New Release Review: Toxic: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/William Parker – This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People (ESP-Disk’)

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

Polish multi-instrumentalist Mat Walerian is on the verge of reserving his seat in the pantheon of groundbreaking hornmen who recorded for the late Bernard Stollman’s storied ESP-Disk’ label. Continue reading “New Release Review: Toxic: Mat Walerian/Matthew Shipp/William Parker – This Is Beautiful Because We Are Beautiful People (ESP-Disk’)”

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New Release Review: Woodlander – Calvins Toboggan (QFTF)

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

Woodlander is an intriguing jazz combo out of Europe dedicated to breathing life into the original compositions of its founder, Swiss pianist Luzius Schuler. A trio marked by its sparseness, Woodlander is rounded off with trumpeter Mats Spillmann and drummer Jonas Ruther, both of whom recently collaborated with Schuler on Lucerne Jazz Orchestra’s Oaktree (QFTF) Continue reading “New Release Review: Woodlander – Calvins Toboggan (QFTF)”

New Release Review: Matt Holman – “The Tenth Muse” (New Focus Recordings)

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

New York City-based trumpeter and composer Matt Holman cut his teeth performing and recording with distinguished musicians such as Fred Hersch, John Hollenbeck, and Darcy James Argue before displaying his personal aesthetic Continue reading “New Release Review: Matt Holman – “The Tenth Muse” (New Focus Recordings)”

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)”

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””

New Release Review: Vince Tampio – “Live at PafA”

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

The long-standing practice of incorporating non-Western instruments within a jazz setting is further evolved on up-and-coming trumpeter and composer Vince Tampio’s self-produced album Live at PafA. Continue reading “New Release Review: Vince Tampio – “Live at PafA””

New Release Review: Niculin Janett Quartet (feat. Rich Perry) – “No Parking Any Time” (QFTF)

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

Zurich-based alto saxophonist and composer Niculin Janett, in the naming of his quartet’s debut album, encapsulated the essence of his music with an otherwise vexatious phrase that regularly victimizes most city dwellers: No Parking Any Time. Although irritating for motorists, an ordinance prohibiting parking in terms of music, especially jazz, would seemingly stimulate perpetual movement and growth. Uniting under this theme of motion, Janett’s quartet slices the brake lines and speeds ahead, depositing an inspired set of meandering music along the way. Continue reading “New Release Review: Niculin Janett Quartet (feat. Rich Perry) – “No Parking Any Time” (QFTF)”

New Release Review: John Abercrombie Quartet – “Up and Coming” (ECM)

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

Guitarist John Abercrombie has long been a stalwart artist for Manfred Eicher’s ECM Records, steadily releasing albums as a leader since 1975’s fusion masterpiece Timeless (ECM). A true guitar virtuoso, Abercrombie’s adaptability and dexterous command over his instrument have secured his exalted rank within the jazz realm and beyond. Now, over 40 years after his debut, Abercrombie’s inventiveness shows no signs of diminishing as he has kicked off 2017 with a new album for ECM, Up and Coming. Continue reading “New Release Review: John Abercrombie Quartet – “Up and Coming” (ECM)”

New Release Review: Matthew Shipp Trio – “Piano Song” (Thirsty Ear)

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

It’s difficult to encapsulate pianist Matthew Shipp’s inimitable musical vision and approach exclusively with words. The elusiveness of his aesthetic stems from its malleability: Shipp retains his unwavering objective of unfettered expression, yet never fully eschews tradition, yielding an unrivaled brand of stirring music. A consummate innovator, Shipp’s singular musical vocabulary has matured and diversified over decades of enterprising music, spanning a multitude of genres and musical ensembles. Continue reading “New Release Review: Matthew Shipp Trio – “Piano Song” (Thirsty Ear)”

New Release Review: The Uppercut: Matthew Shipp Mat Walerian Duo – “Live at Okuden” (ESP-Disk’)

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Forming a duo in jazz can amount to a daunting task. There’s simply no hiding; with arrangements so sparse, possibility is boundless and subtleties are fully exposed. This formless atmosphere requires able musicians who can immerse themselves in their instruments and in turn, feed off each other to eventually flourish on a singular wavelength. The innovators of the jazz duo — Anthony Braxton and Max Roach, Bill Evans and Jim Hall, Dave Holland and Sam Rivers — reaped these artistic benefits and effectively solidified the format’s legacy within jazz, passing the gifts of unrefinedĀ improvisation on to new generations. Continue reading “New Release Review: The Uppercut: Matthew Shipp Mat Walerian Duo – “Live at Okuden” (ESP-Disk’)”