined by a clever approach to folk music, which in Land Míns Föður (The Land of My Father) ceases to be a mere echo in an otherwise contemporary context ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Fabrizio Sferra Quartet: Untitled #28

Read "Untitled #28" reviewed by Alex Franquelli

It sounds great. It really does. It happens every time a record flows in such a way that it's possible to actually enjoy its variations, contrasts and colors. Yes, colors; Untitled #28 is full of them.

Musically, for instance; the sound shaped by drummer Fabrizio Sferra's quartet is one which toys with perceptions of intensity ...