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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lakecia Benjamin: Pursuance: The Coltranes

Read "Pursuance: The Coltranes" reviewed by Jerome Wilson

Over the years, there have been many recorded tributes to John Coltrane but saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin takes the concept farther by paying homage to the work of both John and his wife, Alice Coltrane. Benjamin plays their compositions in a wide range of settings with a large cast of musicians, including a couple who actually worked ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Laila Biali: Out Of Dust

Read "Out Of Dust" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's no boxing Laila Biali in. A sharp-minded songwriter, respected pianist and celebrated vocalist who straddles jazz and pop with unusual ease and strength of vision, Biali is truly beyond category. Possessing clear eyes, a perceptive mien and a sharpshooters's gifts in regard to emotional aim, she often expresses more in a single breath than others ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Andy Milne: The reMission

Read "The reMission" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Ever hear a disc and wonder why the deep-seated beauty of some players' music escapes your radar? Juno Award-winning pianist and composer Andy Milne's The reMission, a challenging, tough, terse and ultimately triumphant recording, is one of those. One of those discs that, after several uninterrupted listens, has one digging into the discography scrambling to catch ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rachel Therrien: Vena

Read "Vena" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

A hot organ intro accompanies the simple, fifty-two second, folk-dance breeze of “Folks Jam" before sweeping you into the grander, ballroom dance that is “V for Vena." It's an alluring intro to trumpeter/flugelhornist Rachel Therrien's fifth album as a leader. You quickly hear the beauty of Therrien's playing: there's no need to nerdily testify ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thana Alexa: ONA

Read "ONA" reviewed by Doug Collette

A departure from Thana Alexa's first album Ode to Heroes (Harmonia Mundi/Jazz Village, 2015), ONA is also rooted in jazz, but it showcases Alexa's use of her voice as both a lyrical and experimental instrument. Commencing immediately on the title tune, this mostly original material features arrangements in various combinations of atmospheric, electronic soundscapes and exotic ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lakecia Benjamin: Pursuance: The Coltranes

Read "Pursuance: The Coltranes" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Maybe it's the nuances she's picked up sharing stages with Rashied Ali, Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys, or a deep intuition not only into jazz, but also into James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone. Perhaps it's her Washington Heights sidewalk sense that, no matter the game, you play and play alike. Or that you ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Aubrey Johnson: Unraveled

Read "Unraveled" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Serving as a statement of elucidation, exploration and emotional reasoning, Unraveled lays bare a unique soul while presenting a clear-headed means of disentangling complex artistic threads. It's an album that's as sophisticated as it is accessible and as personal as it is universal in its line(s) of thought. In short, it's a debut destined to stand ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Thana Alexa: ONA

Read "ONA" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Thana Alexa's voice contains a world of sound, and that is without even mentioning the globe-spanning musical trappings which surround it. Hearing her is like watching a thunderstorm or maybe a wild hawk in flight. She doesn't just sing but uses her voice as an expressive precision instrument, in much the same way all the tones ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Peninsula

Read "Peninsula" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

You enter the music of Chicago bassist/composer Clark Sommers with wary expectations: In its open-ness anything can happen. Dark perambulations pop against lighter propulsions. Dialogues take on thesis, equation and whimsy. Discourse holds its own parlance, gives definition, then allows for civil caucus. Because Ba(sh), a trio defined only by the elementary concept that 1+1+1=3, converse ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

JD Walter: Dressed in a Song

Read "Dressed in a Song" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

JD Walter is a consummate vocalist who has devoted himself over many years to evolving a unique style that is nevertheless ensconced in the jazz tradition. The public relations sheet for this new CD states that “this is his first release since recovering from a life-threatening heart condition and surgeries on his heart and vocal cords." ...


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