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Voices Without Words

Read "Voices Without Words" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It's all too easy to forget the voice as an instrument in itself--arguably the most expressive one we have, especially if these examples are any indication. Here we have two offerings to remind us what mind-bending possibilities it can offer.

Ikarus
Mosaismic
Ronin Rhythm Records
2019

A good ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Swana / Tim Motzer / Doug Hirlinger: Channels

Read "Channels" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It's a jungle in here. The atmosphere is thick and close, even when things are still. Strange creatures keep flitting through the trees and rustling the bushes. The air never stays quiet for very long amidst the eerie calls of strange birds. The here in this case is a landscape that is imaginary, but that makes ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes

Read "Tim Motzer: Late-Night Soundscapes" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Natural evolution is always gradual yet relentless. jny: Philadelphia sound-sculptor Tim Motzer demonstrates the fact with two more extended improvisations to follow on from the electro-ambient Unseen Universe (1k, 2017). All three are solo recordings made in similar circumstances (played live for wee-hours radio broadcasts roughly a year apart), yet of course no two nights or ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Goldbug: Naacal

Read "Naacal" reviewed by Geno Thackara

When thinking of ancient civilizations, it's natural to start with, say, Sumerians or Egyptians. The Naacal aren't exactly first to leap to mind--not least because nobody knows if they actually existed. There was a certain amount of creative license in the earliest writings about pre-Mayan people in Central America and the lost continent of Mu. Barry ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2017

Read "Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by Geno Thackara

My second year playing in the All About Jazz sandbox has been even more packed with great times and great musical discoveries than the first. I had the pleasure of reviewing plenty of terrific recordings just as strong or highly-rated as those on this list, not to mention some superb live shows, but these were the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Orion Tango: The Apple Of No

Read "The Apple Of No" reviewed by Geno Thackara

In times as strange and uncertain as ever, Orion Tango prefers to remember that there are some silver linings we can count on and “the world doesn't have to go this way," as guitarist Tim Motzer explains it. One steady constant of course is the power of music--edge-of-seat improvisation is this power trio's specialty, and the ...

Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie

Read "Orion Tango at Kung Fu Necktie" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Orion Tango
Kung Fu Necktie
jny: Philadelphia, PA
June 6, 2017

It's unclear what formal apparel has to do with the martial arts, or what either one has to do with live music for that matter, but nevermind. Adventurous musical acts are always welcome at Kung Fu Necktie as much as open-eared listeners. The ...

Kurt Rosenwinkel: Caipirinhas and Constellations

Read "Kurt Rosenwinkel: Caipirinhas and Constellations" reviewed by Geno Thackara

"It's the busiest I've ever been," Kurt Rosenwinkel happily declares during a rare week of down time at home in jny: Berlin between tour legs. This would seem like quite a statement for someone established as a jack of many trades--luminary guitarist, music teacher, technological experimentalist and bandleader in several genre-hopping ensembles. These recent months have ...

Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space

Read "Tim Motzer: Wandering the Depths of Space" reviewed by Geno Thackara

There are guitarists, and then there are sound sculptors who use the guitar as one tool among many (and of course there's no small overlap between the two). Tim Motzer happily resides in both camps but tends to lean toward the latter description most--when running a single axe through a continually changing array of jerry-rigged technology, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bandit 65: Bandit 65

Read "Bandit 65" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It's not unheard of for groups to include drums without a bass as rhythmic partner, though the rest of the players may sometimes be surprised how much they miss that anchor (which is easy to take for granted after all). A small combo has a couple basic options for working around that absence. They can have ...