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CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Antonio Sanchez: Bad Hombre

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Antonio Sanchez's drum score for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) served as a game-changer in the film industry, completely upending notions of what a soundtrack can and can't be. But more importantly, it altered our collective viewpoint on what the art of solo drumming is capable of expressing. Pulling sound from nothing more than skins and cymbals, Sanchez managed to produce and reflect serious emotional content. So is it any surprise that the next phase of his evolutionary ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Firebirds: Aladdin's Dream

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Three years on from The Firebirds (ILK Music, 2015), a riveting trio interpretation of the music of Igor Stravinsky--and to a lesser extent of Aram Khatjaturjan--Stefan Pasborg turns his attention closer to home with the music of Danish composer Carl Nielsen (1865-1931). The debut recording was in Pasborg's name but second time out the trio, featuring Anders Banke and Anders Filipsen, has adopted The Firebirds as its working name. It's a catchy, marketable name but it also feels appropriate, for ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lars Møller & Aarhus Jazz Orchestra: Glow of Benares

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The Danish saxophonist, composer and bandleader, Lars Møller, has always been curious about the different languages of music and this curiosity has also followed him in his work as a conductor of Aarhus Jazz Orchestra. He has taken the reputable orchestra to new artistic heights with ReWrite of Spring, his bold homage to Igor Stravinskijs Sacre du Printemps, and with Glow of Benares he takes yet another musical leap, adding the Danish Sinfonietta to the line-up. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sam Newsome and Jean-Michel Pilc: Magic Circle

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Intimate, innovative and captivating Magic Circle is an album of duets between soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome and pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. Although they perform primarily standards their interpretations are anything but conventional. Both musicians are known for their individual styles and singular approaches to improvisation and they showcase these superbly on the current disc.Pianist and bandleader Duke Ellington's “In a Sentimental Mood" opens with almost baroque refrains of Newsome's rich, meditative saxophone. Pilc's tolling piano provides a dark undertone. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daniel Dickinson: A Gathering Foretold

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It's hard to picture Dickinson as a debut artist, with a cast of characters that range from; Christian Sands, Michael Dease, Ulysses Owens, Jr., featured on A Gathering Foretold. Altoist Daniel Dickinson should not be overlooked as another side player ponying up for the known players, on whatever recording of the moment that seems to be permeating the jazz genre as of late. Dickinson himself was recognized early on as a prodigy by his teachers and already can be heard ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The U.S. Army Blues: Swinging In The Holidays

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Many a Christmas album plays the role of aural security blanket, serving up gently nostalgic sentiments to soothe the common man. This isn't one of them. The U.S. Army Blues--the big band outgrowth/offshoot of The United States Army Band “Pershing's Own"--ushers in the holiday season with an exciting set that's more well-oiled romp than relaxing balm. Over the course of fifteen numbers this tight outfit delivers with might and flight. SGM Craig Fraedrich's arrangement of Leroy Anderon's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Shawn Lovato: Cycles of Animation

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The title of bassist Shawn Lovato's debut record, Cycles of Animation, is wholly appropriate, as Lovato's compositions are filled with incessant motion. With a good deal of rhythmic dynamism and a fluid, loosely-structured sound, the album is a convincing statement from Lovato and a sign of even better things to come. Lovato has a fine group of colleagues, including guitarist Brad Shepik, altoist Loren Stillman, pianist Santiago Leibson and drummer Chris Carroll, so he has all the resources ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Janeway Trio featuring Frank Tate and Chuck Zeuren: Secret Passages

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New York City jazz pianist David Janeway and his trio sound as if they're trying to be a force for good in the universe. Secret Passages rides a relentless traditional momentum, rolling along with a positive vibe under the influence of a big push on the refresh button. Oscar Peterson and Bud Powell operated this way, with desinctively different styles. The bass and drum team--Frank Tate and Chuck Zeuren, respectively--walk a joyful line between supportive and interactive in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bobby Bradford - Hafez Modirzadeh with Ken Filiano & Royal Hartigan: Live At The Magic Triangle

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Venerable West Coast-based trumpeter, cornetist and instructor, Bobby Bradford has carved out a big slice of modern jazz history due to his recordings and performances with iconic jazz artisans, reedmen Ornette Coleman, John Carter, Eric Dolphy and bassist Charlie Haden among other luminaries. On this superb release recorded at the University of Massachusetts as part of the Magical Triangle Jazz Series, he shares the billing with saxophonist, recording artist and leading-edge music theorist, Hafez Modirzadeh. With first-call support ...


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