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Article: Journey into Jazz

Record Store Day Black Friday 2023: Jazz Releases

Read "Record Store Day Black Friday 2023: Jazz Releases" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

For many, Black Friday conjures up images of massive crowds battling each other to get their hands on marked down gift items at huge department stores. For record collectors, though, the scene is much less dramatic because Black Friday is one of two yearly Record Store Day drops. This is where limited run albums hit the ...


Article: Album Review

Jim Josselyn: Shape Shifter

Read "Shape Shifter" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Keith Richards once said if “you don't know the blues, there's no point in picking up the guitar." This is certainly true about rock, but it could just as easily apply to jazz. Many of the great jazz guitarists have roots in the blues, and Jim Josselyn is no exception. His album Shape Shifter offers a ...


Article: Album Review

James Robert Murphy: Diddle

Read "Diddle" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Some people are just naturally creative, and many of these artists express themselves through one particular medium. However, there are others whose talents cannot be confined to just one art form. James Robert Murphy is such a case. His knowledge and creative drive cross many different genres. As an author, he has published books ranging from ...


Article: Album Review

Eric Zolan: Calder's Universe

Read "Calder's Universe" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Musicians spend years practicing to become proficient. Technical ability is an important aspect of playing an instrument, but in order to really communicate a message, a musician needs to love the music as well. Guitarist Eric Zolan is obviously someone who has not only spent a great deal of time practicing but listening to music as ...


Article: Journey into Jazz

Record Store Day 2023 Jazz Releases

Read "Record Store Day 2023 Jazz Releases" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Record Store Day, which started in 2007, is a biannual event designed to promote independent record stores. Every Record Store Day drop features limited-edition vinyl releases in practically every genre of music. The releases, however, are offered on a limited basis, and they are available for one time only. As a result, collectors often wait in ...


Article: Album Review

Bonzo Squad: Pachyderm

Read "Pachyderm" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

The Chicago-based quartet Bonzo Squad describes their music as “comfort in chaos." While this description might give an impression of free-form experimentation, it is not the case. The chaos aspect of their sound comes from a unique mixture of structure and improvisation, and for these guys, the comfort definitely outweighs the chaos. With Pachyderm, the group ...


Article: Album Review

Branko Arnsek: Move Closer!

Read "Move Closer!" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Latin music has always been a significant component of jazz. Practically any jazz musician needs to play some form of Latin music, and Branko Arnsek is no exception. Born in Slovenia and raised in Germany, he has made a name as a bassist, composer and educator. He studied at the Swiss Jazz School in Bern where ...


Article: History of Jazz

Rhythm and Roots: The Influence of Jazz on Ska and Early Reggae

Read "Rhythm and Roots: The Influence of Jazz on Ska and Early Reggae" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

If any country could be identified solely by its music, Jamaica would probably be a prime example. Over the years, reggae music has become one of the most identifiable art forms in Jamaica, but this was not always the case. Reggae rose to prominence in the late sixties, and much of its roots are in American ...


Article: Album Review

Christopher Burnett: The Standards, Vol. 2 (Live at The Drum Room in Kansas City)

Read "The Standards, Vol. 2 (Live at The Drum Room in Kansas City)" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

During its heyday, The Drum Room in The Hotel President was one of Kansas City's most popular jazz venues. Performers such as Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra, and Benny Goodman all played there. The Drum Room closed during the late seventies but was brought back to life a few years later and, between 2006 and 2007, The ...


Article: Album Review

Petra van Nuis: Lonely Girl - I Remember Julie

Read "Lonely Girl - I Remember Julie" reviewed by Kyle Simpler

Julie London made a name for herself as an actress and a singer during the '50s and '60s. Today, however, her legacy as a singer overshadows her acting career. During her lifetime, she released around thirty albums, and several of the recordings still continue to influence jazz performers. Chicago-based singer Petra van Nuis is among these, ...


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