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Article: History of Jazz

Pilar Arcos: An Extraordinary Life

Read "Pilar Arcos: An Extraordinary Life" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


The fascinating life of Pilar Arcos is one carved aggressively by the Fates which were so very active as the 19th century paged over into the 20th. World and cultural events were exploding. Countries' wars for independence, the end of colonialism, the Spanish-American War and World War I, the Spanish Civil War, and the womens' rights ...

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Article: Album Review

Monaco, Meurkens, Hoyson, Lucas: Strollin'

Read "Strollin'" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


There are albums that seem to warrant physical engagement on the part of the listener. It is that sort of a music-listener dynamic where a long joyride or easy walk while enjoying the sounds is in order. By its very title Strollin' gives it all away here. And, it's no secret: this is take- it-along-and-enjoy-it music. ...

4

Article: Album Review

Antonio Tosques and Multi-Form Band: Touch Me

Read "Touch Me" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


With the possible exception of the upright bass (where it's more of a pas a deux), a guitar allows its player to bring the instrument intimately close to their heart and inner voice. The fingered manipulation of strings can trigger caresses, teases, intensities and poetry. Played well, as it is here on this excellent recording from ...

5

Article: Album Review

The New World Jazz Composers Octet: The Next Stage

Read "The Next Stage" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


The jazz octet has long been somewhat of a “Swiss Army Knife" for composer-arrangers. Consider, for example, the great Dave Pell, Ornette Coleman, David Murray, and the J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding Octets. In the hands of great arrangers, the eight-piece format allows arrangers to leverage the flexibility and creativity of a “Messengers" frontline with the ...

4

Article: Album Review

Judy Wexler: Back to the Garden

Read "Back to the Garden" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


A glance at the tracks on this album might make one think that it is a well-selected gathering of '60s message tunes from compilation stalwart, Rhino Records. That not being the case, rest assured that Back to the Garden presents those iconic Pop selections so incredibly re- imagined that what we experience could easily be considered ...

8

Article: Album Review

Sketches of Influence: The Grind - Sketches of Influence

Read "The Grind - Sketches of Influence" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Shortly before the COVID pandemic went full force lockdown, Troy, New York drummer Joe Barna and his group, “Sketches of Influence" recorded this live album at the Middle C Jazz Club in Charlotte, North Carolina. The audience that evening was either the most polite as listeners, or, more likely they were taken up by the killer ...

6

Article: Album Review

Elliot Bild & the Zone: ISMS

Read "ISMS" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


A textural and improvisational tour de force from Elliot Bild and the Zone, ISMS, recorded live, consists of ten selections—nine of which are Bild originals—and offers up an evening of intelligent and enlightening jazz. “Army of Aliens (Your Thoughts)" opens the set and is a classic hard-bop burner with Bild and saxophonist Hudson-Casanova lifting ...

8

Article: Album Review

Keith Pray: Universal Blues

Read "Universal Blues" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


The opening sounds of Keith Pray's Universal Blues present a sonic gateway that ultimately leads to an overall significant musical experience. Throughout his career, saxophonist Pray, a highly talented and well-respected upstate New York artist, has been an avid explorer of textures and tonalities. With Universal Blues he and his mates deliver an intelligent and intriguing ...

4

Article: Album Review

Pete Ellman: For Pete's Ache

Read "For Pete's Ache" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Long a fixture throughout Chicagoland, the Ellman name is synonymous with all things musical. No “ache" at all, this album is a fun big-band romp. There is some outstanding ensemble and solo work and the various terrific arrangements bring the best out of a superb, engaged ensemble. The opener, “High Speed Pursuit," is ...

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Article: Interview

Peter Archer: The True Inspiration of "Soul"

Read "Peter Archer: The True Inspiration of "Soul"" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello


Disney / PIXAR's jazz-flavored movie Soul has garnered rave reviews and buzz worldwide. That's because in addition to its spectacular animation and meticulous production values, there's an honest and accurate representation of jazz and jazz musicians. What's behind that is the fact that the film was inspired by a dedicated Queens music teacher, Dr. Peter Archer. ...


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