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Article: BackTracks

Your Eggs Scrambled, Any Way You Like

Read "Your Eggs Scrambled, Any Way You Like" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


This edition of BackTracks takes a look at a few selections that might rewire, reset, thoroughly scramble or even short-circuit the “normal" music pathways of your noodle. These five selections are each capable of this in subtle or sometimes not-so-subtle ways. Everything from stylistic jumbles and conceptual twists to abandonment of premeditated form and utter mayhem ...

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Article: BackTracks

Ethnic Embraces

Read "Ethnic Embraces" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


For the fourth installment in the continuing BackTracks series, we take a look at some notable releases that infuse their jazz with stylistic spice indigenous to different regions of the world—namely North Africa, the Iberian peninsula and the Balkans. As BackTracks was on a hiatus of sorts (and because these recordings seemed to emerge in matched ...

9

Article: Album Review

Wayne Krantz: Music Room 1985

Read "Music Room 1985" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


When it comes to lost recordings, unpublished novels or newly unearthed art of any sort, receptions tend to be somewhat mixed. This may be because, in many cases, those responsible for these works are usually dead and/or mythologized to a degree, so the expectational ante gets upped accordingly. Also involved—and perhaps more important—is the ability (or ...

5

Article: Album Review

Sha: Monbijou

Read "Monbijou" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


Aside from an existing appreciation of the saxophonist's creativity, it would be a mistake to approach Sha's Monbijou with any preconceptions. While this is a notion that has applied to his main group, Nik Bärtsch's Ronin, the tack Sha takes on this album is well removed from even that. Considering the integrated groupthink which ...

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Article: BackTracks

Live, Eclectic, And Electrifying

Read "Live, Eclectic, And Electrifying" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


Live albums. Love them, hate them, they are definitely a different animal from the studio album. It may be argued--especially with all of the tools available currently--that the “studio" recording is the means by which music can be crafted and honed into the most accurate representation of the artist's vision. And yes, live albums can be ...

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Article: BackTracks

Five Albums From Bands That Broadened The Jazz Paradigm

Read "Five Albums From Bands That Broadened The Jazz Paradigm" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


In this installment of BackTracks we take a look at five albums that not only helped expand the jazz paradigm, but also helped establish the band as a re-merging entity (and an ethos) in jazz. Lost TribeMany Lifetimes Arabesque Jazz 1998 In 1998, a first listen to this album ...

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Article: Album Review

Lyle Workman: Uncommon Measures

Read "Uncommon Measures" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


If there's a major takeaway to be had from listening to guitarist Lyle Workman's Uncommon Measures, it's the palpable sense that all of his impressive musical experience has been poured into it. And to that end, Workman certainly doesn't bury the lead. The epic opening track “North Star" can single-handedly make sense of Workman's entire decades-long ...

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Article: BackTracks

Five From Four

Read "Five From Four" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


Welcome to the inaugural edition of BackTracks, where we look back at some notable albums that were somehow absent from All About Jazz's extensive 50,000 plus review archive (or are just plain worthy of another look). For the first installment we have five guitar-led projects from four artists that somehow got by us (but needn't get ...

15

Article: Album Review

Nir Felder: II

Read "II" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


Six years after the release of his solo debut, Golden Age (Okeh, 2014), Nir Felder's follow-up II brings into sharper focus some of the guitarist's more compelling dichotomies as a player. His instrument of choice is the usually more crystalline-sounding Stratocaster but Felder somehow elicits a fatter-than-a-big-ol'-jazz-box tone from it. His style as ...

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Article: Album Review

Scott Jones: Fictional Characters

Read "Fictional Characters" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


Let's face it, if you're an electric guitarist with high-level jazz fusion chops, there are certain inevitabilities. Merely treading (or in this case stomping) through the stylistic domains of Tribal Tech, Allan Holdsworth, The Chick Corea Elektric Band and the like means stepping into the quicksand of comparison to such behemoths of the genre, so one ...


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