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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

DUCHESS: Live At Jazz Standard

Read "Live At Jazz Standard" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There are a fair number of vocal groups blending harmoniously and swinging through the jazz set today, but none are as charmingly sassy as DUCHESS. With two studio albums already under a collective belt—actually three, if you include an under-the-radar Christmas set—it only made sense for vocalists Amy Cervini, Hilary Gardner and Melissa Stylianou to finally ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Aubrey Johnson: Unraveled

Read "Unraveled" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Serving as a statement of elucidation, exploration and emotional reasoning, Unraveled lays bare a unique soul while presenting a clear-headed means of disentangling complex artistic threads. It's an album that's as sophisticated as it is accessible and as personal as it is universal in its line(s) of thought. In short, it's a debut destined to stand ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Erik Jekabson Sextet III: One Note At A Time

Read "One Note At A Time" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

By the time One Note At A Time's first two songs have finished, it's been made abundantly clear that trumpeter Erik Jekabson appreciates a groove as much as he values space. The opener—"Days of Haze"—provides an introductory shot of adrenaline in the form of a tight, funk-framed blues, and “Dusk," in contrast, looks to open vistas, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Wolfgang Muthspiel: Angular Blues

Read "Angular Blues" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel's fourth leader date for ECM Records--and his second trio outing for that storied imprint, following Driftwood (ECM Records, 2014)--is a marvel of ingenious interplay, musical sensitivity and absolute sincerity. Joining forces with drummer Brian Blade, a longtime band mate, and bassist Scott Colley, a playing partner from the '90s, Muthspiel delves into the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Benjamin Boone with the Ghana Jazz Collective: Joy

Read "Joy" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

When saxophonist Benjamin Boone took a sabbatical from his teaching position at California State University Fresno to travel to Ghana as a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, he envisioned a yearlong educational immersion in the music, arts and broader culture of the region. What he couldn't have imagined, which became reality, was connecting with a set of Accra-based ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Peter Slavov: Little Stories

Read "Little Stories" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

While these ten tracks recorded by bassist Peter Slavov's variable-sized outfit were all fleshed out in the studio between 2017 and 2019, this debut album actually covers a wider span of time. Collecting music penned over the past 20 years, and attaching attendant stories for background and bridging purposes, Slavov essentially looks back over his entire ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Idle Hands: Solid Moments

Read "Solid Moments" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Producer and Posi-Tone co-head Marc Free wears a lot of hats, including those of curator and cooperative chemist. Since 2018, Free has been piecing together various outfits and concepts, tipping his hat to touchstones, adding new slants to his label's rich catalog and engaging in outreach and audience development in the process. Not content to simply ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Peter Hum: Ordinary Heroes

Read "Ordinary Heroes" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The ideals of promise and hope, and the desire to create a better world and drive out the darkness, need not be fueled or forwarded by the extraordinary. As George Takei, the legendary actor-cum-activist once noted in referencing the individuals who provided succor during the horrors of the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II, it's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

John Bailey: Can You Imagine?

Read "Can You Imagine?" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The world loves a good “what if..." story, so why not explore the idea of Dizzy Gillespie as president? The famed trumpeter actually ran for the highest office in the land in 1964. And though the move was largely in jest, he didn't shy away from the issues of the day while campaigning. Sadly, many of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Andrea Brachfeld: Brazilian Whispers

Read "Brazilian Whispers" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

While Brazilian Whispers marks Andrea Brachfeld's first thorough exploration of the titular stream of sound, you'd never know it from the results. Teaming up with Bill O'Connell, her longtime pianist and sounding board, the veteran flutist, who's typically engaged in Afro-Cuban affairs or straight ahead suggestions, sounds like she's been playing this music all her life. ...


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