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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Anna Högberg Attack: lena

Read "lena" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

There are moments of lena, the sophomore release from Swedish group Attack, which feel as though the ensemble is as much punk band as it is jazz sextet. Under the leadership of alto saxophonist Anna Högberg, the group plays loud and fast free jazz which is as stylish as it is raucous. Even the monochrome album ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Hubert Dupont: Smart Grid

Read "Smart Grid" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

Hubert Dupont's new live album, Smart Grid, finds the seasoned French bassist in good company. With the assistance of saxophonist Denis Guivarc'h, pianist Yvan Robilliard, and drummer Pierre Mangeard, Dupont manages to give the set's six original tunes the utmost life. The exceptional work of the quartet makes itself known in not only their improvisation and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Pocket Aces: Cull the Heard

Read "Cull the Heard" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

Pocket Aces have made all the right moves in gearing up for their first album. The three improvisers are comfortable with each other, having spent time playing together, unearthing their sound. Cull the Heard finds the leaderless trio composing as they improvise, curating an album full of focussed and engaging songs. The Boston trio omits any ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Broken Shadows at Icehouse

Read "Broken Shadows at Icehouse" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

Broken Shadows Icehouse JT's Jazz Implosion at Icehouse: Broken Shadows Minneapolis, MN June 18, 2018 Supergroup Broken Shadows hit Icehouse in Minneapolis Monday, June 18, 2018, paying dues and offering interpretations of music by their heroes and mentors. The NY-based band consists of Tim Berne on alto saxophone, Chris Speed ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Bad Plus: Never Stop II

Read "Never Stop II" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

Armed with a new pianist and eight solid original tunes (plus two original bonus tracks), The Bad Plus prove that being a working, cohesive band is what's most important to them. Their 13th album, Never Stop II, sees a triumphant return of the seasoned piano trio, after the relatively graceful departure of their long-time pianist Ethan ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Surman: Invisible Threads

Read "Invisible Threads" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

Half a century into his musical career, English reed player John Surman continues to find outlets to explore a wide variety of introspective compositions. Invisible Threads, out on ECM, finds Surman exploring folk and world music, accompanied by pianist Nelson Ayres and mallet percussionist Rob Waring. The album features Surman's woodwind melodies bouncing atop piano and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Marquis Hill: Meditation Tape

Read "Meditation Tape" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

"The universe and us are the same," proclaims legendary drummer Marvin Bugulu Smith between tracks on Marquis Hill's ethereally groovy Meditation Tape. Recordings of Bugulu Smith narrate the 7-track album by Hill, one of Chicago's foremost trumpeters. Hill describes the short record as a “beat tape," and it plays that way, a divine hip-hop vibe always ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Black Diamond: Mandala

Read "Mandala" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

It's easy to see how Chicago quartet Black Diamond fit right into the sax / sax / bass / drums tradition in jazz. In fact, with the intricate and energetic compositions, speedy and flawless solos, and evocative song titles this group's first album Mandala almost feels like a passing of the torch from the likes of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jeremy Ylvisaker: Dimebag

Read "Dimebag" reviewed by Samuel Stroup

What makes Jeremy Ylvisaker's music interesting is its versatility. Many sides of a musician, masterfully blended together. In 2016, he performed with Michael Lewis and JT Bates at the Icehouse in Minneapolis, playing two sets. The first featured the guitar / saxophone / drums trio playing free ballads. For the second set, Lewis swapped his tenor ...


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