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Article: Album Review

Andrea Grossi Blend 3 + Beatrice Arrigoni: Songs And Poems

Read "Songs And Poems" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Sometimes a great athlete's performance is described as “poetry in motion." If we apply that phrase to this Andrea Grossi Blend 3 release, we might say it is poetry in emotion. The bassist composed a musical score to accompany three poems by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), another four from E.E. Cummings (1894-1962), and one by himself. The ...

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Article: Album Review

John Yao: Off-Kilter

Read "Off-Kilter" reviewed by Mark Corroto


In all great ensemble recordings one pays no attention to the compositions and arrangements. The music just seems to dance without inhibitions and flow over the ears. Correction: excellent ensemble performances compel one to recognize and appreciate the compositions and arrangements. With composer, arranger, trombonist John Yao both statements are true and both are in opposition ...

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Article: Album Review

Wadada Leo Smith: String Quartets Nos. 1-12

Read "String Quartets Nos. 1-12" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Wadada Leo Smith's seven CD boxset String Quartets Nos. 1-12 summons two words, epic and ineffable. The 5½ hours of music chronicle three of his four periods writing for string quartets from 1965 until 2019. The remaining work, “String Quartets Nos. 13, 14, and 15" inspired by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the US ...

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Article: Album Review

Kobe Van Cauwenherghe’s Ghost Trance Septet: Plays Anthony Braxton

Read "Plays Anthony Braxton" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Why is it that we remember the past but not the future? That is a question which theoretical physicists are continually fascinated by. Think about it for a moment, we rely on our flawed individual observations to make judgements about the world. A few hundred years ago, Earth was definitely flat and, by further inspection, the ...

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Article: Album Review

Vinny Golia / Bernard Santacruz / Cristiano Calcagnile: To Live and Breathe…

Read "To Live and Breathe…" reviewed by Mark Corroto


None of the three musicians heard on To Live and Breathe... had ever performed together before this set of live music recorded in Piacenza, Italy, on Sunday, February 5, 2017. Would they gel? Could they come together in the land of free improvised music? The most recognizable name here is American multi—instrumentalist Vinny Golia with a ...

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Article: Album Review

WeFreeStrings: Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage

Read "Love In The Form Of Sacred Outrage" reviewed by Mark Corroto


History does repeat itself, violist Melanie Dyer draws from the same well of inspiration as Max Roach's We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (Candid, 1961). Maybe better put, history reveals Martin Luther King's arc of the moral universe has only bent a few degrees in the past sixty years. With Love In The Form Of Sacred ...

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Article: Album Review

Sam Reider: Petrichor

Read "Petrichor" reviewed by Mark Corroto


There is something very George Gershwin-like about Petrichor from pianist Sam Reider. He recorded this solo session after moving back to the Bay area from New York where he studied at Columbia University and did a deep dive into American folk music. Like Gershwin, his playing is informed by not only jazz, but classical and popular ...

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Article: Album Review

Bernardo Sassetti Trio.: Culturgest 2007

Read "Culturgest 2007" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Many listeners were introduced to the pianist Bernardo Sassetti by the record label Clean Feed, which built its early reputation on his recordings. The releases Nocturno (2004), Indigo (2004), Ascent (2005), Unreal: Sidewalk Cartoon (2006), and Motion (2010) are true evergreens. His untimely accidental death in 2012 (like that of Esbjörn Svensson in 2008) was a ...

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Article: Album Review

Steve Hirsh: Sparks

Read "Sparks" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Listeners are inclined to classify music into categories. There's trad jazz, bebop, hard bop, post bop, avant-garde, free jazz, third stream, free improvisation, fusion, and the list goes on and on. Needless to say, pigeonholes are for the birds. One might agree after listening to Sparks by Eri Yamamoto, Chad Fowler, William Parker, and Steve Hirsh. ...

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Article: Album Review

Tyshawn Sorey Trio: Mesmerism

Read "Mesmerism" reviewed by Mark Corroto


To say that Mesmerism by the Tyshawn Sorey Trio is a departure from the drummer's regular programming is an understatement. Rather than perform his own compositions, he has assembled this trio to perform some jazz classics and standards. Sorey only held a brief rehearsal before recording this studio session. Typically, he prefers intricate arrangements and repeated ...


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