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Article: Album Review

Mauricio Morales: Luna

Read "Luna" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


When viewed retrospectively, a musician's first release is often more telling of where they have been than of where they are going. There is always time to allow talent to develop; to discover inter-genre interests and to network and collaborate with like-minded artists. But there is a certain immediacy to a debut recording. An artist taking ...

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Article: Album Review

Art Pepper: Unreleased Art Pepper Volume Eleven: Atlanta

Read "Unreleased Art Pepper Volume Eleven: Atlanta" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


Laurie Pepper expands upon the legend of her late husband, Art Pepper, with the release of Atlanta. The eleventh edition in her Widow's Taste series of uncovered treasures finds the alto saxophonist at an unspecified jazz club in Atlanta, Georgia, during the spring of 1980. Firmly planted in his comeback era, Pepper found comfort and familiarity ...

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Article: Album Review

Lisa Hilton: More Than Another Day

Read "More Than Another Day" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


Pianist and composer Lisa Hilton's More Than Another Day is yet another effort reacting to the gloom which hung over the music industry in 2020. That does not mean the album is necessarily bleak. A brief survey of the cover photography will tell a very different story. Donning a wide-brimmed hat, blonde hair splayed out over ...

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Article: Year in Review

Peter J. Hoetjes' Best Releases of 2020

Read "Peter J. Hoetjes' Best Releases of 2020" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


It's been an unusual year for the music industry within any genre. The first few months of 2020 were fairly typical, followed by months of uncertainty prompted by fear and misinformation. As the year closes however, jazz musicians are hopefully able to glimpse the sun rising on the distant horizon. If 2019 was a ...

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Article: Album Review

Gabriel Latchin Trio: I'll Be Home For Christmas

Read "I'll Be Home For Christmas" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


In 2020, when a respected musician decides to record a Christmas album, they invite perhaps the most basic question of all. Why? “I love Christmas," answers pianist Gabriel Latchin. “You kind of grow up and you know Christmas becomes less important, but I mean who doesn't like Christmas tunes?" One ...

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Article: Album Review

James Carney: Pure Heart

Read "Pure Heart" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


When a large ensemble like the one heard on Pure Heart contains such dynamic personalities as Ravi Coltrane, Oscar Noreiga and Dezron Douglas, it's a sure bet that a bandleader is going to have their hands full directing them through his compositions. However, with just five songs to the album, pianist James Carney is able to ...

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Article: Reassessing

For Those Who Chant

Read "For Those Who Chant" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


Luis Gasca was one of the hottest trumpet players in California during the 1970s, recording a handful of albums fueled by the drugs, the culture, and the excitement of that time and place. Though they all featured large ensembles, only one of them allowed some of the era's most legendary musicians to blur the lines separating ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

The Ten Most Essential Art Farmer Albums

Read "The Ten Most Essential Art Farmer Albums" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


Bassist Keter Betts, who played with Art Farmer briefly during the 1970s, described him best: “He was a gentleman's trumpet player, not a rebel trumpet player." At 25 years of age, Farmer was given the opportunity to travel Europe with Lionel Hampton's jazz band. He had spent the past few years wandering Los Angeles ...

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Article: Album Review

Kandace Springs: The Women Who Raised Me

Read "The Women Who Raised Me" reviewed by Peter J. Hoetjes


Cover albums tend to sort themselves pretty neatly into two separate bins. One is filled with tiresome stacks of uninspired music soon to be filed away and forgotten. The other, smaller pile is made up of those few in which the artist on the cover managed to do something more than parrot their predecessors. Those who ...


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