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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Brandon Goldberg: Let's Play

Read "Let's Play" reviewed by Don Phipps

Can a 12-year old pianist offer up the emotional depth necessary to handle tunes like Duke Ellington's “In a Sentimental Mood," Matt Dennis's “Angel Eyes," or Thelonious Monk's “Well You Needn't?" The answer appears to be yes, and then some. Brandon Goldberg's exciting album, Let's Play, reveals that a young man can not only convey emotional ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Charlie Apicella: Groove Machine

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On Groove Machine, Charlie Apicalla & Iron City serves up a gumbo of styles that run from New Orleans blues and Chicago funk to Motown and New York bop. The combination makes for a “groovy" listening experience—road music that will keep the head nodding and the mind trucking. Apicella penned five of the eight numbers on ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Greg Burk: As A River

Read "As A River" reviewed by Don Phipps

Having studied with George Russell and Paul Bley, and performed with Kenny Wheeler, David Murray and Steve Swallow, there is no doubting Greg Burk's bona fides. And with As a River, Burk has fashioned a series of deeply-felt original compositions--15 in all--that would make his mentors proud.

Burk's compositions are edgy and serene, bluesy ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Bill McBirnie: The Silent Wish

Read "The Silent Wish" reviewed by Don Phipps

On this set of choice covers and one original, Bill McBirnie uses the flute to express dancing, happiness, blues, romance and melancholy. Sliding effortlessly along the keys of his instrument, McBirnie produces a wonderfully cool tone. Take his work on Ray Bryant's “Reflection" or Kenny Dorham's “Blue Bossa." There's a peppy action to it, like a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Empathy Project: Influences

Read "Influences" reviewed by Don Phipps

Influences, a breezy affair from Empathy Project, is like viewing fluffy white clouds while seated at a street side café on the South Bank of Paris or the beach in Rio. The music swirls and bounces gently in boppish fashion -a happy affair with an emphasis on romance.

Featuring soft but assured vocals from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Caterina Palazzi Sudoku Killer: Asperger

Read "Asperger" reviewed by Don Phipps

An album dedicated to villains in Disney films might be brushed off as novelty, but those that do would be mistaken. Rather than childhood fears, the tunes on Caternina Palazzi Sudoku Killer's album Asperger explore a dark and sinister side to being, like a non-stop view of a snarling Donald Trump barking insults from an 85-inch ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Christoph Irniger Pilgrim: Crosswinds

Read "Crosswinds" reviewed by Don Phipps

With Crosswinds, Christoph Irniger's quartet Pilgrim offers a scintillating trip into a musical subconscious --a dream state where one opens doors only to find more doors --a spiral staircase where the top is always just beyond reach. For the most part, the album consists of tunes that are both sparse yet engaging. And it is this ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Marilyn Mazur: Shamania

Read "Shamania" reviewed by Don Phipps

Marilyn Mazur's album Shamania is fascinating. Both impressionistic and abstract, it emphasizes wordless vocals and sounds while incorporating elements of global jazz and world music. The ten artists who play with Mazur are all women and hail from the Scandinavian avant-garde jazz scene.

Mazur's compositions are like kaleidoscopic postcards. The set begins with the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nate Wooley: Columbia Icefield

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Nate Wooley's Columbia Icefield begins with a dueling repetition of chords by bandmates Mary Halvorson and Susan Alcorn on “Lionel Trilling." The ambiguity generated by this back and forth is the perfect start to his album's shape-shifting music.

Wooley's trumpet is both poetic and piercing. There's a sense of longing in his tone and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dave Liebman, Adam Rudolph, Hamid Drake: Chi

Read "Chi" reviewed by Don Phipps

Recorded live at John Zorn's New York City experimental jazz club The Stone in May of 2018, the trio of saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Liebman and multi-instrumentalists/percussionists Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph use their album Chi to present amazing tone poems and dynamic musical explorations.

Liebman's full-throated saxophone voicings juxtapose with Drake and Rudolph's rolling ...