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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

B.J. Jansen: Common Ground

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Cincinnati-born baritone saxophonist B.J. Jansen's tenth album is titled Common Ground for good reason: his sextet consists of NEA Jazz Master trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, drummer Ralph Peterson, trumpeter Duane Eubanks, pianist Zaccai Curtis, and bassist Dezron Douglas--all of whom revel in improvisation. His group's shared affinity for jazz in the straight-ahead vein compelled Jansen to employ ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Windisch: Drama

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Drama is a fitting title for pianist/composer Julius Windisch's debut album for QFTF; the musical atmosphere is mercurial enough to parallel a theatrical odyssey through some unknown frontier. Armed with his eponymously named quintet, Windisch's compositions permeate with vigor, collectively exhibiting just one case of the raw talent found within the legion of young composers in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Matthew Shipp & Mat Walerian Duo/The Uppercut: Live At Okuden

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Forming a duo in jazz can amount to a daunting task. There's simply no hiding; with arrangements so sparse, possibility is boundless and subtleties are fully exposed. This formless atmosphere requires able musicians who can immerse themselves in their instruments and in turn, feed off each other to eventually flourish on a singular wavelength. The innovators ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Toxic: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/William Parker: This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People

Read "This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People" reviewed by Matthew Aquiline

Polish multi-instrumentalist Mat Walerian is on the verge of reserving his seat in the pantheon of groundbreaking hornmen who recorded for the late Bernard Stollman's storied ESP-Disk' label. Not as frenetic as Frank Wright, nor as strident as Sonny Simmons, Walerian instead boasts a singular approach that binds Eastern influence and blues sensibility with fluent, legato ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Woodlander: Calvins Toboggan

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Woodlander is an intriguing jazz combo out of Europe dedicated to breathing life into the original compositions of its founder, Swiss pianist Luzius Schuler. A trio marked by its sparseness, Woodlander is rounded off with trumpeter Mats Spillmann and drummer Jonas Ruther, both of whom recently collaborated with Schuler on Lucerne Jazz Orchestra's Oaktree (QFTF) (Schuler ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Matt Holman: The Tenth Muse

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New York City-based trumpeter and composer Matt Holman cut his teeth performing and recording with distinguished musicians such as Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck, and Darcy James Argue's Secret Society before displaying his personal aesthetic of atmospheric chamber jazz with his debut album When Flooded in 2013. More recently, Holman found inspiration scouring the annals of history, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Lucerne Jazz Orchestra: Oaktree

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Since its inception in 2007, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra has established itself as one of Europe's most innovative ensembles operating within the contemporary big band idiom. Currently consisting of a vocalist (Karin Meier) and 17 musicians under the musical direction of David Grottschreiber, the group has consistently collaborated with fellow trailblazers and featured works by young ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Xavi Reija: Reflections

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Deviating from his reputation within the realm of boundary-pushing progressive rock/jazz fusion, Catalan drummer and composer Xavi Reija removed the presence of electrified instruments that dominated previous works for an acoustic album that explores the jazz piano trio format. Reflections, his eighth recording as a leader, synthesizes Reija's dynamic authority behind the kit with the lyrical ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Vince Tampio: Live at PafA

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The long-standing practice of incorporating non-Western instruments within a jazz setting is further evolved on up-and-coming trumpeter and composer Vince Tampio's self-produced album Live at PafA. More specifically, the Philadelphia/New York-based musician culled various percussion instruments from Eastern Europe alongside an Indian tanpura for a performance of five original compositions recorded live at the Pennsylvania Academy ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Niculin Janett Quartet (feat. Rich Perry): No Parking Any Time

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Zurich-based alto saxophonist and composer Niculin Janett, in the naming of his quartet's debut album, encapsulated the essence of his music with an otherwise vexatious phrase that regularly victimizes most city dwellers: No Parking Any Time. Although irritating for motorists, an ordinance prohibiting parking in terms of music, especially jazz, would seemingly stimulate perpetual movement and ...