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Article: Album Review

Dom Minasi: The Vampire's Revenge

Read "The Vampire's Revenge" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

Dom Minasi's The Vampire's Revenge is not just a record, it's an event. 22 of New York's craftiest improvisers, scattered over groupings varying in size from two to thirteen musicians, perform ten of Minasi's adventurous and well-wrought compositions. Sometimes, as on “The Seduction" a short, returning motif alternates with free improv sections. More often, improvised and ...


Article: Album Review

Anders Nilsson's Aorta: Janus

Read "Janus" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

The late and lamented Derek Bailey has suggested that due to the current state of jazz--"a comfortable reminder of the good old days was one of his more sympathetic characterizations--a complete separation of jazz and improvised music is in effect. Aorta's sophomore effort, Janus, makes a good case for the validity of Bailey's point. The Swedish ...


Article: Album Review

Paul Motian: I Have The Room Above Her

Read "I Have The Room Above Her" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

Supposedly you can't argue about taste. But sometimes an icon of exquisite taste simply presents itself, inescapable and undeniable like an early sunrise on a clear winter day. Such is the case with I Have the Room Above Her , the new album by the Paul Motian Trio. So why is that? Because ...


Article: Album Review

Dudek/Niebergall/Vesala: Open

Read "Open" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

As part of its Unheard Music Series, Atavistic has reissued Open , a free improv recording from 1977 made in Berlin by European improvisers Gerd Dudek (reeds), Bushi Niebergall (bass) and Edward Vesala (drums). This is a first-time-on-CD reissue, with no hope of a reunion: Niebergall, a mainstay on the Euro-scene of the seventies, seems to ...


Article: Album Review

Fast 'n' Bulbous: Pork Chop Blue Around The Rind

Read "Pork Chop Blue Around The Rind" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

Once, in a salon in the 19th Century, several ladies reportedly fainted when Robert Schumann had the nerve to end one of his piano pieces on a dominant chord. Since then, we the world, our senses bombarded non-stop and ubiquitously, have toughened up considerably to the point of almost total indifference. So we should be grateful ...


Article: Album Review

Rez Abbasi: Snake Charmer

Read "Snake Charmer" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

It probably happened to a lot of us. Aspiring to become the next Vincent van Gogh, we once picked up a paintbrush and enthusiastically started mixing colors, only to find out that we ended up with the same drab brown no matter how vibrant the original hues. In music, too, throwing together styles and cultures just ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Roger Davidson: Amor por el Tango & Rodgers in Rio

Read "Roger Davidson: Amor por el Tango & Rodgers in Rio" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

The Tango Group Amor por el Tango Soundbrush 2004 Roger Davidson is a classically trained pianist and composer with a sizable list of orchestral and choral works under his belt. He seems to have an endearing love for an underappreciated workhorse like the oebo, which betrays a real orchestrator's mind. ...


Article: Album Review

Pete Zimmer Quintet: Common Man

Read "Common Man" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

Common Man is a crafty collection of mostly originals by drummer and session leader Pete Zimmer, strictly within a Fifties bop idiom with strokes of modal playing. This is a record made by mainstream sidemen who love to blow, pure and simple. Zimmer and his pals obviously can play, and they have a nose for patching ...


Article: Album Review

Joan Stiles: Love Call

Read "Love Call" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

A genre not too often reiterated: songbook rephrasings with a tightly arranged ensemble in various appearances. Although pianist and arranger Joan Stiles is by all means a fine and thoughtful player, it is in the underrated art of writing and conducting horn charts for small ensembles, that Love Call really shines. She makes ...


Article: Album Review

Ravish Momin's Trio Tarana: Climbing the Banyan Tree

Read "Climbing the Banyan Tree" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

Drummer-led albums can be somewhat pale affairs. After all, the ability to swing hard and play various grooves does in itself not necessarily suffice to create well-rounded, highly personal pieces of music. Climbing the Banyan Tree, though, is different. It is all about melody, the central element in bandleader Momin's approach to drums. ...


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