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Article: Album Review

Rich Halley: Fire Within

Read "Fire Within" reviewed by Troy Dostert

The cover and title of Rich Halley's latest, Fire Within, have a menacing edge, alerting us to the incendiary qualities that are always a part of the tenor saxophonist's music. But one of the remarkable things about Halley's output is that it is never one-dimensional; there are abundant nuances and surprises to keep a listener engaged, ...


Article: Album Review

Marcel Bonfim: Farewell/Despedida

Read "Farewell/Despedida" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Although he has spent most of his life in his native Brazil, bassist Marcel Bonfim has resided in Chicago since 2015, when he began pursuing advanced jazz studies at DePaul University. Having been immersed in two distinctive musical environments has lent a wide perspective to his vision, and his debut release, Farewell/Despedida bears that out, with ...


Article: Album Review

Scott Hesse Trio: Intention

Read "Intention" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Guitarist Scott Hesse self-released his debut album, Intuition, in 1998, but he has been criminally under-recorded since then. At least, that is the conclusion many will draw after listening to his superb trio disc, Intention, recorded live in Chicago in 2023. His most recent date as a leader since 2015's The Stillness of Motion (Origin Records), ...


Article: Album Review

Rodrigo Amado: Beyond The Margins

Read "Beyond The Margins" reviewed by Troy Dostert

The aptly titled Beyond the Margins is just the latest entry in tenor saxophonist Rodrigo Amado's burgeoning catalog, and it is certainly further proof that Amado is among the most exciting and accomplished practitioners of free music in the jazz world. Each new release seems to allow him to hone his craft with ever-greater precision, and ...


Article: Year in Review

Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2023

Read "Troy Dostert's Best Releases of 2023" reviewed by Troy Dostert

With a steady supply of fantastic music, 2023 offered an abundance of riches to fans of creative jazz. With groups spanning the gamut from small combos to large ensembles, there is a good deal of diversity on offer here, but what these artists all have in common is an uncompromising commitment to making music that transcends ...


Article: Album Review

Sylvie Courvoisier: Chimaera

Read "Chimaera" reviewed by Troy Dostert

It says something about pianist Sylvie Courvoisier's current profile in creative jazz that she could assemble such a distinguished ensemble for her latest release, Chimaera. Augmenting her usual trio of bassist Drew Gress and drummer Kenny Wollesen are trumpeters Wadada Leo Smith and Nate Wooley, and with the always interesting Christian Fennesz completing the group on ...


Article: Album Review

Lina Allemano: Canons

Read "Canons" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Capping twenty years of running Lumo Records--a record label dedicated to her multifarious projects--with Canons, trumpeter Lina Allemano has assembled several innovative ensembles to give voice to her distinctive chamber-jazz aesthetic. While it might not be as obviously adventurous as some of her previous releases, it retains Allemano's signature emphasis on finding the ideal pivot point ...


Article: Album Review

Cal Tjader: Catch The Groove: Live at the Penthouse 1963-1967

Read "Catch The Groove: Live at the Penthouse 1963-1967" reviewed by Troy Dostert

It would be unusual to hear vibraphonist Cal Tjader mentioned alongside the all-time greats on his instrument. He is not remembered for being a fearless improviser like Bobby Hutcherson, or as deeply soulful as Milt Jackson, or as hard-swinging a presence as Lionel Hampton. Moreover, one will search in vain in his biography for the hard-fought ...


Article: Album Review

Shuteen Erdenebaatar Quartet: Rising Sun

Read "Rising Sun" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Rarely does one find a debut recording as confident and accomplished as pianist Shuteen Erdenebaatar's Rising Sun. With eight well-crafted compositions, and superb support from her young colleagues, all of whom have similarly bright futures ahead of them, Erdenebaatar successfully stakes her claim as one of the rising stars in post-bop jazz. Although she ...


Article: Album Review

Angelika Niescier, Tomeka Reid and Savannah Harris: Beyond Dragons

Read "Beyond Dragons" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Fans of alto saxophonist Angelika Niescier already know her to be one of the most exciting voices on her instrument--someone who can shift instantly from pensive reveries to tempestuous maelstroms. And she has worked with a growing list of top-shelf partners, including drummer Tyshawn Sorey and bassist Chris Tordini, both of whom appeared on her excellent ...


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