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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: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

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: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

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 ...

U.S. Army Blues: Live At Blues Alley

Read "Live At Blues Alley" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Times have surely changed since The U.S. Army Blues was founded in 1942 (as “Pershing's Own," the Army Dance Band) to entertain soldiers and civilians in combat zones during WWII. But this Blues band has managed to keep pace, and has performed at the Monterey and Montreux Jazz Festivals and at New York City's hallowed Birdland, ...

Danny Mixon: Pass It On

Read "Pass It On" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

You'd think that a pianist who's solidly served as sideman for such pillars of the jazz community as Charles Mingus, Betty Carter, Kenny Dorham, Grant Green and others (including Afro-Cuban firebrands Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers), would be at least somewhat famous. But since his first performances in the mid-1970s, pianist Danny Mixon has maintained ...

James Hughes & Jimmy Smith Quintet: Ever Up & Onward

Read "Ever Up & Onward" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Detroit was once a vital jazz center, contributing some of the major hard bop artists of the 1960s: Hank, Thad, and Elvin Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris, Paul Chambers, Kenny Burrell, and Ron Carter, just to name a few. The James Hughes & Jimmy Smith Quintet honors that tradition by playing mostly original hard bop with ...