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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Eric Binder: Hard Bop

Read "Hard Bop" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Eric Binder is a drummer based in the Chicago area gaining recognition as a teacher and technician who combines slick sequencing and academic awareness to create modern masterworks with a classic jazz sound. This abbreviated yet consistently inspiring album affirms Binder as a rising force on the US jazz scene. Authenticity is obviously vital ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Spirit Fingers: Peace

Read "Peace" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Variety is said to be the spice of life and it's also a big plus for music. What stands out on this record is variety of the broadest measure. Pianist Greg Spero has a diverse resume that includes assembling this powerful quartet boasting guitarist Dario Chiazzolino and the mighty rhythm section of bassist Max ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Markos Chaidemenos: McModal

Read "McModal" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

The Greek pianist Markos Chaidemenos has released a wonderfully uplifting tribute to the late McCoy Tyner with this track, in anticipation of a full-length album. The song was recorded live in Athens at The Zoo. It has a feel of focused spontaneity that dances through the ear and bears repeated listening very well, capturing ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Max Gerl: Tbilisi

Read "Tbilisi" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

In a four-song display of highly skilled writing and musicianship, Max Gerl provides deep liftoff points for a versatile quartet to roll through thirty-three minutes of distinctly different pieces in a widely comprehensive range of jazz contexts. The songs share similar length and instrumental dexterity, but that's about it. In Gerl's thematic landscape, most uncommon ground ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lulu Fall: Between Two Worlds

Read "Between Two Worlds" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

This enjoyable album is distinguished by Fall's multi-layered vocal inflections, which shine amidst myriad flourishes of afro-centric rhythms that reach well beyond typical dance tracks or pop tunes. With roots in Cameroon and Senegal, the well-established NYC singer-songwriter has worked at the apex of musical theatre, including roles in Passing Strange and the revival of Hair. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kurt Rosenwinkel Trio: Angels Around

Read "Angels Around" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

In addition to recognition among modern jazz's most talented guitarists, Kurt Rosenwinkel has earned a reputation as a thoughtfully skilled interpreter of jazz standards. This stirring release should deservedly elevate his status to even higher levels as bassist Dario Deidda and drummer Greg Hutchinson add punch and precision to every piece. Rosenwinkle revisits classic compositions from ...

ARTICLE: BOOK EXCERPTS

Land of the Black Squirrels

Read "Land of the Black Squirrels" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Land of the Black Squirrels Mwalim 266 Pages Thirty-three Enterprises 2020 In these days of pandemic pressure, it's increasingly obvious that books are a very effective method of dealing with self-isolation symptoms like boredom, frustration or depression. The smoothly-paced Land of the Black Squirrels (Thirty-three Pages, 2020) provides fictional urban ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Emanuel Casablanca: It's Getting Strange

Read "It's Getting Strange" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Emanuel Casablanca is a singer-songwriter from Brooklyn who displays a classic sense of experience that belies his relatively young age while invoking prime characteristics of iconic blues and soul artists. The result is a solid album that carries more down-home southern-based traits than a metropolitan-manufactured product. The basic sophistication of the smoothly developed opener, ...

ARTICLE: BOOK REVIEW

Word Against the Machine

Read "Word Against the Machine" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Word Against the Machine Jane Grenier 80 Pages ISBN: # 9781513651996 Self Published 2019 It can be very rewarding to read the work of an author who's clearly passionate about their subject matter. That's obviously the case with this multi-media project by Jane “Spoken Word" Grenier. Considering the vital ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Esbjörn Svensson Trio: e.s.t. live in Gothenburg

Read "e.s.t. live in Gothenburg" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

More than a decade after a tragic diving accident ended Swedish pianist Esbjorn Svensson's life and thus dissolved his renowned trio, the group remains a potent force in the world of popular jazz recordings. This digital document from a 2001 concert in Gothenburg seems certain to perpetuate that legacy. While much of this album ...


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