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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dan McCarthy: City Abstract

Read "City Abstract" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The concept of homecoming is inextricably linked to the music that Dan McCarthy presents on City Abstract. Recorded in May of 2019, shortly after he had returned to his native Toronto after fifteen years in New York, this date finds the vibraphonist bowing to two of his biggest influences: pianist Carla Bley and vibraphonist Gary Burton. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Skyjack: The Hunter

Read "The Hunter" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

This second album from South African-Swiss cooperative Skyjack strikes a smart balance between ideation and instinct. Feedback loops fire the imagination of the album's five participants, with input and output acting and reacting to one another in real time. As on the band's eponymous debut, independence and interdependence each play a role in these romping games. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Mike Holober and the Gotham Jazz Orchestra: Hiding Out

Read "Hiding Out" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If musical polymath Mike Holober is hiding out, he's doing it in plain sight. Constantly in demand, his work as a pianist, conductor, arranger and composer has drawn plenty of attention. In the past 15 years alone he has served as the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Westchester Jazz Orchestra (from 2007-2013), the Associate Guest ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Francesca Prihasti: Adriana

Read "Adriana" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Francesca Prihasti paints a series of fantastic notions and tuneful tales on Adriana. For this, her third album following Night Trip (Self Produced, 2014) and Evolving (Self Produced, 2015), the young pianist expands her palette while drawing meaning from the personal realm: The album's inspiration is Prihasti's late mother, Adriana, who passed away in May of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Franco Ambrosetti: Long Waves

Read "Long Waves" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti is a master of both glow and go aesthetics. With a warm and burnished tone, lines giving off circumfluent suggestions in their whorling beauty, an eye on motion and expansion, and a strong sense of swing, he's content to take the fast lane or simply take his time. And with more than 50 ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alfredo Balcacer: Suspended Sea

Read "Suspended Sea" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The only constant is change, and it's in that phrase that we can best suss out the meaning(s) embedded within this debut from Dominic guitarist Alfredo Balcacer. Expressing both roots and evolutionary branches, Balcacer hangs his lines on the sounds of his homeland while extending their reaches across the Caribbean to address his growth as an ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ahmad Jamal: Ballades

Read "Ballades" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

At 89, Ahmad Jamal remains a master of space, time, openness and poetics. Never one to add too much, yet always one to mine a song for all its rich natural flavors, Jamal is an artist whose work speaks with a direct and engaging sweep. His early trio classics became a model of sorts, inspiring Miles ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill O'Connell and The Afro Caribbean Ensemble: Wind Off The Hudson

Read "Wind Off The Hudson" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Bill O'Connell has had plenty to say with his piano in recent times, basically knocking out a session a year for the Savant imprint. And with an exploration within the solo format, a trip with an augmented trio, and ventures promoting a medium-sized conglomerate of heavy-hitters, he's certainly traversed quite an expanse there. But, as Wind ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Fabrizio Sciacca: Gettin' It There

Read "Gettin' It There" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Make no mistake about it, Fabrizio Sciacca isn't merely “gettin' it there." He's already got it here. This debut from the Berklee- and Manhattan School of Music-trained bassist presents an artist with solid intonation, impeccable time, a warm and enveloping tone, and an ear for melody. In short, he has it all.

Leading ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex LoRe And Weirdear: Karol

Read "Karol" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

To simply read about it, Karol—saxophonist Alex Lore's third album in total and first on the Challenge imprint—might seem weighted by its conceptual underpinning. Aiming to integrate “elements from Eurocentric and Black American music traditions," LoRe takes most of his inspirational cues from classical composers. Said ideal, for many, would simply lead to either academic exercise ...