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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Simon Moullier: Spirit Song

Read "Spirit Song" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Simon Moullier sounds like a pretty old soul for someone only releasing his debut. At the same time, even more impressively, it is a relentlessly playful one, with an equal love for the old and new. One might think an instrument as established as the vibraphone only has so much potential to be taken to new ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Derek Brown and The Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra: All Figured Out

Read "All Figured Out" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Whatever you imagine when you think of big bands, it's nothing quite like this. While Derek Brown can ably channel the snappy spirit of golden-age jazz--and certainly does here, with happy hard-swinging results--his spirit in composing and bandleading could not be more thoroughly modern. The same can be said of his approach to his instrument, as ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mulo Francel: Crossing Life Lines

Read "Crossing Life Lines" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Mulo Francel clearly believes in life imitating art. The endlessly versatile saxophonist is happy to demonstrate here how music reflects the wider world, but more importantly, Crossing Life Lines offers a determined reminder of how it can go both ways. The concept is simple yet expansive: while touring through parts of Europe that had been in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lafayette Gilchrist: Now

Read "Now" reviewed by Geno Thackara

In some alternate world somewhere, Lafayette Gilchrist is a great modern American novelist, spinning real-life stories that vividly evoke the spirit of the times. In our world, he ended up as a comparable spirit doing the same thing in the music realm instead. His piano playing nonetheless criss-crosses the span of jazz, blues, funk, gospel, ragtime, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Maria Baptist and Jan von Klewitz: Facing Duality

Read "Facing Duality" reviewed by Geno Thackara

In a way it seems out of nowhere, and in a way it was a long time coming. While Maria Baptist has ranged from solo to trio to big band and more, throughout her career at the piano, Jan von Klewitz's saxophone has been a more steady presence beside her than than most. He came on ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ronny Wiesauer: All Yours

Read "All Yours" reviewed by Geno Thackara

If Ronny Wiesauer sounds lonesome and thoughtful on his latest solo outing, that's not entirely a new thing. He was eloquently inhabiting that mood when he stepped out with his first solo recording Monologues (recordJet, 2019) before the subsequent pandemic had forced anyone into isolation. True enough, his guitar style has had no shortage of grace ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kadi Vija Key Project: Roaming in the Contemporary Society to Make Peace With It

Read "Roaming in the Contemporary Society to Make Peace With It" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Kadi Vija's voice often feels like some exotic Asian string instrument, particularly the kind with a resonant droning tone that flows and bends in the hands of an expert player. She uses her natural instrument in much the same way, almost always eschewing actual words for a nuanced vocalese that is every bit as expressive. The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Dan Waldman: Sources & Angles

Read "Sources & Angles" reviewed by Geno Thackara

After a couple decades as a busy working player, a fellow certainly should have plenty of angles to play, not to mention myriad sources to draw on in a milieu as exciting as the jazz-fusion tradition. This would explain why Dan Waldman's debut doesn't sound like a debut. He knows his stuff; he couldn't have lasted ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Endless Field: Alive in the Wilderness

Read "Alive in the Wilderness" reviewed by Geno Thackara

It would have been simple enough just to evoke the feel and mood of various nature spots, but Endless Field--Ike Sturm and Jesse Lewis--would rather show us that there's nothing like being there. Alive in the Wilderness was recorded in precisely that way, in a series of places through the desert of southwestern Utah, with all ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Billie Davies: Whadeva (Live at Dangerous Art Studios February 13, 2020)

Read "Whadeva (Live at Dangerous Art Studios February 13, 2020)" reviewed by Geno Thackara

When you think of the music of jny: New Orleans, chances are you're not imagining anything like Whadeva--semi-avant-garde improvisation with light electronics is hardly the first association that comes to anyone's mind. Nonetheless the Big Easy's personality is still clear through this freewheeling EP, which was knocked out in a Ninth Ward studio in one free-spirited ...


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