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Mark Alban Lotz: Food Foragers

Read "Food Foragers" reviewed by Don Phipps

Somewhere there is a dense green forest. One can barely see through the foliage. Inside this forest is a meadow. There stands Mark Alban Lotz, surrounded by flutes of various sizes and shapes. Next to him is Alan Purves, encircled by an array of bizarre and ancient percussion instruments. Together, these two artists are creating odes ...

Marc Edwards: The Bowels Of Jupiter

Read "The Bowels Of Jupiter" reviewed by Don Phipps

As you listen to The Bowels of Jupiter, you will have no special gear to protect you from the musical g-forces that will blanket your ears and brain. But you wouldn't want any, as it is these musical g-forces that make drummer Marc Edwards and guitarist Mick Barr's album an incredible listening experience.

Robin Verheyen: When The Birds Leave

Read "When The Birds Leave" reviewed by Don Phipps

Saxophonist Robin Verheyen exhibits a range of musical emotions on his album When the Birds Leave. Backed by an empathetic rhythm section of top-notch players (pianist Marc Copland, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer Billy Hart), Verheyen explores a group of ebullient, introspective, and sometimes challenging compositions.

Verheyen is capable of great expressiveness with his ...


Kris Davis & Craig Taborn: Octopus

Read "Octopus" reviewed by Don Phipps

Combining discrete notes with splashes and collages of sound, the music of pianists Kris Davis and Craig Taborn on Octopus showcases improvisational prowess at the highest levels. The live recording challenges listeners with electric and sometimes jarring compositions that appear to send shards of musical light in every direction.

Davis provides two compositions for ...


Chris Gall: Cosmic Playground

Read "Cosmic Playground" reviewed by Don Phipps

It's easy to hear references to classical music in Chris Gall's style of jazz. After all, he is a trained classical pianist. And those who like a bit of Chopin with their jazz will certainly enjoy Cosmic Playground.

Gall's music also incorporates elements of rock and funk. Offering up strong melodic lines, Gall and ...


Roscoe Mitchell: Accelerated Projection

Read "Accelerated Projection" reviewed by Don Phipps

The level of musicianship exhibited on the Roscoe Mitchell-Matthew Shipp collaboration Accelerated Projection is amazing to behold. Mitchell of course co-founded the influential Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), which gave birth to many great “free jazz" musicians. He also co-founded the Art Ensemble of Chicago, a group that has achieved legendary status among ...


Andrew Kushnir: Influences

Read "Influences" reviewed by Don Phipps

Judging from the album cover, a coffee-filled cup on a drum, one might anticipate that drummer Andrew Kushnir's debut album, Influences, would be a hard charging affair. And Kushnir and his trio (Ryan Slatko on piano and Rick Rosato on bass) do not disappoint. The trio offers up some head-bobbing jazz at its finest.


Thomas Stronen: Lucus

Read "Lucus" reviewed by Don Phipps

With Lucus, the reflective, somber, and gentle timbres of composer/drummer Thomas Strønen and his ensemble, Time Is a Blind Guide, brings to mind poet T.S. Eliot's line, “Winter kept us warm." And even as the cold Norwegian waves rise up or lap gently against the rocks along this craggy musical shore, Lucus elicits warmth, like a ...


Whit Dickey: Vessel in Orbit

Read "Vessel in Orbit" reviewed by Don Phipps

From the first chord struck on “Spaceship 9" by pianist Matthew Shipp, Vessel in Orbit demonstrates the epitome of seasoned and extremely talented musicians improvising together. This trio, led by drummer Whit Dickey, provides musical compositions and improvisations that are at once eerie, dark, foreboding, yet hauntingly beautiful.

The recording (engineered admirably by Jim ...


Matthew Shipp: Not Bound

Read "Not Bound" reviewed by Don Phipps

On Not Bound, pianist extraordinaire Matthew Shipp and his top-drawer rhythm section of Michael Bisio on bass and Whit Dickey on drums is joined by multi-instrumentalist Steve Carter in an exceptional tour de force of spontaneous music within a compositional framework.

Each of the five tracks offers unique and exciting lyricism. “Soul Secrets" begins ...