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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Rez Abbasi: Snake Charmer

Read "Snake Charmer" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Los Angeles-raised and New York-resident guitarist Rez Abbasi states that “with my music I want to hold onto the the traditional aspects of each form (Indian music and jazz) and unite the best elements of both." The guitarist demonstrates prodigious chops throughout his fourth album, Snake Charmer, an eight-song, sixty-minute journey into jazz-rock fusion, grounded in ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Don Cherry: Where Is Brooklyn?

Read "Where Is Brooklyn?" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

With the reissue of Where Is Brooklyn?, Blue Note completes a trilogy of Don Cherry releases (also including Complete Communion and Symphony for Improvisers) which up to now had only been available on CD in a limited edition Mosaic box set. Cherry initially came into wide prominence in jazz as a member of Ornette Coleman's landmark ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Hamid Drake & Bindu: Bindu

Read "Bindu" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Because jazz is rooted in improvisation, it can readily incorporate other musical genres and instruments. Especially since the '80s and the emergence of so-called world music, sounds and instruments from Asia, Africa and Latin America have found a welcome home in the music. Percussionist Hamid Drake has been among those at the forefront of this fusion. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ernie Andrews: This is Ernie Andrews

Read "This is Ernie Andrews" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Philadelphia-born singer Ernie Andrews has made Los Angeles his home for 60 of his 77 years, in the process becoming a legend among local jazz and blues fans by consistently presenting one of the best live performances in town. Die-hard fans of the blues/jazz singer will most appreciate Verve's new reissue of this album, first recorded ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

David Murray 4tet & Strings: Waltz Again

Read "Waltz Again" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Saxophonist David Murray is arguably the most recorded jazz musician in history. In the last ten years alone he has released over thirty albums. During the course of his thirty-year career, Murray has played bebop, Latin jazz, swing, world music and free jazz, performing in almost every configuration imaginable--solo, duo, trio, quartet, quintet, octet and big ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mark Sowlakis: Sinfonetta

Read "Sinfonetta" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Bay Area-resident clarinetist, composer and arranger Mark Sowlakis' Sinfonetta is a rich amalgam of two genres that have not always found common ground in the past--jazz and classical music. Because Sowlakis is so thoroughly trained in both fields, the project comes off almost without a hitch. He plays with some of New York's best, if underrecorded ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Corpulent: Wolfwalk

Read "Wolfwalk" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Although jazz comprises no more than 4% of CD sales nationally, there exists a cornucopia of good to excellent jazz musicians--female vocalists, pianists, and saxophonists especially. You can put 44-year-old Baltimore native Gary Thomas in the “excellent" column. Having played with trumpeters Miles Davis and Wallace Roney, Thomas is currently the Director of Jazz Studies at ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Don Cherry: Symphony for Improvisers

Read "Symphony for Improvisers" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Exploding on the jazz scene in the late '50s as a member of Ornette Coleman's pioneering band, Don Cherry left the Coleman aggregation in '65 to pursue a solo career. This, his fifth date as a leader and his second album on Blue Note, was a continuation of the free jazz sonic explorations that made the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kenny Barron Trio: The Perfect Set: Live at Bradley's II

Read "The Perfect Set: Live at Bradley's II" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

From the '60s through the '80s, pianist Kenny Barron was one of the most sought-after sidemen in jazz, playing with Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Yusef Lateef, and Ron Carter, along with being a co-founder of the group Sphere, dedicated to performing the music of Thelonious Monk. Since the early '70s, Barron has put out several albums ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Henry Franklin: All God's Children

Read "All God's Children" reviewed by Ollie Bivens

Los Angeles native son bassist Henry “The Skipper" Franklin is perhaps best known for his association with the albums released by the short-lived but influential Black Jazz record label out of Philadelphia in the '70s. He has also played with Freddie Hubbard, Archie Shepp, and the late Horace Tapscott. His new album on his own label ...


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