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Article: Album Review

The Howard Hughes Suite: High & Lonesome

Read "High & Lonesome" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Despite the group impression the name makes, The Howard Hughes Suite is the recording identity of a solo English pedal steel player, and High & Lonesome goes beyond his earlier recordings as an exercise in utilizing the recording studio as an instrument. The album presents the pedal steel guitar as an experimental instrument, sharing creative DNA ...

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Article: Album Review

Lajos Dudas: Radio Days Vol. 2

Read "Radio Days Vol. 2" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


The previous compilation Radio Days: The Music Of Lajos Dudas (JazzSick Records, 2016) was released to celebrate German-Hungarian jazz clarinetist/composer Lajos Dudas' 75th birthday. It collected performances dating from 1984 to the early 2000s: about twenty years. The new volume's coverage is both wider and deeper. The dates range from 1976 to 2017—over forty years—and the ...

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Article: Live Review

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2022

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2022" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Various Venues Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Montréal, Canada June 30-July 4, 2022 Like everything else, the Covid-19 pandemic stopped the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal in its tracks. Forced to cancel the 2020 festival, they instead presented a four-day virtual festival online on June 27-30. Another abbreviated ...

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Article: Multiple Reviews

Guitar Trios x 5

Read "Guitar Trios x 5" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Several recent releases provide evidence that the classic guitar trio (guitar, bass and drums) is alive and well, even in the midst of a pandemic. It remains a format with a broad array of stylistic possibilities. As it happens, none of these groups are from North America, but they include several from European countries and one ...

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Article: Album Review

Ruben Machtelinckx: A Short Story

Read "A Short Story" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


In retrospect the meeting of Belgian guitarist & composer Ruben Machtelinckx and Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen seems inevitable. They are both masters of delicacy and texture, as well as having distinctive and unusual sounds on their respective instruments. Machtelinckx composed most of the tunes, but these duets cast both players as equal contributors. It is a ...

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Article: Album Review

Charged Particles: Live at the Baked Potato!

Read "Live at the Baked Potato!" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


The late tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker was held in the highest regard by fellow saxophonists, while at the same time being seen as far too eclectic to be part of the jazz pantheon (due in no small part to his sideman work in rock and pop). This album focuses on Brecker as composer, spanning three decades ...

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Article: Live Review

Big Ears Festival 2022

Read "Big Ears Festival 2022" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Big Ears Festival Knoxville, TN March 24-27, 2022 The Big Ears Festival found ways to continue virtually during the pandemic—most notably by sponsoring the Norwegian Digital Jazz Festival—but there is no substitute for the big glorious eclectic event that is the in-person festival. Past festivals have usually opened with a big kickoff ...

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Article: Album Review

Mannheimer Schlagwerk: The Numbers are Dancing

Read "The Numbers are Dancing" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


The percussion ensemble Mannheimer Schlagwerk used Steve Reich's 2009 composition Mallet Quartet (Nonesuch Records, 2011) as a template for these commissioned compositions. Four mallet instruments form the core of all of this music (the basic instrumentation is two marimbas and two vibraphones), but each of the composers takes their own path (and in some cases expands ...

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Article: Book Review

Enter the Blue

Read "Enter the Blue" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Enter the Blue Dave Chisholm: writing, drawing, coloring and lettering; Dustyn Payette: color flats 180 Pages ISBN: 978-1940878898 Z2 Comics 2022 Trumpeter/visual artist Dave Chisholm has found ways to combine his two interests before. Instrumental (Z2 Comics, 2017) was an original story featuring a jazz trumpeter; Chasin' the ...

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Article: Album Review

Avishai Darash featuring Marmoucha Orchestra: Andalusian Love Song

Read "Andalusian Love Song" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Israeli pianist & composer Avishai Darash has always made a deliberate effort to combine his Middle Eastern heritage with Western influences. He considers Andalusian music to be the origin and core of Western music; this album is a love song to that music and its journey and evolution from the MENA region (Middle East and North ...


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