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Article: Album Review

Teri Parker: Shaping the Invisible

Read "Shaping the Invisible" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Here is how to take an artistic vision to the next level: Find a room with a lock on the door. Step inside. Engage the lock. Examine the work of those who came before you. Then begin the process of your own creativity. This worked for pianist/composer Parker--so says her sophomore recording, Shaping The ...


Article: Album Review

Antonio Flinta: Peripheral Songs

Read "Peripheral Songs" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

In July 2021 Chilean-born, Italian-based pianist & composer Antonio Flinta went into a recording studio near Florence to record his first solo piano album. Spontaneity and freshness of expression were the goals. In two hours he had twenty pieces--improvisations, covers and originals. The initial result of this effort was Secrets of a Kiri Tree (Self Produced, ...


Article: Album Review

Charu Suri: Rags & Ragas

Read "Rags & Ragas" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

To paraphrase an old saying: You can take the girl (geographically) away from the raga, but you cannot take the raga away from the girl... Pianist Chatu Suri was born in India, where the raga holds sway, and she listened to the ragas her father played on the radio. But she left her homeland ...


Article: Album Review

Dan Pitt Trio: Stages

Read "Stages" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Shades of Link Ray's “Rumble," from 1958. Shades of Dick Dale's 1963 hit “Miserlou." Shades of every guitar/bass/drum band that has ever set up in someone's garage in an attempt to work on their hard rock and roll chops, trying to become the next heavy metal band to hit the charts. Canadian guitarist Dan ...


Article: Album Review

Maddie Vogler: While We Have Time

Read "While We Have Time" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

In the introduction to alto saxophonist Maddie Vogler's debut recording, While We Have Time, are two striking images. The first is the cover shot, a pair of venerable unmatched hands, depicting those of the artist's immigrant grandmothers, beautifully and simply adorned. The second image is the inside photo of a vibrant young woman, an alto saxophone ...


Article: Album Review

Henry Hey: Trio: Ri-Metos

Read "Trio: Ri-Metos" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Henry Hey's name may be unfamiliar to some--he is more of a collaborator than a headline hog--but a good percentage of us have heard his music. He played piano for Rod Stewart during the singer's Great American Songbook phase, and he contributed to David Bowie's 2013 comeback album, The Next Day (Columbia Records), served as musical ...


Article: Album Review

Bellbird: Root In Tandem

Read "Root In Tandem" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Give Canada's Bellbird credit as they come right out of the gate with a chip-on-the-shoulders confidence. Their debut, Root In Tandem, looks like one of those late-50s/early-60s, time-themed Dave Brubeck albums. Credit the gorgeous abstract cover painting. The cover art, though, is where the Brubeck comparison ends. Bellbird is a chordless quartet, with Claire Devlin and ...


Article: Album Review

Michael Ragonese: Stracci

Read "Stracci" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Pianist Michael Ragonese is called Rags, a nickname given to him in childhood that stuck. His sophomore effort is entitled Stracci which means rags in Italian--a more musical sound than its English equivalent. It is a piano trio outing, a top-notch one. Ragonese's musical backstory is a common one. He began in classical studies ...


Article: Album Review

Matt Otto: Umbra

Read "Umbra" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

This music--nine Matt Otto originals--has the feeling of shadowy sounds. Shapes without defined borders emerge. On the opener, “Little Things," the core trio--the leader plus bassist Jeff Harshbarger and drummer John Kizilarmut--are joined by Fender Rhodes player Matt Villinger and guitarist Alex Frank. The electronic resonance gives the sound an alluring and shadowy blur, as does ...


Article: Album Review

Chad McCullough: The Charm of Impossibilities

Read "The Charm of Impossibilities" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Trumpeter Chad McCullough encountered classical composer Olivier Messiaen's “Quator pour la fin du temps" back in the early days of his jazz career. That music was written in 1940 by Messiaen to be played by a chamber ensemble consisting of the composer's fellow inmates in a German prison camp. McCullough's The Charm Of Impossibilities ...


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