New Release Review: Lucerne Jazz Orchestra – Oaktree (QFTF)

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The following is an excerpt from a recent article I wrote for All About Jazz:

Since its inception in 2007, the Lucerne Jazz Orchestra has established itself as one of Europe’s most innovative ensembles operating within the contemporary big band idiom. Currently consisting of a vocalist (Karin Meier) and 17 musicians under the musical direction of David Grottschreiber, the group has consistently collaborated with fellow trailblazers and featured works by young composers dispersed throughout Europe, all in an attempt to revise and progress the very musical language from which it originated. Oaktree, the group’s sixth studio album, flawlessly documents the distinctive voices that constitute its singular aesthetic through genre-crossing compositions, perceptive arranging, and rousing performances. Continue reading “New Release Review: Lucerne Jazz Orchestra – Oaktree (QFTF)”

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New Release Review: Xavi Reija – “Reflections”

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The following is an excerpt from a recent article I wrote for All About Jazz:

Deviating from his reputation within the realm of boundary-pushing progressive rock/jazz fusion, Catalan drummer and composer Xavi Reija removed the presence of electrified instruments that dominated previous works for an acoustic album that explores the jazz piano trio format. Reflections, his eighth recording as a leader, synthesizes Reija’s dynamic authority behind the kit with the lyrical proficiency of bassist Pau Lligadas and the great pianist Nitai Hershkovits (best known for his work with bassist Avishai Cohen). What results is a set of expressive compositions that foster conversational interplay propelled by an attention to rhythmic detail. Continue reading “New Release Review: Xavi Reija – “Reflections””