All About Jazz Album Reviews

Album Reviews

Joachim Kuhn: Love and Peace

The German ACT label achieved global recognition when they issued the m: Esbjorn Svensson Trio album Viaticum (2005) and they warrant broader discovery by U.S. jazz fans. Though their country's best known label casts a global shadow over its competition, the ACT catalog has included {{m... [ read more ]
 
Yazz Ahmed: La Saboteuse

If m: Miles Davis was alive today and in the studio recording In A Silent Way, the results might, just might, resemble London-based m: Yazz Ahmed's La Saboteuse. Other approximate reference points are m: Jon Hassell and m: Brian Eno's Dream Theory In Mal... [ read more ]
 
Maynard Ferguson: Memories of Maynard

With the possible exceptions of m: Louis Armstrong and m: Charlie Parker--both of whose playing influenced the entire genre of jazz--no other jazz performer has had the purely imitative effect on an entire instrument's universe of players than m: Maynard Ferguson. F... [ read more ]
 
Chris Gall: Cosmic Playground

It's easy to hear references to classical music in m: Chris Gall's style of jazz. After all, he is a trained classical pianist. And those who like a bit of Chopin with their jazz will certainly enjoy Cosmic Playground. Gall's music also incorporates elements of rock and funk. Offering up... [ read more ]
 
Tigran Hamasyan: For Gyumri

Even on this shorter album, Armenian pianist and composer m: Tigran Hamasyan displays a tireless ambition with his compositions, performances and eclectic approach. Over the course of his career, this young artist has released a wildly diverse stylistic set of releases that portray his e... [ read more ]
 
Anthony Braxton: Sextet (Parker) 1993

Is the music of m: Anthony Braxton impenetrable? Frankly yes, and absolutely not. There are entire wings of his musical house, for instance his Trillium R operas, Echo Echo Mirror House, and Ghost Trance Music, that listeners find untraversable. Some folks cannot reconcile one approach wi... [ read more ]
 
Victor Assis Brasil: Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim

m: Victor Assis Brasil's passing in 1981 at the age of 35 was felt by jazz fans inside and outside his home country of Brazil. He was a major talent in the 1970s whose South American-bop mashups earned him a ticket to tour three continents. Far Out Recordings has repackaged two of his fin... [ read more ]
 
Marco Sanguinetti: 9

After Como Desaparecer Completamente (Self Produced, 2016), a collection of Radiohead covers, Argentinian pianist/composer m: Marco Sanguinetti returns to a program of his compositions. The instrumentation is similar to its predecessor 8 (Acqua Records, 2014): an unusual combination of p... [ read more ]
 
Weird Beard: Orientation

On a recording that exemplifies the "less is more" approach to music-making, Orientation finds m: Florian Egli's Weird Beard quartet crafting dreamy soundscapes that derive their appeal from the interstices between the notes. With disarmingly simple tunes that seem at times to float on... [ read more ]
 
Andy Sheppard Quartet: Romaria

Where so much music treats silence as an exception, m: Andy Sheppard's recordings find it serving more as the rule. He's never been one for weaving flashy speed runs or feeling pressure to fill space. Even when his sax lines speed up from time to time through Romaria, they serve the mood... [ read more ]
 
Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!

On this, her sixth album, pianist m: Leslie Pintchik shows that she can compose distinctive melodies. All of the original compositions she does on this CD are bright and memorable and even the two standards she covers are given surprising arrangements.She establishes herself from the beg... [ read more ]
 
Joao Camoes - Jean-Luc Cappozzo - Jean-Marc Foussat: Autres Paysages

Electronics ace Jean-Marc Foussat (France) and trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo (France) are established purveyors of whatever may constitute 'new music' loosely skirting the fringes of improvised jazz or perhaps, open-ended experimental frameworks. Here, they team with a willing partner, viola performer... [ read more ]
 
Sigurd Hole: Elvesang

Sigurd Hole has already built a strong reputation, in his native Norway, for his work with m: Eple Trio on albums including The Widening Sphere of Influence (NORCD, 2008), in addition to the trio's collaborations with NORCD label head/saxophonist/goat horn master {{m: Karl Seglem = 21139... [ read more ]
 
Jackie Messina: Necessary Arrangements

Sleek and sophisticated, Jackie Messina's Necessary Arrangements proves a thoughtfully considered collection of standards, to be sure, but not the frontline warhorses one might expect. In addition to an inventive repertoire, vocalist Messina opts for a pared-down band with only a harmonica as a fron... [ read more ]
 
Andrew Kushnir: Influences

Judging from the album cover, a coffee-filled cup on a drum, one might anticipate that drummer m: Andrew Kushnir's debut album, Influences, would be a hard charging affair. And Kushnir and his trio (m: Ryan Slatko on piano and m: Rick Rosato on bass) do not disap... [ read more ]
 
Ryuichi Sakamoto: async Remodels

There is a legend about the vigorous dance of Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction and creative renewal. This endless and vigorous dance is called "Tandava," and with it Shiva destroys the world. With each new cycle, out of the scattered elements, a new world is reconstructed. This dance and act is t... [ read more ]
 
Afro Peruvian New Trends Orquestra with Corina Bartra: Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)

Most of us are familiar with Afro-Cuban styles, which jazz has flirted with and sometimes wholly embraced since at least the 1940s. The Afro-Peruvian label is probably unknown to most, but Corina Bartra, the director of this project, has been working in this genre for decades, also encompassing vari... [ read more ]
 
Sonny Rollins: Way Out West

In crisp, fly-on-the-wall audiophile quality, Craft Recordings celebrates the 60th anniversary of m: Sonny Rollins Way Out West with a deluxe packaged 2LP set, featuring four previously unreleased (a sharper toned "There Is No Greater Love" and Take 1 of the title track are fine listens)... [ read more ]
 
Mathias Eick: Ravensburg

On his previous ECM release, Midwest (2015), trumpeter and composer, Mathias Eick plotted the course of his Norwegian ancestors to the heartland of America. Drawn from his own travels as well, Eick applies personal experiences and family lore once again on Ravensburg, named for the German town of hi... [ read more ]
 
Joy On Fire: Fire With Fire

Halloween night in 2017 saw jazz-rock legends m: King Crimson playing Newark, New Jersey. Among the crowd that evening were members of a local band known as Joy On Fire, paying homage to one of their major inspirations. The name might sound gospel-inspired, but Joy On Fire draws from the... [ read more ]
 

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