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Article: Album Review

Vinson Valega: Biophilia

Read "Biophilia" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Vinson Valega is a devoted environmental and progressive activist who seems engaged with his craft on an aesthetic level but also, it seems, in a profoundly logical, moral way. The drummer's compositions sound significant, as if every note were saying something, down to the slightest tap of the drumstick. This is not to say his records ...


Article: Album Review

Fat Cat Big Band: Face

Read "Face" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Face is an album with layers. Each of the ten tracks offers a nuanced explication of anticipation, heartbreak and spirituality. The glistening veneer of giddiness and celebration is attractive and reviving. But if you listen closely, there's also yearning and loneliness and a grasping for spiritual fulfillment. The entire album is soulful in the way some ...


Article: Album Review

Antonio Ciacca: Rush Life

Read "Rush Life" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Antonio Ciacca Quintet's Rush Life is a welcome and valuable addition to the contemporary jazz catalogue, where it will rest easy, knowing its place. There are bits and pieces throughout the nine tracks that serve as hopeful reminders that the album could have been more provocative than it is. What it lacks is not skill, but ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Violin Twofer: Stefano Pastor & Mark Feldman

Read "Violin Twofer: Stefano Pastor & Mark Feldman" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Stefano Pastor Chants SLAM Productions2009 Mark FeldmanMusic for Violin AloneTzadik2009 The liner notes for Chants describe the record as being “a dialogue of Stefano Pastor with the other part of ...


Article: Album Review

Rez Abbasi: Things to Come

Read "Things to Come" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

It may be a new day in America but we're all still keenly interested in identity. This is a statement of sociopolitical reality, but it is also an observation of musical trend. In the liner notes for Things to Come, guitarist Rez Abbasi writes about recording music that “is neither jazz nor Indian; it has its ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Strickland Bros: In This Day & Idiosyncrasies

Read "Strickland Bros: In This Day & Idiosyncrasies" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

E.J. Strickland In This Day Strick Muzik 2009 Marcus Strickland Idiosyncrasies Strick Muzik 2009 Listening to a new record often demands a cost-benefit analysis from the listener. Will working hard ...


Article: Multiple Reviews

Urs Leimgruber: Lausanne & Love Letters for the President

Read "Urs Leimgruber: Lausanne & Love Letters for the President" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Urs Leimgruber; Thomas Lehn. Lausanne For 4 Ears Records 2009 Hans Koch; Urs Leimgruber; Omri Ziegele. Love Letters to the President Intakt Records 2009 It may be grossly reductive to ...


Article: Album Review

Toru Dodo: Do You Like Cappuccino?

Read "Do You Like Cappuccino?" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Listeners who look to a musician's collegiate trajectory for elucidation on his craft may find themselves at a loss, but Toru Dodo's biography gives us something to work with right away. Prior to studying at Berklee College of Music, Dodo attended Meiji University in Tokyo, where he got a degree in Economics. His intellectual preparation seems ...


Article: Album Review

George Colligan: Runaway

Read "Runaway" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

A George Colligan record is an audio guarantee of superior musicianship and his extensive resume proves why: he plays several instruments, has collaborated with an impressive roster of luminaries and dons different hats, not only that of a musician, but that of a bandleader and instructor at Juilliard. Runaway, his second Sunnyside ...


Article: Album Review

Fight The Big Bull: Dying Will Be Easy

Read "Dying Will Be Easy" reviewed by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Fight the Big Bull describes itself on MySpace as “champions of curiosity." This candid qualifier is doubly introspective because it denotes both the whimsy and the intellectual maturity of Dying Will Be Easy. The Richmond-based nonet, who played at New York City's Issue Project Room Aug. 6, 2008, is led by guitarist Matt White, who also ...


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