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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tomasz Dabrowski: Ninjazz

Read "Ninjazz" reviewed by Don Phipps

Dark and foreboding, with a slight touch of heat, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski's album Ninjazz offers up a selection of work that reminds one of his mentor, the late great Tomasz Stanko, with a bit of Enrico Rava, Kenny Wheeler, and Mark Isham thrown in for good measure.

Dabrowski is joined on this effort ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Kris Davis/Matt Mitchell/Aruán Ortiz/Matthew Shipp: New American Songbooks, Volume 2

Read "New American Songbooks, Volume 2" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Nate Wooley--as a Producer--equals his composer, improviser, and trumpeter alter ego. The editor-in-chief of the journal Sound American and distributor of music through the label of the same name, has issued a second edition of his forward thinking New American Songbook series. New American Songbooks, Volume 1, (Pleasure of the Text, 2017) was a cooperative trio ...

ARTICLE: UNDER THE RADAR

Women in Jazz, Part 1: Early Innovators

Read "Women in Jazz, Part 1: Early Innovators" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

"Lil Hardin [Armstrong]...often imagined herself standing...at the bottom of a ladder, holding it steady for Louis as he rose to stardom." (Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, 2012). “The all-female band is an anomaly in music, one that must constantly prove itself as a 'band,' and not just 'girls playing music together.'" (Mary Ann Clawson, 1999). Everything ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tomasz Dabrowski Ad Hoc: Ninjazz

Read "Ninjazz" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although he has built an impressive resume working with well-known avant-gardists like Evan Parker, Tyshawn Sorey, Kris Davis and Andrew Drury (with the latter two appearing on his 2014 release, Vermillion Tree ), Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dabrowski went in a different direction for his current project, Ninjazz. With the title a portmanteau of “Ninja" and “jazz," ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Michael Formanek Elusion Quartet: Time Like This

Read "Time Like This" reviewed by John Sharpe

Bassist Michael Formanek has become a major presence on the NYC scene over the last decade, both as a forward-looking bandleader and a sideman. His two small-group offerings, The Rub And Spare Change (2010) and Small Places (2012), both on ECM, were justly feted and lead to the acclaimed big-band set The Distance (2016) by his ...

ARTICLE: WHAT IS JAZZ?

Winter JazzFest's Weekend Marathon: A Survival Guide

Read "Winter JazzFest's Weekend Marathon: A Survival Guide" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

With each passing year, Winter JazzFest--New York's premiere jazz festival--has expanded the number of venues presenting an increasingly diverse array of musicians. There are several ways to approach a programme as dense and exciting as the 2019 edition of the two-day Marathon spanning January 11th and 12th. Thanks to an embarrassment of riches, festival goers face ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Tom Rainey: Float Upstream

Read "Float Upstream" reviewed by Stefano Merighi

Da queste parti, si sa, nutriamo profonda ammirazione per Tom Rainey, percussionista geniale sia nelle cornici convenzionali che nelle ampie libertà della post-avanguardia.

Il suo quintetto Obbligato da qualche tempo si occupa di affrontare gli standards da un punto di vista si potrebbe dire cool-free ---se ci si passa l'azzardata etichettatura --innervandoli di ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Ingrid Laubrock: Two Works For Orchestra With Soloists

Read "Two Works For Orchestra With Soloists" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Large ensemble recordings are just not attempted these days. That is unless one is blessed with Lincoln Center's budget or you happen to be Anthony Braxton or maybe Maria Schneider. Further, to assemble a large cast of 47 musicians plus two conductors for a recording that features written classical music, free improvisation conduction, and superstar soloists ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2018

Read "Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2018" reviewed by Troy Dostert

2018 was a terrific year for imaginative, well-executed recordings that cover the spectrum of instrumental configurations in creative jazz and freely improvised music. From Susana Santos Silva's mesmerizing solo trumpet to Ingrid Laubrock's formidable orchestra (and everything in between), the following choices are a cross-section of some of the best the year had to offer. Something ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Francisco Mela: Ancestros

Read "Ancestros" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

One of the many fine musicians coming out of Cuba, Francisco Mela is an accomplished drummer/percussionist and composer. On Ancestros, his debut on the vinyl-only subscription label Newvelle, he has contributed seven original compositions to a collection that includes covers from Andrew Hill and Paul Motian. The album name--and its title track--are appropriated from Mela's prior ...