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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Aguanko: Pattern Recognition

Read "Pattern Recognition" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Aguanko's composer, conguero and bandleader Dr. Alberto Nacif first stepped into the worlds of Latin and Afro-Cuban percussion alongside Cuban conga/bongo master Armando Peraza, the pillar of percussion fire who blazed throughout the Santana band's first decade. On Pattern Recognition, Nacif teams with another legendary Cuban percussionist: José “Pepe" Espinosa, who jumps in on timbales, guiro ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lonnie McFadden: Live at Green Lady Lounge

Read "Live at Green Lady Lounge" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

In his own words, tap dancer, composer, trumpeter, vocalist, and bandleader Lonnie McFadden is, “an unapologetic Kansas City jazz guy." He may be a classic “song and dance man" type of entertainer, but Live at Green Lady Lounge demonstrates that he is also more than that.

Lonnie McFadden was born and raised in Kansas ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Aguankó: Pattern Recognition

Read "Pattern Recognition" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

If the music of Aguankó is any indication, Latin jazz is in good shape in Southeastern Michigan. Conguero/composer Alberto Nacif leads a crack band, most of them from the metro Detroit area. Their previous album, Latin Jazz Christmas in Havana (Self Produced, 2015), presented creative arrangements of a variety of holiday standards, a delightful standout in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Craig Fraedrich: Out of the Blues

Read "Out of the Blues" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Out of the Blues, featuring Craig Fraedrich on trumpet and flugelhorn with The Jazz Trumpet Ensemble, would have sounded great in the sweltering hard-bop landscape that Cannonball Adderley, The Jazz Messengers led by Art Blakey, Horace Silver and other jazz legends began to explore in the late 1950s.

Fraedrich has been featured trumpet soloist ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The U.S. Army Blues: Swinging In The Holidays

Read "Swinging In The Holidays" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Many a Christmas album plays the role of aural security blanket, serving up gently nostalgic sentiments to soothe the common man. This isn't one of them. The U.S. Army Blues--the big band outgrowth/offshoot of The United States Army Band “Pershing's Own"--ushers in the holiday season with an exciting set that's more well-oiled romp than relaxing balm. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

The United States Air Force Band: Veterans of Jazz

Read "Veterans of Jazz" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Many famous U.S. jazz musicians served in the armed forces. This ingenious Airmen of Note project celebrates them by presenting a program of music composed by (or associated with) several of those musical veterans. Even a cursory look at the track list shows that taking the repertoire solely from military veterans is no limitation. Original compositions ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Potter: You Already Know

Read "You Already Know" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

You might not know who drummer Dave Potter is, but you should. Whether stoking the flames in Jason Marsalis' Vibes Quartet, adding rhythmic flair to the recordings of bassist Will Goble, or leading the charge on his own, Potter has something incredibly positive to say.

With You Already Know, Potter shrewdly mixes it ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Joe Bourne: Upbeat And Sweet

Read "Upbeat And Sweet" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

"Upbeat And Sweet" is a pretty good summary of the feel of this collection of songs from mellow jazz vocalist Joe Bourne. But the subtitle is even more telling: “Jazz-infused classic rock & pop songs." None of these songs come from the canon of the Great American Songbook, and many of them seem downright unlikely choices ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, & Vinnie Zummo

Read "Christmas Roundup 2016: Aguankó, Jeff Collins, & Vinnie Zummo" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

It's that time of year again. While some people genuinely love holiday records, others are just looking for some alternative to have available for self-defense against the onslaught of traditional holiday pop music. Regardless of what camp you're in, here are two new releases, plus three that are new to me: Latin jazz, mainstream jazz, bossa ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ron Carter Quartet & Vitoria Maldonado: Brasil L.I.K.E

Read "Brasil L.I.K.E" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The road that connects Brazilian music and jazz--the essential thematic nexus on this collaborative venture that brings bassist Ron Carter (and his quartet), vocalist Vitoria Maldonado, Ruria Duprat's Brasilian Orchestra, and a handful of guest soloists into the same line of thinking--has always been a two way street, as both forms benefit and borrow from one ...