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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Oak: False Memory Archive

Read "False Memory Archive" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This multitasking Norwegian trio's exceptional layering and mixing techniques provide a boost to the musicians' seamless ability to bridge a progressive rock aura with fresh material that occasionally skirts art-rock and pop.

Simen Valldal Johannessen's warmhearted vocals (in English) are iterated with near flawless diction and mystical qualities. The melodic verses are often synched ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

David Ambrosio: Four On The Road

Read "Four On The Road" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Bassist David Ambrosio and his trio indulge in smooth sailing, partly due to alto saxophonist Loren Stillman's feathery tones via these largely, medium-tempo bop works, complete with contrapuntal type exchanges and spry breakouts.

Several of these piece seem to intertwine within a similar framework and cadence, although there are a few free-form sorties, sparked ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

EUPHORIUM freaestra feat. Gunter Baby Sommer and Barry Guy: Grande Casino

Read "Grande Casino" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Indeed, the earth can be a delightfully bizarre habitat. With this ten-piece aggregation assembled by pianist, musicologist Oliver Schwerdt and featuring legendary improvisers Barry Guy (bass) and Gunter 'Baby' Sommer (drums, perc), ideas, and perhaps life itself penetrate through unchartered peripheries of time and reason.

This European ensemble toys with your psyche due to ...

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

Focus: 11

Read "11" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

If the artwork looks familiar, yes, it's by Roger Dean who created album cover artwork for progressive rock icons, Yes, Gentle Giant, Uriah Heep and other notables. Dean continues his phantasmagoric images via his work for this pivotal 1970s and 80s Dutch prog unit, Focus for its 11th studio album, featuring founder Thijs van Leer (keys, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Scott Fields Ensemble: Barclay

Read "Barclay" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Guitarist Scott Fields' distinctive approach to composition marches to the next level on this third installment of the “Beckett Trilogy," where he uses additional Samuel Barclay Beckett (1906-1989) plays as an inspiration for these three extended works, based on the novelist's text/plots.

The ensemble seemingly weaves some of Beckett's black comedy and humor into ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Eyal Maoz - Asaf Sirkis: The Lie Detectors Part III - Secret Unit

Read "The Lie Detectors Part III - Secret Unit" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

New York-based guitarist Eyal Maoz (John Zorn, Lou Reed) and London-based drummer Asaf Sirkis (Markus Reuter, Mark Wingfield) are childhood friends, hailing from Rehovot, Israel. Although each musician is quite busy via numerous projects on a global scale, they've managed to produce three duo albums. On Part III, the musicians seemingly operate with the force of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jason Kao Hwang - Burning Bridge: Blood

Read "Blood" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Violinist, composer Jason Kao Hwang and many of his band-mates are among the leading exponents of the new jazz, where disparate genres coalesce, often in seamless fashion to nurture our imaginative inclinations in such a way that standard idioms and classifications go by the wayside. And as the album title implicates, the underlying theme cascades into ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Josh Sinton's Predicate Trio: Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically

Read "Making Bones, Taking Draughts, Bearing Unstable Millstones Pridefully, Idiotically, Prosaically" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Bass clarinetist and baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton (Ideal Bread, Nate Wooley Quintet, Adam Hopkins' Crickets) has always been a tenacious improviser, and with his new trio bridges the gap between post-modernism, raw experimentalism and core jazz fundamentals. Featuring all-universe drummer Tom Rainey and cellist Chris Hoffman--admired for his work with cutting-edge music acolyte Henry Threadgill and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Aviva Endean: cinder: ember: ashes

Read "cinder: ember: ashes" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Aviva Endean's debut album for the Norwegian label SOFA is heady and gleams with interesting abstracts. In addition to her improvisational acumen, she is a shaper of sound. Endean toggles between various clarinet types on each track. With asynchronous minimalist parts and microtonal aspects, she also executes darkly weaving passages, iterated with an alien dichotomy. This ...