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Article: Live Review

North Sea Jazz 2022

Read "North Sea Jazz 2022" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


North Sea Jazz Festival Ahoy Rotterdam Rotterdam, The Netherlands July 8-10, 2022 The post-pandemic, new North Sea normal seemed much the same as before, except the stakes were higher than usual due to economic recovery issues and continued uncertainty regarding Covid-19 resurgence. While the global entertainment sector bloomed ...

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Article: Album Review

Avishai Cohen: Shifting Sands

Read "Shifting Sands" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


Consistency and excellence are two of the most fundamental requisites for achieving an optimal career in music. The Israeli bassist and composer Avishai Cohen has maintained those standards for many years, and his new trio emerges with a powerful offering that should reinforce his status as a jazz-based titan. This formation enlists familiar, longtime collaborator Elchin ...

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Article: Unsung Heroes

In Memoriam: A Song for Boris Neisser

Read "In Memoriam: A Song for Boris Neisser" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


It was over a decade ago when I first encountered jovial Boris Neisser, the late administrative sparkplug of Dusseldorf's schauinsland-reisen Jazz Rally. He was flat on his back on a nicely carpeted opera house floor, grinning up at ornate ceiling chandeliers after a late night Sunday concert by Jan Akkerman and a competent Russian group called ...

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Article: Live Review

John Zorn Reflektor Series at Elb Philharmonic

Read "John Zorn Reflektor Series at Elb Philharmonic" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


John Zorn Elb Philharmonie John Zorn Reflektor Series Hamburg, Germany March 17-20, 2022 John Zorn recruited an extraordinary rotating group of musicians to convey his vast and varied vision during a full capacity, crowd-pleasing residency at the majestic Elbphilharmonie complex in Hamburg's robustly revitalized Hafen City district.

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Article: Album Review

Alma Naidu: Alma

Read "Alma" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


Alma Naidu, a 26 year old songwriting vocalist based in Munich, has crafted a first rate debut showcasing an abundance of talent and a top-notch supporting team. German drummer Wolfgang Haffner produced this introductory gem and adds percussive precision in contributing a consistently subtle touch of the sticks. Well-aligned arrangements help keep the focus on Naidu, ...

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Article: Album Review

Jan Lundgren: Into the Night

Read "Into the Night" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


This excellent album is part of a series of modern jazz projects with a twist, featuring live recordings by many of the German label ACT's top artists, in unique, uncategorized, and often first time formations. The album comes from a 2020 set at the Ystad Festival in Sweden, which homegrown pianist Jan Lundgren founded ...

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Article: Album Review

Hogo Fogo: Repeat

Read "Repeat" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


The debut release by this electronics-based quartet from Denmark arrives with a smooth sounding formula that indicates good things ahead. The group has promise but at times over the album's 43 minutes things remain a bit too close to the title, Repeat. While there's plenty of talent in the band, drummer Michael Dalgas, guitarist Spencer Gross, ...

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Article: Live Review

Tingvall Trio at eastPLUGGED

Read "Tingvall Trio at eastPLUGGED" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


Tingvall Trio Peace Church east PLUGGED Series Ratingen, Germany August 27, 2021 Even during a fully realized concert season, this rousing show by the Tingvall Trio would be a European circuit highlight. Coming as it did in these times of performance cancellations and postponements, the hundred minute ...

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Article: Album Review

Larry Coryell & Philip Catherine: The Last Call

Read "The Last Call" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


ACT Music released this exceptional concert recording four years to the day after the February 19, 2017 death of 73-year old master guitarist Larry Coryell. The album documents a sensational set Coryell played with the equally skillful Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine at the Berlin Philharmonic. The event was an unplanned but fitting conclusion to their series ...

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Article: Album Review

Wollny - Parisien - Lefebvre - Lillinger: XXXX

Read "XXXX" reviewed by Phillip Woolever


This unique group effort by a progressive team of virtuoso improvisers doesn't always hit the mark of inspired mastery, but the project certainly expands such possibilities. The album is culled from a four-night stand at Berlin's well-known A-Trane club which produced around eight hours of recorded material. The intriguing, unpredictable package presented here clocks in at ...


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