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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Chemical Clock: Bad Habitat

Read "Bad Habitat" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Here's another example of music that's devilishly complex, a bit bizarre and full of diverse influences (avant-classical, IDM / electronica, jazz-rock, video game music, and disco-funk, just for starters) which manages to come across as a really warm, human, celebratory listening experience. It's been a couple of years since Chemical Clock issued their eponymous debut album, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Mike Dillon: Band of Outsiders

Read "Band of Outsiders" reviewed by Dave Wayne

There are so many different ways to rebel in life, and Mike Dillon has done them all. Or so it seems, if the music on Band of Outsiders is any indication. Dillon is that rare musician who can take tropes from any number of disparate musical worlds-metal and Brazilian samba school for example-mash them together and ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Thollem McDonas: The Beauty of Never Going Back Home

Read "Thollem McDonas: The Beauty of Never Going Back Home" reviewed by Dave Wayne

What is often forgotten about improvised music is that it can come from anywhere. Though its history is inextricably intertwined with jazz, improvisation is part and parcel of a myriad of musical cultures. Pianist and composer Thollem McDonas is not just aware of this fact, it is part of his daily existence. About 10 years ago, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Joel Palsson: Horn

Read "Horn" reviewed by Dave Wayne

A 21st Century jazz aficionado really shouldn't be surprised about where his/her jazz is coming from. That said, the whole concept of an Icelandic jazz scene may well bring a wry smile. Known primarily for innovative rockers Björk and Sigur Rós, and smooth jazzers Mezzoforte, the volcanic island nation has also borne innovative jazz artists such ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jaga Jazzist: One-Armed Bandit

Read "One-Armed Bandit" reviewed by John Kelman

After a five-year break from recording, Jaga Jazzist is back. The Norwegian group's Molde Jazz 2009 performance--its first in four years, barring a single 2007 date in Singapore--provided clear evidence that the touchstones defining this sibling-run group remain intact (multi-instrumentalist Lars Horntveth writes all the music; percussionist Martin Horntveth is the onstage spokesperson for the band; ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Chris Jentsch: Cycles and Reflecting on the Journey

Read "Chris Jentsch: Cycles and Reflecting on the Journey" reviewed by Ludwig vanTrikt

John Coltrane once said, “Let the music speak for itself." The guitarist/composer and band leader Christopher Jentsch adds an interesting twist on that subject by opting to describe himself when asked about the broader subject of how to capture his music in his own words. “I think of myself as a composer/guitarist working with contemporary improvisational ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Flat Earth Society: Cheer Me, Perverts!

Read "Cheer Me, Perverts!" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Fifteen-piece Belgian big band Flat Earth Society is the sonic equivalent of a freak show--weird, wonderful and like nothing you've come across before. Cheer Me, Perverts! is bursting with the energy of punk--sharing some of the anarchy, too--yet the CD exhibits intricate section harmonies and wonderful contrapuntal melodies. The soloists revel in their freedom, and the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Acuna/Hoff/Mathisen: Jungle City

Read "Jungle City" reviewed by John Kelman

While some accuse the musical innovations taking place in Scandinavia as diluting “America's art form," there's plenty of evidence to the contrary. Many of the artists regularly stretching jazz's boundaries by introducing outside references can play in the tradition; they just choose not to. With Finding Nymo (ACT, 2009), Norwegian trombonist Helge Sunde and his Ensemble ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble: Eternal Interlude

Read "Eternal Interlude" reviewed by Troy Collins

In addition to leading the unclassifiable Claudia Quintet and performing numerous sideman duties, composer and percussionist John Hollenbeck is renowned for his inimitable multi-layered writing. Hollenbeck studied under composer Bob Brookmeyer before charting a unique path in creative improvised music, incorporating elements of minimalism, post-rock and indigenous folk music into his eclectic compositions. As leader of ...


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