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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Fred Randolph: Learning Curve

Read "Learning Curve" reviewed by Rob Cline

Fred Randolph's Learning Curve is heavy on tribute songs. The bassist/composer pays homage to Michael Brecker, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and pianist Art Hirahara, who joins him on the disc. But while Randolph does manage to suggest a Brecker Brothers tune, an aggressive yet catchy Mingus number and a journey into Trane's spiritual side, the real ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Regen: Almost Home

Read "Almost Home" reviewed by Rob Cline

Singer-songwriter Jon Regen's songs are solid, if not terribly inspired. Accompanying himself on piano and Hammond organ with Jonathan Sanborn on bass and Eric Addeo on drums, Regen plays charts that sound much like stripped down Bruce Hornsby arrangements. His lyrics--covering love, lost love, love for one's child and the troubadour's obligatory lament about touring--are heavy ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Yuka Aikawa: All Beings in the Whole Universe

Read "All Beings in the Whole Universe" reviewed by Rob Cline

Pianist Yuka Aikawa gets great support from The New York Jazz Gentlemen on All Beings in the Whole Universe, a disc that features seven originals and three covers recorded mostly in 1999 with one track harkening back to 1977. Though the disc bogs down a bit in the middle, it is a very listenable effort driven ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Oliver Lake Steel Quartet: Dat Love

Read "Dat Love" reviewed by Rob Cline

Saxophonist Oliver Lake has found a perfect partner is steel pan player Lyndon Achee. Lake's tangy tone and freewheeling style is complemented beautifully by the rich sound of Achee's drum. Their collaboration creates a unique sound that renders Dat Love by the Oliver Lake Steel Quartet a captivating disc. Dat Love features melodic frameworks for freestyle ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel: Buzz

Read "Buzz" reviewed by Rob Cline

Despite its moderate tempo, “Respiration," the opening track on Buzz, sets an insistent tone that drives the album’s first three tracks. Bassist Ben Allison penned all three charts, which feature tight, energetic ensemble playing by the six-piece band as well as plenty of open space for improvisation, including a textured piano solo by Frank Kimbrough on ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Weber: Simple Complex

Read "Simple Complex" reviewed by Rob Cline

Don't start with the liner notes. If you do, you may be scared off from pianist/composer Jon Weber's Simple Complex. That would be a shame, because the disc is a joy to listen to, full of gripping tunes highlighted by a variety of delightful surprises. Delve too deeply into the liner notes, however, and it may ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

H: Do You Remember?

Read "Do You Remember?" reviewed by Rob Cline

The first thing you notice about Do You Remember?, the new disc by the Håkan Broström Quartet, is how exceedingly pleasant it is to listen to. Indeed, Brostrom's bright, inviting tone, used in service of hook after hook after hook, calls to mind Cannonball Adderley. Like Adderley, Broström is an alto saxophonist who knows how to ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Vic Juris Trio: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Read "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" reviewed by Rob Cline

The operative word in the title of the Vic Juris Trio’s new disc, While My Guitar Gently Weeps , is “gently." In fact, the album is so gentle that it's difficult to listen to—not because the music is unpleasant in any way, but rather because Juris and company fail to grab your attention. While My Guitar ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Helio Alves: Portrait In Black And White

Read "Portrait In Black And White" reviewed by Rob Cline

Pianist Helio Alves has a light touch, dazzlingly fleet fingers and a knack for drawing listeners into a piece. All those gifts are display on his new album, Portrait in Black and White. Ably supported by bassist Santi Debriano and drummer Matt Wilson, Alves presents a collection highlighted by his originals and lightly spiced with Brazilian ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The David Berkman Quartet: Start Here, Finish There

Read "Start Here, Finish There" reviewed by Rob Cline

A first listening to or first glance at Start Here, Finish There might lead you to one of two false conclusions: that pianist David Berkman is interested only in exploring rigid rhythmic forms or that he is an overtly political musician. But focused listening soon casts those conceptions aside as it becomes clear that Berkman and ...


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