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Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz

Read "Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

While pop often follows predictable musical patterns, one of the greatest qualities about jazz is its sense of adventurousness and the ability to take the listener on a journey where the destination is unknown. The Astral Spirits label, based in jny: Austin, Texas, and run by musician Nate Cross, truly embraces this quality of jazz.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nicole Johaenntgen: Henry II

Read "Henry II" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Two years on from Henry (Self-Produced, 2016), a pulsating set of contemporary tunes in the New Orleans brass band tradition, Nicole Johänntgen is once again bitten by the Nawlins bug on this vibrant follow-up. The Zurich-based German saxophonist is joined, as before, by trombonist Jon Ramm, drummer Paul Thibodeaux and sousaphone player Steven Glenn--their collective claws ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEWS

Nicole Johänntgen: Henry And The Free Bird

Read "Nicole Johänntgen: Henry And The Free Bird" reviewed by Ian Patterson

In Richard Bach's book Jonathon Livingston Seagull (Macmillan 1970), the tale of a seagull with a passion for flight and freedom, there is a line that goes: “Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Masakowski Family: N.O. Escape

Read "N.O. Escape" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The NOLA Masakowski's are a household name in the New Orleans area. Singer Sasha Masakowski has released several notable CDs including Sasha Masakowski & the Sidewalk Strutters Old Green River (Louisiana Music Factory, 2015); Hildegard (Self Produced, 2015); and Wishes (Hypersoul, 2011). Her father, the principle member here, multi-instrumentalist Steve Masakowski, is on faculty at the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nicole Johanntgen: Henry

Read "Henry" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Still only in her mid-thirties, Zurich-based German alto saxophonist/composer Nicole Johänntgen has been performing and tirelessly exploring music for over twenty years. With half a dozen recordings as leader under her belt, Johänntgen turns to New Orleans for inspiration on Henry. Named after her father, who used to play trombone in lieu of an early morning ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Sasha Masakowski & the Sidewalk Strutters: Old Green River

Read "Old Green River" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

There is a rare musical triple point where talent, vision, and a wicked sense-of-humor meet. Damn few artists ever make it there. I believe that it must be the address of one Sasha Hildegard Masakowski. NOLA's own has recently relocated to the cultural hub of the universe, New York City, but not before navigating the choppy ...