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Nick Mazzarella

Saxophonist and composer Nick Mazzarella has been described as "continuing the approach taken by like-minded trailblazing altoists Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Henry Threadgill, Oliver Lake, and Gary Bartz” by “seek(ing) to embody the history of the music while pushing it forward into new realms” (Troy Dostert, All About Jazz). He has been a consistent presence in Chicago's music scene since the early 2000s where his continuous performance schedule has made an aesthetically unique contribution to the city’s rich culture of jazz and improvised music. His working bands—the Nick Mazzarella Trio (with Anton Hatwich and Frank Rosaly); Meridian Trio (with Matt Ulery and Jeremy Cunningham); and the Nick Mazzarella Quintet (with Nate Lepine, Tim Stine, Matt Ulery, and Quin Kirchner)—have served as the primary vehicles for his endeavors as a composer and bandleader, while as a collaborator or sideman he has performed and recorded with such artists as Tomeka Reid, Joshua Abrams, Hamid Drake, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Avreeayl Ra, Rob Mazurek, Geof Bradfield, Devin Hoff, and Makaya McCraven

The Shadows and The Light

Label: Astral Spirits
Released: 2020
Track listing: Shadow Intro; Batá Chop; At This Point In Time; Rift; Pathways; Sahara; Star Cluster; Moon Vision; Ecliptics; Planet Earth; Jupiter Moon; Horizons; King Korn; The Shadows and The Light; Lucid Dream.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tim Stine: Knots

Read "Knots" reviewed by Giuseppe Segala

Trasferitosi a Chicago nel 2008 dopo una prima formazione prevalentemente boppistica nella nativa Cincinnati, Tim Stine si è ritagliato un ruolo tra i più attivi e degni di attenzione nella ricca scena sperimentale della città ventosa. Un paio di dischi registrati per l'etichetta Astral Spirits con un trio insieme al contrabbasso di Anton Hatwich e alla ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Quin Kirchner: The Shadows and The Light

Read "The Shadows and The Light" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam war film, Apocalypse Now, was released in 1979. After sitting for 2 and ½ hours, a viewer might have hoped for theater management to stand at the exits to hand out pamphlets explaining what had just gone down. The conflict had ended 4 years prior, and most war movies, pre- Vietnam, were ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Alexander Hawkins and Tomeka Reid: Shards and Constellations

Read "Shards and Constellations" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although they have not recorded together previously, pianist Alexander Hawkins and cellist Tomeka Reid are both improvisers with omnivorous musical tastes and soaring ambition. Hawkins has fronted his own ensembles over the years—perhaps the most notable example being Step Wide, Step Deep (Babel, 2014)—but he's been active in freely-improvised contexts as well, working with everyone from ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tim Stine Quartet: Knots

Read "Knots" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Guitarist Tim Stine leads a democratically oriented quartet with progressive/free jazz Chicago heavyweights, providing a bit of credence to the album moniker since many of these pieces are woven together with incongruent angles and geometrical designs. With false endings, scrappy breakouts and off-metered pulses, the leader's intricate chordal and single note developments assist with maintaining an ...

Counterbalance

Label: Astral Spirits
Released: 2019
Track listing: Phonetic; The Puzzle; About Looking; Counterbalance; Headway; Innermost.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tim Stine Quartet: Knots

Read "Knots" reviewed by Mark Corroto

What is apparent straight away with Knots by the Tim Stine Quartet is the intense physicality of the performance. I'll posit Stine, a North Dakota native who grew up with classical music, was drawn to the creative music scene of Chicago because of its tradition of a robust and muscular sound. From Gene Ammons to Roscoe ...

Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz

Read "Astral Spirits: Lifting the Spirit of Jazz" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard

While pop often follows predictable musical patterns, one of the greatest qualities about jazz is its sense of adventurousness and the ability to take the listener on a journey where the destination is unknown. The Astral Spirits label, based in jny: Austin, Texas, and run by musician Nate Cross, truly embraces this quality of jazz.

ARTICLE: RADIO

All new sounds with a focus on Simon Nabotov

Read "All new sounds with a focus on Simon Nabotov" reviewed by Bob Osborne

This week we focus on a batch of new releases including the latest album from Simon Nabatov who has a great band, they are so good I play something from each band member as well. Playlist Zach Brock, Matt Ulery, and Jon Deitemyer “Wonderment" from Wonderment (Woolgathering Records) 00:00 Simon Nabatov Quintet “Old ...


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