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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Gerald Beckett: Mood

Read "Mood" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Flautist, bandleader and composer Gerald Beckett picks up on Mood where he left off from 2017's Oblivion (Summit), a stellar collection of songs by Miles Davis, Ellis Marsalis, Astor Piazzolla, Gerry Mulligan and other great jazz composers. Beckett wrote several new originals for his new Mood, including personal remembrances of hometown haunts such as “Club Raven" ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes

Read "US Military Service Bands: Histories & Heroes" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 US Air Force Airmen of Note The premier jazz ensemble of the US Air Force, the Airmen of Note is one of six musical ensembles that comprise The US Air Force Band. Created in 1950 to continue the tradition of Major Glenn Miller's Army Air Forces ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Our Favorite Things: Jazz Greetings from Military Service Bands

Read "Our Favorite Things: Jazz Greetings from Military Service Bands" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 US Army Blues: Swinging in the Holidays (2017) Swinging in the Holidays does so much more than swing. “Five-Sided Dreidel" sings in the traditional “Dreidel" melody until saxophones unravel it like unwrapping Christmas package ribbon and then hand what's left to the ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

A World of Piano Trios

Read "A World of Piano Trios" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

The piano trio format is alive and well, judging by this disparate collection of piano trio albums (mostly: a couple of them feature a guest vocalist on a track or two). They come from Israel (recorded in Berlin), Slovenia (recorded in New York City), Greece (recorded in Hungary), Boston, and Asheville, North Carolina. Traditionally the pianist ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Larry Koonse: New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4

Read "New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

This fourth volume in a series of recordings saluting and promoting the music of trumpeter Carl Saunders is every bit as sophisticated and attractive as its predecessors. Guitarist Larry Koonse leads the way through a dozen songs with supreme style and grace, comfortably placing this collection right next to earlier Saunders sets helmed by flutist Sam ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Aguanko: Pattern Recognition

Read "Pattern Recognition" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Aguanko's composer, conguero and bandleader Dr. Alberto Nacif first stepped into the worlds of Latin and Afro-Cuban percussion alongside Cuban conga/bongo master Armando Peraza, the pillar of percussion fire who blazed throughout the Santana band's first decade. On Pattern Recognition, Nacif teams with another legendary Cuban percussionist: José “Pepe" Espinosa, who jumps in on timbales, guiro ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lonnie McFadden: Live at Green Lady Lounge

Read "Live at Green Lady Lounge" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

In his own words, tap dancer, composer, trumpeter, vocalist, and bandleader Lonnie McFadden is, “an unapologetic Kansas City jazz guy." He may be a classic “song and dance man" type of entertainer, but Live at Green Lady Lounge demonstrates that he is also more than that. Lonnie McFadden was born and raised in Kansas ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Aguankó: Pattern Recognition

Read "Pattern Recognition" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

If the music of Aguankó is any indication, Latin jazz is in good shape in Southeastern Michigan. Conguero/composer Alberto Nacif leads a crack band, most of them from the metro Detroit area. Their previous album, Latin Jazz Christmas in Havana (Self Produced, 2015), presented creative arrangements of a variety of holiday standards, a delightful standout in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Craig Fraedrich: Out of the Blues

Read "Out of the Blues" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Out of the Blues, featuring Craig Fraedrich on trumpet and flugelhorn with The Jazz Trumpet Ensemble, would have sounded great in the sweltering hard-bop landscape that Cannonball Adderley, The Jazz Messengers led by Art Blakey, Horace Silver and other jazz legends began to explore in the late 1950s. Fraedrich has been featured trumpet soloist ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The U.S. Army Blues: Swinging In The Holidays

Read "Swinging In The Holidays" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Many a Christmas album plays the role of aural security blanket, serving up gently nostalgic sentiments to soothe the common man. This isn't one of them. The U.S. Army Blues--the big band outgrowth/offshoot of The United States Army Band “Pershing's Own"--ushers in the holiday season with an exciting set that's more well-oiled romp than relaxing balm. ...


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