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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Alex Levin Trio: A Sunday Kind of Love

Read "A Sunday Kind of Love" reviewed by Don Phipps

There is a dinner jazz quality to A Sunday Kind of Love by the Alex Levin Trio. And even though there is no pretense of art here, the infectious happiness of the album would certainly destress anyone who has had a rough day. Pianist Levin composed five of the ten numbers on the album, and he ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Simon Vincent's The Occasional Trio: Live In Berlin

Read "Live In Berlin" reviewed by Don Phipps

Released on his own Vision Of Sound label, pianist and composer Simon Vincent's Live in Berlin is a collection of live recordings from two shows in 2018 and 2019 at the Schlot Jazz Club, Berlin, Germany. In the liner notes, Vincent acknowledges the risks of live performance recordings, but at the same time, he states in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Masa Ishikawa: Dialogue

Read "Dialogue" reviewed by Don Phipps

The happy set of ten originals Masa Ishikawa composed for his album Dialogue suggests a budding talent. A visiting professor of jazz at the University of Iowa, Ishikawa, along with his bandmates, demonstrates a precise and light touch, where bluesy readings have just the right sense of playfulness. Born in Fukushima, Japan, Ishikawa teams ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Abercrombie and Don Thompson: Yesterdays

Read "Yesterdays" reviewed by Don Phipps

The late John Abercrombie's outstanding and extensive recorded legacy includes two duet albums with fellow guitarist Ralph Towner, Sargasso Sea (ECM 2008) and Five Years Later (ECM, 2014), four Gateway trio albums (with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Jack DeJohnette), and three Baseline Trio albums (with bassist Hein Van de Geyn and drummer Joe LaBarbera).

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tumble: Waves

Read "Waves" reviewed by Don Phipps

One can certainly appreciate the effort made by the members of Tumble to carve out a niche on Wave in the expanding and ever-changing world of jazz music. That said, however, there is a bit of disappointment. It's not that the group can be faulted for poor musicianship, but the readings in general are uninspired and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lorenzo Feliciati & Michele Rabbia: Antikythera

Read "Antikythera" reviewed by Don Phipps

Light, bouncy, funky, mysterious, cosmopolitan, chill, ambient—the music on Antikythera, an album by Lorenzo Feliciati and Michele Rabbia is all of these things. The album has an urban vibe, albeit a slow-motion one , with none of the jarring effects and noise that often accompany city living. Beyond handling the bass duties, Feliciati plays ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Zorn: Nove Cantici per Francesco d'Assisi

Read "Nove Cantici per Francesco d'Assisi" reviewed by Don Phipps

Those who admire Spanish guitar music will greatly appreciate the beautiful airy set of compositions on Nove cantici per Francesco D'Assisi by John Zorn. Zorn, best known for his challenging, cerebral and complex avant-garde offerings, conjures up a set of pastoral tunes composed as part of a residency at New York's Frick Museum. The tunes feature ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Anthony Braxton: Quartet (New Haven) 2014

Read "Quartet (New Haven) 2014" reviewed by Don Phipps

The shifting moods of Anthony Braxton's Quartet (New Haven) 2014 probably have to do with the song dedications. Each number reflects a famous and important popular musician and composer—-Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, James Brown and Merle Haggard. These four musicians would most certainly provide a strange but intoxicating mix if played at a party. Yet Hendrix's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ingrid Laubrock + Aki Takase: Kasumi

Read "Kasumi" reviewed by Don Phipps

Looking into a mirror, one can see a reflection. Holding a mirror up to a mirror, one can see not only one reflection but a series of reflections. Kasumi, a chamber-jazz album from pianist Aki Takase and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, is a lot like that--the compositions form a series of reflections, in this case highlighted by ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Yakir Arbib: My Name Is Yakir

Read "My Name Is Yakir" reviewed by Don Phipps

Clever and entertaining, My Name is Yakir offers a diverse potpourri of jazz standards and original compositions performed by pianist Yakir Arbib. The music contrasts standards from the Dixieland, swing, bebop and hard bop eras with five originals that mix classical idioms with loose jazz structures. Arbib certainly has talent and his technical dexterity permits him ...


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