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Alain Mallet: Mutt Slang

Read "Mutt Slang" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Pianist/keyboardist Alain Mallet has been known as much for his work as a producer as for his pianistic accomplishments. Having served as a sideman for Madeleine Peyroux, Phil Woods and Paul Simon, he's also produced music by vocalists Jonatha Brooke and Grace Kelly. And his compositions have been performed by musicians as diverse as Gary Burton, ...

Angelika Niescier - Christopher Tordini - Tyshawn Sorey: The Berlin Concert

Read "The Berlin Concert" reviewed by Troy Dostert

For almost twenty years, German saxophonist Angelika Niescier has been creating forward-thinking jazz that expertly straddles the line between intricate structure and freewheeling energy. Nowhere was this aesthetic vision realized more acutely than on NYC Five (Intakt Records, 2016), her quintet album co-led with pianist Florian Weber. A delightful and infectious release, it signaled Niescier's rise ...

Marty Ehrlich: Trio Exaltation

Read "Trio Exaltation" reviewed by Troy Dostert

After his previous release, 2013's magnificent big-band disc A Trumpet in the Morning (New World Records), it was unclear whether multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich would continue down the path of large-scale composition or return to the small-to-medium-sized ensembles he's used for most of his recorded output over the years. Well, he's gone small all right: all the ...

Francis Hon: Before Dawn

Read "Before Dawn" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Taiwanese pianist Francis Hon didn't plan on becoming a jazz musician. But, during his doctoral studies in piano performance at the University of Texas, he met Jeff Hellmer, Director of Jazz Studies at the university, and that connection initiated Hon's pathway into the world of jazz--one he further explored during an eventual move to New York ...

Michael Moss's Accidental Orchestra: Helix

Read "Helix" reviewed by Troy Dostert

A longtime contributor to the New York jazz scene whose roots go back to Sam Rivers's loft era of the 1970s, clarinetist and composer Michael Moss has typically worked in a small-group context, especially via his most well-known ensembles, Four Rivers and the New York Free Quartet. But on Helix, he's got more ambitious goals in ...

Michael Musillami: Life Anthem

Read "Life Anthem" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Guitarist Michael Musillami has been making music with his MM Trio since 2002, when he first teamed up with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller for Beijing (Playscape, 2003). Subsequent albums, all for the Playscape label Musillami founded and continues to run, have sometimes involved just the trio, while others have brought in guests--standout players ...

Kirk Knuffke/Ben Goldberg: Uncompahgre

Read "Uncompahgre" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Two of the most in-demand horn players in the current creative music scene, cornetist Kirk Knuffke and clarinetist Ben Goldberg delight in making music that combines a deep respect for the history of jazz with an unmistakable spirit of adventure and risk. Both are seasoned veterans with nothing to prove, and they can do it all, ...

Meg Okura: NPO Trio - Live at the Stone

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Recorded during her week-long residency at The Stone, New York, in 2016, on NPO Trio--Live at the Stone violinist Meg Okura and her colleagues, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc and soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome, produce a captivating hour-long set of music. Newsome and Pilc have performed with Okura's Pan-Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble, and the two worked together on ...

Kairos Sextet: Transition

Read "Transition" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Given all the well-deserved attention that drummer Dafnis Prieto has been getting lately, it's understandable that one of his projects, the Kairos Sextet, is eager to acknowledge its debt to that supremely polyrhythmic composer and bandleader. But, make no mistake, this is a band really coming into its own, with plenty to say and a collective ...

Esche: Der Dichter Spricht

Read "Der Dichter Spricht" reviewed by Troy Dostert

On its sophomore release, Swiss trio Esche continues its search for ways to fuse classical chamber music with possibilities for improvisation, and even swing, that stem from the jazz tradition. The title of the record, Der Dichter Spricht ("The Poet Speaks"), does not seem an intentional reference to the Schumann piece of the same name, although ...