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Article: Album Review

Blue Moods: Swing & Soul

Read "Swing & Soul" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Swing & Soul is the second in a series of recordings by Blue Moods, one of the projects initiated by Posi-Tone Records producer Marc Free to attract new listeners to jazz. The release showcases a collection of compositions by pianist Duke Pearson, an underrecognized figure who worked for Blue Note as an A&R man, arranger, and ...


Article: Book Review

Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer

Read "Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Pepper Adams: Saxophone Trailblazer Gary Carner 240 ISBN: #9781438494357 Excelsior Editions2023 Baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams was essential to this reviewer's formative years as a jazz enthusiast. During the 1970s, in Storrs, Connecticut, New York City, northern New Jersey, and Kansas City, Missouri, I had many opportunities to witness ...


Article: Album Review

Willie Morris: Conversation Starter

Read "Conversation Starter" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

The story is old, predictable and often exasperating. A virtually unknown jazz musician distinguishes himself or herself as part of the supporting cast on a handful of recordings. And then begins the wait to see if any label will offer the young, deserving player a shot in the driver's seat. Early this year, ...


Article: Book Review

Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life In Music

Read "Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life In Music" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life In Music Henry Threadgill and Brent Hayes Edwards403 pagesISBN: #9781524749071Alfred A. Knopf 2023 Describing Easily Slip Into Another World: A Life In Music as an autobiography of a jazz musician misses the mark by a wide margin. Better to say ...


Article: Album Review

Mike Melito: To Swing Is The Thing

Read "To Swing Is The Thing" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

A sense of discovery, exhilaration, and depth are not qualities often induced by recent jazz recordings that showcase some of the once innovative, now commonplace styles from the mid-to-late twentieth century. There is no shortage of less-than-stellar releases that land squarely inside the bop/hard bop continuum. One notable exception to the abundance of mere competence is ...


Article: Album Review

Altin Sencalar: In Good Standing

Read "In Good Standing" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

In many ways, In Good Standing is a jazz aficionado's dream. Trombonist, composer, and arranger Altin Sencalar's inaugural disc as a leader for Posi-Tone encourages granular, analytical consideration. It is worthwhile to pause and think about the details of inspired performances, ponder the efficacy of Sencalar's original compositions and interpretations of gems penned by jazz giants, ...


Article: Album Review

Josh Lawrence: And That Too

Read "And That Too" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Less than ten seconds into “Grit," the opening track of Josh Lawrence's latest chapter as a leader for Posi-Tone Records, the trumpeter uncorks a jaw-dropping solo. Set in a brisk, no-nonsense tempo, it does not so much eclipse the music that follows as it sets the tone for the record by declaring that And That Too ...


Article: Album Review

Diego Rivera: Love & Peace

Read "Love & Peace" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

While some of its roots lie in jazz practices of the mid-to-late twentieth century, Diego Rivera's Love & Peace brushes aside the expectations and comparisons which often accompany newly-recorded records that bear a resemblance to sounds from the past. The tenor and soprano saxophonist assembled a cast of players who frequently appear on ...


Article: Album Review

Something Blue: Personal Preference

Read "Personal Preference" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Marc Free produced the second edition of Something Blue to encourage “a wider audience of new listeners" to jazz by presenting “a focused program of concise performances to provide maximum enjoyment." These goals are congruent with Free's trust in his artists. The eleven tracks of Personal Preference do not smack of compromise or a nebulous artistic ...


Article: Album Review

Dmitry Baevsky: Kids' Time

Read "Kids' Time" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Dmitry Baevsky is a jazzman in his middle years, a period when many players consolidate youthful influences and put their stamp on the rarefied practices of the mid- to-late 20th century. The alto saxophonist has recorded for several labels, and travels widely as a leader and sideman; to his credit, he continues to give the impression ...


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