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Zaccai Curtis

After graduating from New England Conservatory in 2005, Zaccai Curtis moved to New York City where he performs with artists such as: Ralph Peterson, Brian Lynch, Ray Vega, Antoine Roney, Wallace Roney, Cindy Blackman, Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Papo Vasquez, and Donald Harrison. Zaccai Curtis composes and arranges for his own quartet, trio, solo piano works, Big-Band, Orchestra, as well as large and small ensembles with strings. In 2001 he was commissioned to arrange Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol” to be performed by his 7 piece latin jazz ensemble ‘insight’ with the Hartford Symphony Chamber Orchestra

Onward & Upward

Label: Onyx Music Label
Released: 2020
Track listing: Forth and Back; Sonora; Onward & Upward; Waltz For Etienne and Ebony; Red Black and Green Blues; Un Poco Haina; Sudan Blue; Portrait of Lord Willis; Tricks of the Trade; El Grito; Along Came Benny.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Ralph Peterson & the Messenger Legacy: Onward & Upward

Read "Onward & Upward" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Generally speaking, legacy bands are created to preserve the music of an artist. They feature innovative interpretations of an artist's compositions or past performances to share with future generations of listeners. In the case of drummer Ralph Peterson, his ambitious efforts to honor the continuum of his mentor Art Blakey are forward thinking, about a collective ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Avery Sharpe: 400: An African American Musical Portrait

Read "400: An African American Musical Portrait" reviewed by Troy Dostert

In 1619 the White Lion, a British privateer which had just successfully raided a Spanish slave ship, arrived in the Jamestown colony with its contraband cargo of twenty-some African slaves. Thus began the tumultuous legacy of the African American experience in North America—a four-hundred-year saga that bassist Avery Sharpe traces skilfully and poignantly on 400: An ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Josh Lawrence: Triptych

Read "Triptych" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Triptych succeeds on the connection between Josh Lawrence's writing and a coterie of players with whom he has been associated for several years. A brilliant, enterprising band comprised of the leader's trumpet, pianist Zaccai Curtis, his brother, bassist Luques Curtis, alto saxophonist Caleb Curtis (no relation), and drummer Anwar Marshall readily embrace the contours of Lawence's ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bongwool Lee: My Singing Fingers

Read "My Singing Fingers" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Much has been written about the different creative processes engaged between classical and jazz musicians, more specifically, as applied to the collective worlds of jazz and classical piano. New York based pianist Bongwool Lee has an intimate relationship with these perceived differences. Born and raised in Seoul, Korea, she was exposed by her parents to a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Josh Lawrence: Contrast

Read "Contrast" reviewed by Thad Aerts

On Contrast, Josh Lawrence and Color Theory's second recording for Posi-Tone, the group executes a classic framework held together with tight chemistry. Lawrence may be the leader, but the gist of the end product is a very democratic arrangement where no one musician or group of musicians takes precedence. Each shine at various times throughout Contrast. ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Josh Lawrence & Color Theory: Contrast

Read "Contrast" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Josh Lawrence & Color Theory's Contrast features a host of varied, sturdy and invigorating compositions by the leader, an ensemble that plays them with élan, a number of arresting soloists, and a rhythm section that rapidly moves between sly and rambunctious. While all of these factors are important, they don't adequately capture the record's essence. Perhaps ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Josh Lawrence & Color Theory: Contrast

Read "Contrast" reviewed by Paul Rauch

Trumpeter Josh Lawrence has had a long and diverse trek to where he is now. Beginning in his native New Jersey, he has embraced jazz culture in Philadelphia, Europe, and finally New York City, where he has gained a solid reputation as a musician, bandleader, and composer. On his second release for the Posi-Tone ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

B.J. Jansen: Common Ground

Read "Common Ground" reviewed by Matthew Aquiline

Cincinnati-born baritone saxophonist B.J. Jansen's tenth album is titled Common Ground for good reason: his sextet consists of NEA Jazz Master trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis, drummer Ralph Peterson, trumpeter Duane Eubanks, pianist Zaccai Curtis, and bassist Dezron Douglas--all of whom revel in improvisation. His group's shared affinity for jazz in the straight-ahead vein compelled Jansen to employ ...


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