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Walter Smith III: Twio

Read "Twio" reviewed by Phil Barnes

The awareness of an audience or home listener is a key rite of passage in the creative development of an artist. Its something that usually becomes an issue as a performer moves beyond that initial creative surge of their early work, that build-up of compositions that led to initial success and attention has been exhausted and ...

Nils Frahm: All Melody

Read "All Melody" reviewed by Phil Barnes

As we try and make sense of our world there is always a temptation to simplify the complex, to set parameters or limiting factors on a choice or decision to make it manageable. For many this translates into only feeling successful if particular pre-conditions are met--say if a particular person or clique acknowledges our worth, maybe ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

GoGo Penguin: A Humdrum Star

Read "A Humdrum Star" reviewed by Phil Barnes

If 2016's Man Made Object, their first for Blue Note, was an exercise in consolidating past triumphs while signposting potential ways forward, then there can be no doubt that with A Humdrum Star GoGo Penguin have stepped into a version of that future. Ostensibly the title is a self-effacing reference to a Carl Sagan TV series ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

12 Most Read Album Reviews: 2017

Read "12 Most Read Album Reviews: 2017" reviewed by Michael Ricci

All About Jazz tracks how often an album review is read, and the reviews listed below represent the top 12 published in 2017.

There Is No Love
David Sylvian
by Phil Barnes
Published: July 18, 2017

Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
Sarah Partridge

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEWS

All That's Jazz

Read "All That's Jazz" reviewed by Phil Barnes

All That's Jazz
Sammy Stein
198 Pages
ISBN: 13: 978-0-9557670-9-8
Tomahawk Press
2017

Sammy Stein is a brave woman. Take that title--not just a riff on “All That Jazz" to cover a personal memoir of time spent in the jazz trenches but ALL that IS jazz. This is a ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mammal Hands: Shadow Work

Read "Shadow Work" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Our best musicians can soak up influences from many diverse sources, assimilate them into their own style, and allow them to emerge during improvisation. This is why, as readers of this site will surely be aware, a piece can sound different in the hands of two skilled jazz musicians even when the raw material of the ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Zara McFarlane: Arise

Read "Arise" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Zara McFarlane's If You Knew Her from 2014 promised much, being a wonderful, individual, mixture of jazz, reggae and soul that viewed the singer's Jamaican roots through the prism of her UK birth and London upbringing. It was an original blend that signaled the arrival of a major talent on the UK scene, setting a path ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kamasi Washington: Harmony of Difference

Read "Harmony of Difference" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Being lauded as the “saviour of jazz" would weigh heavy on the shoulders of any young artist, even one so confident as to release a 170 minute treble CD as their 2015 debut. Yet Kamasi Washington pulled it off on the appropriately titled The Epic, with its ambitious, eclectic subject matter and surface similarities to spiritual ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

New and Notable Releases

Read "New and Notable Releases" reviewed by Phil Barnes

Sometimes in summertime the living isn't quite so easy and life contrives to get in the way of finding and celebrating the great music that is out there waiting for us. This article is an attempt to distill personal favourites from the many releases that have crossed my path in the last few months--had time been ...

David Sylvian: There Is No Love

Read "There Is No Love" reviewed by Phil Barnes

David Sylvian has long divided opinion. For every passionate supporter there are half a dozen who will decry his every move as pretentious. Even among his fanbase there are many who want him to do something more to their taste, along the lines of some past triumphs like Japan's Quiet Life or Tin Drum, or solo ...