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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bob Holz: Silverthorne

Read "Silverthorne" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Here's a solid jazz fusion album sans the megalomaniacal soloing sprees and impossibly complex time signatures brought to us by highly regarded session drummer and bandleader Bob Holz, who reaps the benefits of A-listers such as guitarist Mike Stern, trumpeter Randy Brecker and other notables. And while drummers are not frequently heralded for their compositions and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth: Live in Japan 1984

Read "Live in Japan 1984" reviewed by John Kelman

The loss of Allan Holdsworth in the spring of 2017 remains the passing of one of the most distinctive and innovative guitarists of the past half century. Born in the U.K in 1946, but moving to the U.S.A. in the early '80s, most who are familiar with Holdsworth's work also know how vastly influential he became, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

FAT: #awesome

Read "#awesome" reviewed by John Kelman

While the appropriately titled #awesome represents Alex Machacek's third album in six years with his (similarly witty and self-effacingly monikered) FAT (Fabulous Austrian Trio), this trifecta of virtuosic Austrian musicians goes much further back. Both bassist Raphael Preuschl and drummer Herbert Pirker appeared on roughly half of the expat-Austrian/Los Angeles-based guitarist's acclaimed 2006 Abstract Logix debut, ...

ARTICLE: TOP TEN LIST

Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music

Read "Top Ten Jazz Tracks for Surf Music" reviewed by Alan Bryson

The notion of jazz as surf music seems absurd at first blush, but it can work surprisingly well. Some time ago I learned this by happenstance while listening to an album by fusion guitarist Alex Machacek as I watched surf videos on YouTube. It was a true “ah ha" moment. Compared to the original soundtrack, Alex's ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

U.K.: Ultimate Collectors' Edition

Read "U.K.: Ultimate Collectors' Edition" reviewed by John Kelman

Well, there's certainly been a wait for this one, but for fans of what may be the last high profile progressive rock group to emerge in the 1970s, U.K.'s Ultimate Collectors' Edition proves well worth it. What began as an already sizeable 16-disc box for a group that, during its relatively brief tenure, released just two ...

ARTICLE: EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Levin Minnemann Rudess: From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess

Read "Levin Minnemann Rudess: From the Law Offices of Levin Minnemann Rudess" reviewed by John Kelman

It may look good on paper, but you can never really know how “super group" collaborations are going to work out until they actually get together and do something. In the case of the power trio named after its members--bassist/stick player Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Stick Men), drummer/guitarist Marco Minnemann (Steven Wilson, The Aristocrats, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Per Mathisen/Frode Alnæs/Giraldo Piloto: Sounds Of 3

Read "Sounds Of 3" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Norwegian bassist Per Mathisen (aka “The Bass Viking") leads an exciting, empathetic, virtuosic fusion jazz trio on Sounds Of 3. This is a modern electric trio in the same vein as bassist Jonas Hellborg's trio with guitarist Shawn Lane and drummer Jeff Sipe, guitarist Alex Machacek's trio with 5-string electric bassist Matthew Garrison (and Sipe again), ...

(Living the Dream)

Read "(Living the Dream)" reviewed by John Kelman

While he's been living in Los Angeles for many years, Alex Machacek clearly values longterm musical relationships. While the majority of his recordings for the Raleigh, NC-based Abstract Logix imprint have seen the Austrian-born guitarist working with the likes of Jeff Sipe, Matthew Garrison, Neal Fountain and Gary Husband, his 2005 label debut, [sic], was notable--beyond ...

Carla Bley & Jack DeJohnette: ECM Trios

Read "Carla Bley & Jack DeJohnette: ECM Trios" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Two different approaches to the trio, led by veteran ECM bandleaders. Big band composer/pianist Carla Bley continues her recent run of chamber ensemble recordings, reconvening her trio with saxophonist Andy Sheppard and bassist Steve Swallow, most recently heard on Trios (ECM, 2013). The grouping gives much more focus on her piano playing than her large group ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jeff Sipe Trio: Jeff Sipe Trio featuring Mike Seal and Taylor Lee

Read "Jeff Sipe Trio featuring Mike Seal and Taylor Lee" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Drummer Jeff Sipe was a member of Colonel Bruce Hampton's Aquarium Rescue Unit and has played with many other musicians. But probably his most visible association was the power trio with Jonas Hellborg and Shawn Lane, followed by a more recent trio with guitarist Alex Machacek. So he is clearly very comfortable in an improvising rock/jazz ...