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Article: Album Review

Aaron Seeber: First Move

Read "First Move" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Given that it is his debut disc, drummer Aaron Seeber's First Move seems aptly titled. The music it offers is anything but an opening gambit, however; even after a cursory listen, it is quickly apparent that Seeber has been at this game for some time. From the top-shelf caliber of his associates, to his unfailing poise ...


Article: Album Review

Shawn Lovato: Microcosms

Read "Microcosms" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Bassist Shawn Lovato's debut album, Cycles of Animation (Skirl, 2017), possessed a conceptual sophistication that went far beyond an imaginative slice of creative jazz. The same is evident on Microcosms, an album that involves giving his terrific ensemble the chance to develop minute gestures into larger, more determinate shapes. The constant ebb and flow that results ...


Article: Album Review

André B. Silva: Mt. Meru

Read "Mt. Meru" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Those unfamiliar with the esoterica of the Hindu or Buddhist religious traditions may not know much about Mount Meru, a mysterious metaphysical destination said to be at the center of the world, either geographically or spiritually (or both). There is a Mount Meru in Tanzania as well, but Portuguese guitarist André B. Silva clearly has the ...


Article: Album Review

Columbia Icefield: Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes

Read "Ancient Songs of Burlap Heroes" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Nate Wooley refuses to make trivial music. Whether the endlessly creative trumpeter and composer is rethinking the relationship between artistic production and community, as on Mutual Aid Music (Pleasure of the Text, 2021), or pursuing ways to re-envision music's spiritual potential, seen most recently on 2020's Seven Storey Mountain VI (Pyroclastic Records), he always provides his ...


Article: Album Review

Erik Friedlander: A Queens' Firefly

Read "A Queens' Firefly" reviewed by Troy Dostert

When a cello is your calling card, it is only to be expected that the “chamber jazz" label will tend to follow you around--and so it has for Erik Friedlander, although that term hardly does justice to the variegated possibilities he sets in motion through his assorted projects. Having worked with a “who's who" list of ...


Article: Album Review

Günter Baby Sommer & the Lucaciu 3: Karawane

Read "Karawane" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Long recognized as one of the most important exponents of European free jazz, drummer Günter Baby Sommer has refused to rest on his laurels, as he continues to do his part to maintain the legacy of free improvisation and creative jazz in a host of contexts, defying the aging process rather insouciantly while doing so. His ...


Article: Album Review

Dave Slonaker Big Band: Convergency

Read "Convergency" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Composer/conductor Dave Slonaker probably won't qualify as “prolific," at least based on recorded output alone, as he spends a lot of his time behind the scenes in film and television work—but one must appreciate the level of craftsmanship that he brings to his big band projects. His debut release, Intrada (Origin Records, 2014), received a well-earned ...


Article: Album Review

Greg Duncan: Sound Duality

Read "Sound Duality" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Trumpeter Greg Duncan moved from Chicago to Philadelphia in 2020, and the change of environment brought about more than an altered geography. It gave Duncan the chance to forge some creative partnerships with two new ensembles, both of which are found on Sound Duality. The first, a conventional quartet, utilizes the talents of pianist Tim Brey, ...


Article: Album Review

Damani Phillips: No More Apologies

Read "No More Apologies" reviewed by Troy Dostert

One of the often encountered effects of the pandemic has been to reduce artistic motivations to their most fundamental core. The hunger to make art simply for its own sake, without the encumbrances of marketplace considerations or stylistic categories, has emerged more fully than ever before. We have seen this in the jazz world, with plenty ...


Article: Album Review

Queen Kong: Fray

Read "Fray" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Providing further evidence of the capaciousness of the Toronto jazz scene, Queen Kong is a neo-klezmer outfit that brings smart musicianship and some crafty grooves to its debut, Fray. Although the name of the band has a facetious aspect, there's nothing flippant about Queen Kong's music, as it mines a rich vein of cultural resources in ...


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