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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Nocturnal Four: Light In The World

Read "Light In The World" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

A band of the night embraces light. It's an equipoise in interests that propels this outing to great depths and heights. Croatian guitarist Ratko Zjaca, long a proponent for cross-cultural exchange in music, uses this dark yet illuminating platform to sow the seeds of accord with a band of brothers from different motherlands. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Linda Sikhakhane: An Open Dialogue

Read "An Open Dialogue" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When tenor saxophonist Linda Sikhakhane released Two Sides, One Mirror (Skay Music, 2017), it was a statement of arrival, marking his ascendancy within the jazz ranks in his native South Africa, and departure, signaling a move to the United States that would result in studies with tenor saxophonist Billy Harper, trumpeter Charles Tolliver, bassist Reggie Workman ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra: URBAN(E)

Read "URBAN(E)" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's a rocky history surrounding jazz-classical hybrids. But, in truth, that has little to do with any potential incompatibility. Instead, it's usually misguided maneuvering and/or an excessive show of dominant traits from one side or the other that mars said unions. When done right a wedding of those worlds can truly birth brilliance. Just listen to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tom Barton: Wherever I Will Be

Read "Wherever I Will Be" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Australian vocalist Tom Barton's “Wherever I Will Be," released as a standalone single in September of 2020, is, at its core, a meditation on life and loss. Extremely personal, revealing lyrics that recall “a beautiful and devastating conversation" that the singer had with his mother before her passing, it's a slow and somewhat intense offering that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Claire Daly: Rah! Rah!

Read "Rah! Rah!" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Ask a casual fan about Rahsaan Roland Kirk's impact and you're likely to receive a remark about multi-horn madness—a man wielding three at once, brazenly blowing the walls down. But Kirk, of course, was so much more than that enduring image. His writing, performing, spirit and humanity spoke to the ages, reaching out and grabbing ahold ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Simon Moullier: Spirit Song

Read "Spirit Song" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Simon Moullier conjures elemental tides on this remarkably fluid and ear-catching debut. The French vibraphonist--a Berklee College of Music and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz alumnus, now living in Brooklyn--offers a glowing attack, sweeping suggestions, worldly modernism and otherworldly light in these pieces recorded over the span of several sessions between 2017 and 2020.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alfredo Balcacer: 9 Paredes

Read "9 Paredes" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

If there's anything that can bind the artistic community in 2020, it's an understanding of isolation's impact. For guitarist Alfredo Balcacer, who was quarantining in his home city of Santo Domingo when COVID-19 closed everybody in, a sense of disorder and frustration, leavened by solace and acceptance, quickly became the norm. But rather than sit by ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chien Chien Lu: The Path

Read "The Path" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

For vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, the path to jazz wasn't direct. She rode a contemporary classical percussion track into her twenties in her native Taiwan, but, as it turned out, that drive was less about reaching a destination than it was about the act of discovery: A growing desire for musical freedom and adventure eventually set ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kenny Washington: What's The Hurry

Read "What's The Hurry" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Despite what many may think, there's no prescribed timeline for firsts and career milestones. Some artists decide to initially take the reins to record when they're 18. Others only get around to doing it when they're 80. The bottom line: The right time is the right time, and nobody should worry about getting there before they're ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Maria Schneider: On Worlds Diverged

Read "Maria Schneider: On Worlds Diverged" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

We stand today at an intersection between two realities. On one side there's digital darkness--an underbelly of networked netherworlds, profiteers building fortunes on the collective back of musicians, sinister forces posing as corporate protagonists--and on the other, pure light given over through nature's gifts, a kindness and humanity that grace daily existence, and the beauty and ...


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