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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Francisco Mela: Ancestros

Read "Ancestros" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

One of the many fine musicians coming out of Cuba, Francisco Mela is an accomplished drummer/percussionist and composer. On Ancestros, his debut on the vinyl-only subscription label Newvelle, he has contributed seven original compositions to a collection that includes covers from Andrew Hill and Paul Motian. The album name--and its title track--are appropriated from Mela's prior ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Skuli Sverrisson: Strata

Read "Strata" reviewed by Franz A. Matzner

A contemplative affair, Skuli Sverisson and Bill Frisell's Strata unfolds like a slow burning fire. The hovering notes and somber guitar lines evolve gradually, emerging like wind carved monuments visible through a hovering mist to reveal a stark, melancholic, and aridly beautiful landscape.

The album demonstrates a fluid, masterful interaction between the two artists ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Skuli Sverrisson with Bill Frisell: Strata

Read "Strata" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On their two previous third-season releases, Andy Zimmerman's Half Light and Lionel Loueke's Close Your Eyes (both 2018), Newvelle Records pushed the envelope just a bit away from the deeply melodic formula that they have favored across seventeen albums to date. While those vinyl releases incorporated more elements of improvisational complexity, they were hardly foraying into ...

Lionel Loueke: Close Your Eyes

Read "Close Your Eyes" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Three short seasons and fifteen releases into Newvelle Records' vinyl subscription service, guitarist Lionel Loueke is the first artist to be featured a second time as a leader/co-leader. The Benin-born Loueke holds a Jazz Performance degree from Berklee and has played with many top artists including his mentor Herbie Hancock, George Garzone, Wayne Shorter, Charlie Haden ...

Andy Zimmerman: Half Light

Read "Half Light" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Saxophonist Andy Zimmerman is not a household name. The native Chicagoan has been composing, performing, and teaching music for more than two decades. In part, he comes to the subscription-based vinyl label Newvelle by virtue of a long association with the label's co-founder Elan Mehler, himself an accomplished jazz pianist. Mehler and Zimmerman played together at ...

Steve Cardenas: Charlie & Paul

Read "Charlie & Paul" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The third season of the subscription-based vinyl label Newvelle launches with a quartet led by guitarist Steve Cardenas. A Kansas City native, he cut his teeth in that city before moving to New York in the mid-1990s. Cardenas has appeared on more than fifty albums playing with Ben Allison, Jon Cowherd, Chris Cheek, Eliane Elias, Chris ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rufus Reid: Terrestrial Dance

Read "Terrestrial Dance" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Rufus Reid is one of a handful of true renaissance figures in the arts. The bassist and composer has been an active presence in the jazz world since the 1970s and has recorded more than a dozen albums as a leader and in groups with Dexter Gordon, Andrew Hill, The Thad Jones / Mel Lewis Quartet, ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aruan Ortiz: Cuban Nocturne

Read "Cuban Nocturne" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Cuban pianist and composer Aruán Ortiz started playing piano at the age of nine though his primary instruments were violin and viola. As a teen he began playing arrangements of popular Cuban songs in a school where he was already the director of the band. At fifteen he was first exposed to the music of Chick ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Tordini Trio, featuring Becca Stevens and Greg Ruggerio: Midnight Sun

Read "Midnight Sun" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The vinyl-only subscription label, Newvelle Records, enters the second half of its second season with the Chris Tordini Trio collection, Midnight Sun. Bassist Tordini is joined by vocalist Becca Stevens and guitarist Greg Ruggiero on a set of standards bookended by Ornette Coleman covers. The readings here are stripped of any superfluous trappings, allowing the individual ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Cowherd Quartet: featuring Steve Cardenas, Tony Scherr and Brian Blade: Gateway

Read "Gateway" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Pianist/keyboardist Jon Cowherd has been a regular member of the Brian Blade Fellowship through its four releases dating back to the group's self-titled debut in 1998 (Blue Note Records). He has recorded with Cassandra Wilson, Lizz Wright and Myron Walden (also of Fellowship) as well, but the Kentucky native has a background that extends to country ...