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Article: Album Review

Jalen Baker: This is Me, This is Us

Read "This is Me, This is Us" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Joining the ranks of young vibraphonists with skills galore, Jalen Baker brings a lot to the table on his debut record, This is Me, This is Us. Like Joel Ross, Sasha Berliner and Warren Wolf—the last of whom provides liner notes for the album—Baker's ambition goes beyond instrumental virtuosity. His compositional aims are just as impressive, ...

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Article: Album Review

Alex Conde: Descarga for Bud

Read "Descarga for Bud" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Having demonstrated his mastery of flamenco-flavored jazz on Origins (Uprising/Ropeadope, 2018) by featuring principally his own compositions, pianist Alex Conde has once again turned back to a bebop master of old--continuing a project he began with Descarga for Monk (Zoho Music) back in 2015. In this instance Bud Powell is the dedicatee, and Conde brings characteristic ...

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Article: Album Review

Keith Brown Trio: African Ripples

Read "African Ripples" reviewed by Troy Dostert


In-demand pianist Keith Brown has ample experience as a sideman and a couple solid leader dates under his belt. But his African Ripples has the distinctive feel of a “statement" record, setting forth the full expanse of his creative vision with bold flair. Inspired by the classic Fats Waller piece first recorded in 1934, the album ...

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Article: Album Review

Roy Hargrove and Mulgrew Miller: In Harmony

Read "In Harmony" reviewed by Troy Dostert


While the good folks at Resonance have labored mightily to unearth hidden gems from some of the undisputed legends of jazz--Eric Dolphy, Bill Evans, Stan Getz, Wes Montgomery and Sonny Rollins are just a handful worthy of note--more recent figures have been largely absent from their roster. But this excellent live document bucks the trend, recorded ...

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Article: Album Review

Alchemy Sound Project: Afrika Love

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Confirming the many advantages of a regular working ensemble, the Alchemy Sound Project came together in 2014 to provide an additional venue of exploration for several members of the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute in Los Angeles. Although the group possesses an affinity for fusing classical composition techniques with expansive improvisation, what stands out on Afrika Love, ...

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Article: Album Review

Berta Moreno Afro-Jazz Soul Project: Tumaini

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Tenor saxophonist Berta Moreno released her promising debut, Little Steps, in 2017. It signaled her debt to forbears such as Wayne Shorter and Joe Henderson, and displayed an impressive command of bop language. Tumaini, her engaging follow-up, moves in a rather different direction. Time well-spent in Kenya gave Moreno a wider focus for her compositions, as ...

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Article: Album Review

Susan Alcorn, Leila Bordreuil, Ingrid Laubrock: Bird Meets Wire

Read "Bird Meets Wire" reviewed by Troy Dostert


It may be impossible for anyone to free the pedal steel guitar entirely from its roots in country music but, if anyone can, Susan Alcorn would have to be the leading candidate. She has a phenomenal range on the instrument, capable of everything from folk-drenched Americana to abstract excursions, and she will sometimes combine her variegated ...

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Article: Album Review

Irene Schweizer / Hamid Drake: Celebration

Read "Celebration" reviewed by Troy Dostert


If John Coltrane was the dominant figure behind the rise of Impulse Records in the 1960s, and Wayne Shorter played a similar role for Blue Note in the same decade, one could argue that pianist Irène Schweizer has placed her stamp upon Intakt Records. Certainly the Swiss avant-garde label has embraced that relationship, as aside from ...

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Article: Album Review

Dan Pitt Quintet: Wrongs

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Maybe it's a case of false humility, or a stab at irony, but guitarist Dan Pitt seems to prefer self-deprecating album titles. The Toronto-based musician's 2019 trio release, Fundamentally Flawed (Self-Produced), featured bassist Alex Fournier and drummer Nick Fraser, and his current offering, Wrongs, adds saxophonists Naomi McCarroll-Butler and Patrick Smith to the mix. For an ...

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Article: Album Review

Daniele Germani: A Congregation of Folks

Read "A Congregation of Folks" reviewed by Troy Dostert


Ambition is not in short supply for up-and-coming alto saxophonist Daniele Germani. Back in 2019, the Berklee College of Music alumnus committed himself to writing a song a day, and ten are featured here on his debut disc, A Congregation of Folks. Nor are they easy-come, easy-go compositions; there is an innate restlessness in Germani's muse, ...


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