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ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases Of 2017

Read "Dan Bilawsky's Best Releases Of 2017" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Few things are a given, yet we can always count on a flood of new music making its way into the world over the course of a year. In 2017 some of the best jazz found its path by looking forward, doubling back, and/or branching out. In short, this music and the dedicated artists who make ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John McLean: Parts Unknown

Read "Parts Unknown" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

This inventive Chicago Quartet finds Kurt Elling's long time backing team comprised of guitarist John McLean and bassist Clark Sommers pushing into original sonic adventures with fresh modern twists. The band's debut outing for Origin Records also features drummer Xavier Breaker and vibes veteran Joe Locke whose tone and style accompanies and interacts perfectly with John ...

John McLean / Clark Sommers Band: Parts Unknown

Read "Parts Unknown" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

It's amazing what can happen when you take a tight-knit, deep-dish duo reflective of Chicago's jazz riches, add one of the world's most dexterous and expressive vibraphonists, and sweeten the deal with a grooving up-and-comer. Charts are mapped over uncharted territories, musical assuredness carries the day in uncertain realms, and surprises await around every well-constructed corner. ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kurt Elling: The Beautiful Day

Read "The Beautiful Day" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Forget the standard old tidings of good cheer, the same old set of swinging Christmas standards, and the sugary holiday treats that lack vitality and real sustenance. Kurt Elling certainly paid little mind to them when he was putting together this gem of a program. Instead of taking the road more traveled when it comes to ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Kurt Elling at Bing Concert Hall

Read "Kurt Elling at Bing Concert Hall" reviewed by Lily O'Brien

Kurt Elling
Stanford Jazz / Bing Concert Hall
Palo Alto, CA
February 27, 2016

Kurt Elling is full of it--talent that is. As a vocalist, performer and writer/poet, he is just, simply--off the charts. His performance for Stanford Live at Bing Concert Hall, at Stanford University in Palo Alto on Saturday, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Kurt Elling's Passion World at Jazz at the Kimmel

Read "Kurt Elling's Passion World at Jazz at the Kimmel" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Kurt Elling: “Passion World"
Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Perelman Theater
Philadelphia, PA
October 5, 2014

Kurt Elling has repeatedly proved his mettle as a vocalist, accumulating so many Downbeat awards and Grammy nominations that it seems superfluous to once again critique any of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Janice Borla Group: Promises to Burn

Read "Promises to Burn" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

The artist title is a hint: “The Janice Borla Group." Borla is a vocalist with a reputation for taking chances as evidenced on her three previous recordings, all released on Tall Grass records, From Every Angle (2006), Agents of Change (2003) and Lunar Octave (1996). What she effectively does on the current Promises to Burn is ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jack Mouse Group: Range of Motion

Read "Range of Motion" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Drummer and educator Jack Mouse has a versatile and prolific career. In addition to playing, among many others, with trumpeter Clark Terry, saxophonist James Moody and pianist Stan Kenton he has been actively involved in education as a faculty member at various institutions and as a writer for percussion magazines. His debut album Range of Motion ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

In Tune or Not in Tune... That Is the Question

Read "In Tune or Not in Tune... That Is the Question" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Suppose a month goes by, you have a column to publish, but nothing has happened that's worth writing about. What do you do then? Read on, as the question is about to be answered.

A while back there was a discussion at a Stan Kenton web site (Kentonia) about musicians or groups of ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kurt Elling: 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project

Read "1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project" reviewed by Bruce Lindsay

The Brill Building holds a special place in popular music history, not just because of the songs crafted within its walls, but also because of what it has come to represent. The ideal of the Brill Building is associated with songs that soundtrack the lives and loves of millions of people around the world. Singer Kurt ...