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Matt Hooke's Best Releases of 2017

Read "Matt Hooke's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by Matt Hooke

2017 marked the first year that I wrote for All About Jazz, and I got to experience some phenomenal music. It was a diverse year in jazz, international artists like Tony Allen and Seckou Keita brought unique perspectives to jazz. Other artists like Chris Thile, Brad Mehldau, and Dayme Arocena, released some of their best work ...


Joni Mitchell's Amelia: A Flight through Love

Read "Joni Mitchell's Amelia: A Flight through Love" reviewed by Matt Hooke

On its surface, it looks plain. In the annals of popular song, there are many love songs dedicated to a particular girl, Van Morrisons' “Gloria," Rod Stewarts' “Maggie May," Eric Claptons' “Layla," but Joni Mitchell's ode to Amelia Earhart is different.

The lost aviator is not the target of Michell's affections, but her therapist. ...


Daymé Arocena: Cubafonía

Read "Cubafonía" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Dayme Arocena's Cubafonia is a triumph for the 25 year old Afro-Cuban singer. Arocena cements her status as one of the best young talents from Cuba, with a diverse set of songs that combine Cuban rhythms with jazz, neo- soul, and Latin pop.

The opening track, “Eleggua," is an exciting cut. The song is ...


Sean Noonan: Man No Longer Me

Read "Man No Longer Me" reviewed by Matt Hooke

From the first bass notes of “Man Vs. Machine" the opening track from Sean Noonan's Man No Longer Me it's obvious that this isn't your average jazz fusion record. The Irish American Noonan combines West African rhythms, with jazz harmony, and the absurdist humor and attitude of Frank Zappa, making this release a welcome respite from ...


Sun Ra Nuclear War: A Smooth Soundtrack to the Apocalypse

Read "Sun Ra Nuclear War: A Smooth Soundtrack to the Apocalypse" reviewed by Matt Hooke

With threats of our impending doom through nuclear hellfire seemingly increasing by the day. I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to talk about one of my favorite Sun Ra songs, “Nuclear War." A song so smooth and hilarious it almost makes you welcome the apocalypse.

“Nuclear War" was released twice, initially on ...


Remembering Walter Becker

Read "Remembering Walter Becker" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Steely Dan combined rock and jazz in a way no other artist has ever done. Their music is not simply “jazzers slumming it" to make profitable rock recordings, but a precise blend of the two genres that shows the musicians love for both. On Sunday one of the two architects of Steely Dan, Walter Becker, died ...