Concert Review: Steve Coleman & Five Elements at Albright-Knox Art Gallery

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

If Steve Coleman’s set at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery proved anything, it’s that residencies are still a beneficial means to cultivating unrivaled virtuosity within a band.

In the case of composer, alto saxophonist, and bandleader Steve Coleman and his band Five Elements, a recent 11-day run of shows and workshops at Detroit’s Carr Center allowed for Buffalo jazz fans to witness the output of a well-oiled machine. Their debut in Buffalo, Steve Coleman and Five Elements opened the Albright-Knox’s Art of Jazz series, produced by University at Buffalo music professor and trumpeter Jon Nelson.

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Reissue Review: Gene Ammons – “Boss Tenor” (Prestige)


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

Tenor saxophonist Gene Ammons‘ tone can be best described using the qualities of an ideally brewed cup of joe: rounded, bold, smooth, and exhilarating after first taste. Continue reading “Reissue Review: Gene Ammons – “Boss Tenor” (Prestige)”

Classic Review: Tony Williams – “Life Time” (Blue Note)


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

By now, it’s an irrefutable fact that drummer Tony Williams was the youngest preeminent figure within the avant-garde movement of the mid-’60s. Every jazz fan seems to know the events that led to his international fame: after intriguing trumpeter Miles Davis with his cutting-edge approach to drumming, he was hired and added to the groundbreaking “Second Great Quintet” at the ripe age of 17. During this significant stint, Williams altered the trajectory of Davis’ music, solidified himself as a drum wunderkind, and broadened his skill set to successfully branch out from jazz into rock-oriented genres such as fusion. Continue reading “Classic Review: Tony Williams – “Life Time” (Blue Note)”

Reissue Roundup: Music Matters Jazz

In terms of music, no genre is as unique to America as jazz. That said, few record labels are as synonymous with jazz as Blue Note Records. The famed label was the brainchild of two German immigrants, Alfred Lion and photographer Francis Wolff, whose efforts greatly influenced and forever fossilized the linear progression of jazz. Throughout its 75-plus year history, Blue Note managed to record some of the leading musicians in traditional jazz, bebop, hard bop, post-bop, the avant-garde, funk jazz, and beyond. Continue reading “Reissue Roundup: Music Matters Jazz”

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


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 unrefined improvisation on to new generations. Continue reading “New Release Review: The Uppercut: Matthew Shipp Mat Walerian Duo – “Live at Okuden” (ESP-Disk’)”

Reissue Review: Van Morrison – “It’s Too Late to Stop Now” (Sony Legacy)



Within music, there are certain live albums that are universally praised for mirroring the unrefined fervor of a concert. The Band’s “The Last Waltz,” The Who’s “Live at Leeds,” the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense,” Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison,” and Cheap Trick’s “At Budokan” come to mind immediately. However, hidden under the towering stature of the aforementioned albums lies Van Morrison’s first live album released in 1974 entitled, “It’s Too Late to Stop Now” –- an effort that embodies the phrase “criminally underrated.” Continue reading “Reissue Review: Van Morrison – “It’s Too Late to Stop Now” (Sony Legacy)”