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ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark F. Turner's Best Releases Of 2017

Read "Mark F. Turner's Best Releases Of 2017" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

In a year filled with loss, uncertainty and numerous challenges, the following releases by these creative and talented artists repeatedly moved me while bringing something fresh to my ears. No matter what critics or doubters say, the music lives on and is as strong as ever; always colored by its diversity. Harriet Tubman ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Harriet Tubman: Araminta

Read "Araminta" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Named after the iconic American heroine: escaped slave, abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Ross circa 1822); the extraordinary New York based trio of guitarist Brandon Ross, bassist Melvin Gibbs and drummer JT Lewis have performed together for over 20 years yet have only released three prior recordings: I am a Man (Knitting Factory, 1998), ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Nicholas Payton: Afro-Caribbean Mixtape

Read "Afro-Caribbean Mixtape" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

In 2011 New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton set fire to social media with his outspoken views on the death of jazz, race and Black American music. The backdraft produced not only fiercely opposing views but also hate-mail directed towards Payton. While the debate continues on what is and what isn't jazz, there's never been a question ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Steve Khan: Backlog

Read "Backlog" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Steve Khan's love affair with Latin music germinated in the 1980's with his stellar Eyewitness recordings and continued to develop in a number of releases including 2011's Parting Shot and 2014's Subtext both on Tone Center Records. Backlog is third in this series and represents some of the esteemed jazz guitarist's finest work to date.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

LiveHuman: ScratchBop

Read "ScratchBop" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

DJ turntablism and jazz may seem like strange bed-fellows but have often found a creative bond in live events and recordings. For many years, musicians on both sides of the equation have blended instrumental performances with the skill of scratching vinyl / DJ mixing such as Herbie Hancock's Rockit (Columbia, 1983) and Chillin' in Batumi (Exitus, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Orrin Evans: #knowingishalfthebattle

Read "#knowingishalfthebattle" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Since the 1990s Philadelphia-based pianist Orrin Evans has carved out a revered career as a band leader, producer, composer, and first and foremost, one helluva jazz pianist. Recorded live at New York's Sear Sound's Studio, #knowingishalfthebattle is his third release on Smoke Sessions with an all-star lineup that includes two other well-known Philly natives, guitarists Kevin ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

James Brandon Lewis Trio: No Filter

Read "No Filter" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

James Brandon Lewis's authoritative horn is demonstrated in his cultural influenced releases --gospel spirituality in Divine Travels (Okeh, 2014) featuring bassist William Parker and drummer Gerald Cleaver; soulful lyricism and hip hop in Days of Freeman (Okeh, 2015) with heavies bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer Rudy Royston. He continues that exploration with a new trio in ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Mark F. Turner's Best Releases of 2016

Read "Mark F. Turner's Best Releases of 2016" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Another year of outstanding releases which not only unveiled new artists but also fresh material from those I've admired over many years. While the roots of jazz were formed during the music diaspora from Africa to America its branches are continually grafting and evolving--artistically, culturally, and geographically as musicians and composers find creative ways to express ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Raymond & Real Feels: Real Feels - Live Vol. 1

Read "Real Feels - Live Vol. 1" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

Trumpeter John Raymond's Real Feels trio with guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Colin Stranahan earned praise for the titular studio release earlier in 2016 with its fresh and modernist take on classics pop tunes and beloved hymns. They took that vibe to the streets in numerous gigs and venues capturing the magic from two dates in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Richard Sears: Altadena

Read "Altadena" reviewed by Mark F. Turner

It is inspiration which fuels Brooklyn-based pianist Richard Sears's Altadena, a five part suite commissioned in 2013 by the Los Angeles Jazz Society featuring the legendary drummer Albert “Tootie" Heath. The professional linking between Heath, who first recorded with John Coltrane in 1957 and Sears, a rising young talent, began after the two met and exchanged ...


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