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Article: Multiple Reviews

Solo Pianists from Japan

Read "Solo Pianists from Japan" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


These are two recent solo piano releases from Japanese players. One is the latest dispatch from a prolific musician. The other is a farewell statement from a deceased artist. Satoko Fujii Hazuki Libra 2021 Satoko Fujii has been amazingly prolific in the last few years, releasing a ...

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Article: Album Review

Masabumi Kikuchi: Hanamichi The Final Studio Recording

Read "Hanamichi  The Final Studio Recording" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


Masabumi Kikuchi is not the kind of jazz pianist who just strikes the keys to produce a sound. He has a Zen-like approach to the instrument by making it an extension of himself, and thus both constructs and hears the music produced as a different form factor. There are and were other contemporary pianists such as ...

3

Article: Album Review

Natsuki Tamura / Satoko Fujii: Keshin

Read "Keshin" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


The Covid-19 virus tightened its grip on the world in 2020, bringing the old “one door closes, another one opens" trope to mind. The door into touring, to presenting music in live venues, slammed shut. But the extra time afforded by the lack of live music opportunities let the recording studio doors swing wide open--especially in ...

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Article: Album Review

Miguel Zenón: Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman

Read "Law Years: The Music of Ornette Coleman" reviewed by John Chacona


How do you hear Ornette Coleman's music? As an unlikely but logical extension of bebop vocabulary? As “free" chaos untethered from harmony? As a tributary of the great stream of Texas saxophonists? As jazz's purest melodism? The music of Coleman, who would have turned 91 years on March 9 2021, was all of those ...

2

Article: Album Review

Benoit Delbecq: The Weight of Light

Read "The Weight of Light" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


The concept of light having weight may seem unusual but in listening to this solo set by pianist Benoit Delbecq, the idea starts to make sense. His style of playing mixes feathery improvisations with clanking rhythms that bring a feeling of mass and density to his work. Delbecq uses a lot of prepared piano ...

2

Article: Album Review

Jazz Worms: Squirmin'

Read "Squirmin'" reviewed by Pierre Giroux


There is something to be said for playing the long game. If a group is willing to wait for over thirty years between the issuance of albums, then clearly there is a bond among the participants that is remarkable. This clearly applies to the Jazz Worms. The group's debut release was Crawling Out (Van Buren) in ...

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Article: Album Review

Dan Blake: Da Fé

Read "Da Fé" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Saxophonist-composer Dan Blake's Da Fé ("of faith"), a meditation on our world in crisis, may have taken, as a starting point, the lyrics to Lou Reed's “Busload Of Faith" from the über-cynical New York (Sire, 1989) recording, “You can depend on cruelty / crudity of thought and sound / You can depend on the worst always ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Solo Statesmen

Read "Solo Statesmen" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Joachim Kühn Touch the Light ACT Music 2021 Centuries-old classical, rock from recent decades, jazz staples both classic and modern—to Joachim Kühn it's all just good music regardless of style, and it seems any material can be suited to the mood at hand when he's in a mind to play with ...

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Article: Album Review

Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito): Beyond

Read "Beyond" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Satoko Fujii has found a new sound. The prolific and always adventurous pianist-composer teams with vibraphonist Taiko Saito--tagging their duo Futari--for a beautifully surreal journey called Beyond. “Futari" means 'two people" in Japanese. The two people involved connected in the early 2000s, in Berlin, when Saito was a student at the Berlin University of ...

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Article: Album Review

Yoko Miwa Trio: Songs Of Joy

Read "Songs Of Joy" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


A steady gig must be a Godsend to any jazz musician. The chance to work on stage and on schedule can be the cornerstone to artistic development and a melding of the ensemble mind. For pianist Yoko Miwa, that steady job was, for a decade and a half, at Les Zygomates Wine Bar and Bistro in ...


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