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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chad McCullough: Forward

Read "Forward" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Since his excellent recording debut under his own name, 2009's Dark Wood, Dark Water (Origin Records), trumpeter Chad McCullough has co-led a handful of forward-leaning discs with Belgian pianist Bram Weijters and one with Slovakian pianist Michal Vanoucek, in addition his work as sideman and his contributions to a few leaderless ensemble sets. Forward is just ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Trio Grande: Trio Grande

Read "Trio Grande" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

It's not easy watching all the divergent and elusive pieces come together on Trio Grande, saxophonist Will Vinson, guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer/percussionist Antonio Sánchez's first outing, but then that's not their desire at all. Their work is to challenge the expectations and inclinations that dull and lull us into complacency, into wholly unimaginative realms and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Charles McPherson: Jazz Dance Suites

Read "Jazz Dance Suites" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Alto saxophonist Charles McPherson has a reputation as one of the last true followers of the bebop tradition but this release shows that his talents stretch beyond that. The music consists of scores he wrote for the San Diego Ballet where his daughter Camille is a solo dancer. It encompasses two full suites and an excerpt ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Fahie Jazz Orchestra: URBAN(E)

Read "URBAN(E)" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's a rocky history surrounding jazz-classical hybrids. But, in truth, that has little to do with any potential incompatibility. Instead, it's usually misguided maneuvering and/or an excessive show of dominant traits from one side or the other that mars said unions. When done right a wedding of those worlds can truly birth brilliance. Just listen to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Svetlana Shmulyian: Night at the Movies

Read "Night at the Movies" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Svetlana Shmulyian is a gift that keeps on giving. The Russian-American emigre made her recording debut with Night at the Speakeasy (AO2 Records, 2016), where she infused the Great American Songbook's early canon with an Eastern essence of determination and intelligence. The singer followed that with her survey of film music Night at the Movies (Starr ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chien Chien Lu: The Path

Read "The Path" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

For vibraphonist Chien Chien Lu, the path to jazz wasn't direct. She rode a contemporary classical percussion track into her twenties in her native Taiwan, but, as it turned out, that drive was less about reaching a destination than it was about the act of discovery: A growing desire for musical freedom and adventure eventually set ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Leslie Beukelman: Golden Daffodil

Read "Golden Daffodil" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Leslie Beukelman is a singer from Chicago with an endearingly small and youthful lilt to her voice that sets the tone for the gentle, heartfelt feel of her music. On this release she performs a mixture of standards and original songs that shows how well she can handle both jazz and soft rock singing.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Miki Yamanaka: Human Dust Suite

Read "Human Dust Suite" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Becoming increasingly known for her light, expressive touch, her solidly crafted, mainstream approach, and residencies at New York clubs like Smalls and Mezzrow, Kobe-born, New York-based pianist Miki Yamanaka brings a decisively more leavened gravity and a growing harmonic interest and prowess on vibes to Human Dust Suite, a seasoned follow-up to her widely recognized debut ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tomoko Omura: Branches Vol. 1

Read "Branches Vol. 1" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

With Branches Vol. 1, award-winning violinist Tomoro Omura dives deep into exploring textures and melodic invention drawn from Japanese folklore. This effort is a contemporized display which validates Omura's vast instrumental abilities and also channels Japanese folklore as a launch-point for her superior composition skills. The recording is seductive, deeply emotional and meditative, and, simultaneously, elegantly ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tomoko Omura: Branches Vol. 1

Read "Branches Vol. 1" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

If, as you start to yield willingly to the sumptuous, hypnotic Branches, Vol. 1, you should need to walk away and attend to other home/bunker business, try to keep at least one ear on the music. From any point in any room you might hear a gypsy laugh, a lover cry, a Celtic reel. A marvelous ...


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