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Chiemi Nakai: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by Edward Blanco

New York-based pianist Chiemi Nakai is a native of Japan who began her musical journey in training as a classical pianist but preferred the sounds of Afro-Cuban and other Latin music. Moving to the Big Apple in 1998, Nakai began her professional career performing and touring with international Latin music stars, formed her own group, Chiemi ...

Tal Wilkenfeld: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by John Kelman

Some artists emerge slowly, taking years to find their way to public attention; others leap seemingly instantaneously into the public eye. Australian-born, US-based bassist Tal Wilkenfeld has gone from sitting in with The Allman Brothers Band in 2006 to working with pianist Chick Corea and Jeff Beck, heard recently on the guitarist's Performing This Week...Live at ...

Colin Stranahan: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by Michael P. Gladstone

It is good to hear that the young drummer and bandleader Colin Stranahan is continuing his musical growth with Transformation. Like his debut 2004 album, Dreams Untold, this one features an quintet (largely consisting of new personnel) and provides all original tunes, many in an Art Blakey Jazz Messengers mode. Tenor saxophonist Michael Bailey returns, joined ...

Colin Stranahan: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by Jim Santella

Dramatic modern mainstream jazz pours forth from Colin Stranahan's dynamic quintet, with exotic melodic stanzas flowing in many directions at once. His cohesive band interprets this program of originals directly with a positive force. It's a composer's forum. Saxophonist Remy Le Boeuf contributed three pieces and his eighteen-year-old twin brother, pianist Pascal Le Boeuf, contributed two. ...

Colin Stranahan: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Can anybody in this band buy a beer, legally? Nobody in the rhythm section can. Drummer/leader Colin Stranahan is nineteen years old, pianist Pascal Le Boeuf is eighteen, and bassist Dominic Thiroux is just a year older. Reaching outside the rhythm team, reedman Remy Le Boeuf--Pascal's twin, incidentally--is, of course, also eighteen years of age. Which ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Skolnick: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by Andrey Henkin

Despite his best efforts, guitarist Alex Skolnick remains a novelty in the exclusive jazz community. Why he should care though is another question, given that as a thrash metal guitarist, he probably sold more records than Miles Davis. His decision to be reborn as a jazz player has been well documented, as has his movement to ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alex Skolnick Trio: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by John Kelman

Call me a jazz bigot. When I received Transformation by Alex Skolnick, apparently the ex-guitarist for thrash metal-heads Testament, my first thought was, “Great, another rocker trying to be a jazzer." Things didn't get better when I saw that Skolnick was interpreting material by Judas Priest, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Scorpions, Iron Maiden and--yes--Ronnie James Dio. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Another impressive album (the twelfth in about as many years) by the always well-schooled University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One, the first under new director Chris Merz who replaced long-time mentor Bob Washut last year. The disc marks that “transformation” while reassuring those who appreciate the ensemble’s work that the tradition of excellence established by ...

Don Preston Trio: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Pianist Don Preston brings together an unusual combination of composure and freedom on his trio disc Transformation. While most of these pieces assume a reflective posture, the group also takes its liberties and spikes the mix with a good dose of healthy dissonance. That unassuming energy may reflect itself as melodic flights around the edges of ...