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ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sumrrá: 6 Mulleres

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Throughout the history of jazz, musicians have looked to figures inside and outside of music for inspiration. In this tradition, the Spanish trio Sumrrá created their album, 6 Mulleres, as an homage to six women from the recent past and contemporary times who rose up and successfully challenged prevailing archetypes. Sumrrá indicates on its website that ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tom Abbs & Frequency Response: Hawthorne

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On his album Hawthorne, Brooklyn-based Tom Abbs showcases his mastery of several instruments and writing styles. Combining free, hard bop, world, and blues styles, Abbs's compositions juxtapose explosive exposés of new music with idioms that hearken back to ancient times.

Abbs is joined by Jean Cook and Jenna Barvitski on violin, Brian Settles on ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ryan Meagher: Lost Days

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On Lost Days, guitarist Ryan Meagher offers up ten expressive and entertaining compositions that run the gamut from blues to funk and from swing to rock. His compositions are hot and spontaneous--they break apart and fuse back together in kaleidoscopic fashion.

The Portland, Oregon-based Meagher is backed by a talented group. Tenor saxophonist Bill ...

ARTICLE: CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Christian Pabst: Inner Voice

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What is that quote from the movie American Beauty? “Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in." That's what German pianist Christian Pabst's album Inner Voice offers the jazz listener: a surrender to the beauty of music--not a sentimental beauty, ...

Cesar Cardoso: Interchange

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On his album Interchange, Portuguese tenor saxophonist César Cardoso offers up a lively set of original compositions to make the head nod and the heart soar. Cardoso hails from Portugal and his music is vaguely reminiscent of Weather Report--but instead of Joe Zawinul's playful keyboard there is Bruno Santos on guitar, propelling the music forward with ...

William Flynn/Tim Fischer: Cross Country

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Like a couple of old friends traveling through memories, thoughts and ideas, guitarists William Flynn and Tim Fischer have fashioned their album Cross Country as a conversation of grace and beauty. Flynn, a professor of Jazz Guitar at Wichita (KS) State University, and Fischer, a professor of music at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina's Coastal Carolina University ...

Michael Feinberg: Whatever Possessed Me

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Tribute bands are glowingly appreciated by fans of great rock acts; perhaps it's time jazz fans got with it! Michael Feinberg's Whatever Possessed Me is a dedication to the works and sound of John Coltrane and his classic quartet with McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison, and Elvin Jones. The performances on this album are so good, one ...

Michael Musillami: Life Anthem

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Dark, cerebral, moody, Michael Musillami's Life Anthem was inspired by his near-death experience from a brain hemorrhage and tumor. The music takes the listener on a journey from medical crisis to recovery. While the quality of abstract lyricism, improvisation, and musicianship cannot be denied, the music's harsh landscape proves at times frustrating and difficult to navigate. ...

Carl Bartlett, Jr.: Promise!

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Winner of the USA 2015-16 International Songwriting Competition Jazz Category, Carl Bartlett Jr. showcases his skills on PROMISE!. The album's warm, vivacious compositions offer plenty of cheer and good feelings. The result is guaranteed to bring a Billy Higgins smile to your face. Bartlett's alto sax playing is equally sunny. Like Bobby Watson or Donald Harrison, ...

John Zorn: The Urmuz Epigrams

Read "The Urmuz Epigrams" reviewed by Don Phipps

Prolific composer John Zorn's The Urmuz Epigrams offers up an infectious mix of Stockhausen effects, polyrhythmic percussion, and twisty tunes, a combination which produces music that is unsettling, surprising, and humorous--often at the same time.

All the pieces repeat themselves. Zorn notates the first rendition as “modern" and the second as “original." And while ...