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Glenn Astarita at All About Jazz

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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Das Rad: Das Rad

Read "Das Rad" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

More from the imaginary artistic world of multi-instrumentalist, multi-reedman, producer Martin Archer and associates is a welcome surprise. Then again, the artist's Discus label offers a huge discography devised on dissimilar, futuristic and unorthodox outcomes. Other than the one-off modern jazz outings, Archer is a crafty, forward-thinking musician, spanning numerous ensembles, large and small. Here, the ...

Angles 3: Parede

Read "Parede" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This European improvising super-group reverts back to the original trio format, captured live at a Portuguese venue. Here, reedman Martin Küchen teams with fellow Scandinavians (now residing in the US), bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Kjell Nordeson. In effect, it's an invigorating performance and designed with great focus, as the musicians don't blow matters out ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jozef Dumoulin & Lidbloj: Live in Neerpelt

Read "Live in Neerpelt" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Belgian keyboardist Jozef Dumoulin incorporates some oddball and magical innuendoes with his Fender Rhodes and electronics implementations, and is an inventive improviser who comingles a flock of emotive voicings into his work. On this outing he leads an international outfit, featuring Clean Feed Records artist Lynn Cassiers who harmonizes with the instrumentalists via her angelic vocals, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Be-Bop Deluxe: Sunburst Finish

Read "Sunburst Finish" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

This is 1976 issued gem by the British band led by guitar virtuoso Bill Nelson, projects artsy, erotic and radiant cover art that was ahead of its time, but then again, this ensemble seamlessly merged progressive rock, straight-ahead rock, blues, reggae and fabricated pop music with a college education. This newly re-mastered and expanded 2-CD edition ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Harding - Lucian Ban: Dark Blue

Read "Dark Blue" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Lucian Ban (piano) and Alex Harding (woodwinds) have performed and recorded together for 20-years besides their prominent activities within global progressive jazz and improvisational circles. The universal language of jazz is conveyed here as Detroit-reared Harding and the Romanian born pianist gel to a variety of tempos amid solstice, reflective sentiment, off-centered blues balladry and bouncy ...

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_freakestra: 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, ...