CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Wayne Shorter: Adam's Apple

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In all the perpetual hubbub surrounding Blue Note records from the 1950s--the aggressive opinions and stratospheric prices--it's sometime easy to forget that the label released really high quality music all the way through the 1960s, and some of the recordings from the later years of the decade are every bit as worthy of attention as the legendary 1500 series dates. Case in point: Wayne Shorter's Adam's Apple, a quartet date recorded in 1966 when Shorter was a mainstay ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Cory Weeds & the Jeff Hamilton Trio: Dreamsville

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Even though the substance and framework of jazz are constantly changing and evolving, the music's bedrock--marked by spontaneity and free-wheeling swing--remains essentially unimpaired and secure. And when it comes to swinging, it's hard to eclipse the irrepressible pulse of the tenor saxophone, an instrument whose long and enduring ties to jazz and swing have been epitomized by such masters as Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, Wardell Gray, Stan Getz, Zoot Sims, Gene Ammons, Johnny Griffin, Hank Mobley, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jihye Lee Orchestra: April

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On April 16, 2014, the ferry Sewol capsized and sank in South Korea killing more than 300 passengers. In Boston that tragedy inspired Berklee College of Music student and Korean native Jihye Lee to put together the powerful music heard on this CD. Lee has assembled a 20-piece ensemble of Boston area musicians to play music from the branch of orchestral jazz that comes out of Gil Evans, Bob Brookmeyer and Maria Schneider, music that ranges from somber to emotional ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Monica Chapman: Small World

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Romanian-born, Toronto-based vocalist Monica Chapman delivers Small World, her third album since 2013, in a concept recording of songs from some of her favorite movies such as Gypsy, Band Wagon, Goldfinger, and Sweet Charity just to name a few. A classically-trained singer who performed musical theatre, Chapman had always had a passion for movies but was encouraged late in life to apply her vocal talents in the jazz realm which she has since done remarkable well. Making the transition from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Low Society: High Time

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When one listens to a whole lot of music, it becomes easy to be lulled into the friendly confines of being satisfied with good without ever hearing great. That is, until something exceptional comes along and then it is experienced as an epiphany. So were my feelings hearing Low Society's 2014 release You Can't Keep a Good Woman Down (Ice House Records). That was my introduction to brand of American blues, country and soul, that, while contemporary, is completely authentic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chris Washburne: Rags And Roots

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The year 1917 stands out in music history, for that was the year of the first jazz recording, (Livery Stable Blues by Original Dixieland Jass Band) and marks the death of ragtime pianist/composer Scott Joplin. To commemorate these events, and the century that ensued, trombonist Chris Washburne takes a musical exploration back through time on Rags And Roots, revealing the connections and contributions of not only America, but Haiti, Cuba, Mexico, and Brazil, in the early development of jazz.

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Endemic Ensemble: Tangled

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Notwithstanding a name that sounds like it could be contagious, the Endemic Ensemble is actually a commendable Seattle-based post-bop quintet whose second recording, Tangled, is packed to the brim with luminous melodies, splendid charts and engaging solos by all hands. While nominally a co-op group, the ensemble was founded in 2010 by bassist Steve Messick who shares composing / arranging credits with pianist David Franklin and baritone saxophonist Matso Limtiaco. The other members are saxophonist Travis Ranney and drummer Christian ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Polly Gibbons: Is It Me...?

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British songstress Polly Gibbons made her U.S. debut back in 2015 with the well received and seriously-acclaimed Many Faces of Love (Resonance, 2015), and now presents the highly-anticipated and swinging Is It Me...? . Touching on some R&B, pop-styled songs as well as including music from The Great American Songbook, this is one musical experience that turns out to be bold, brassy and brilliant. A staple of the UK jazz scene since the mid-2000s, the beautiful Ms. Gibbons is armed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Brass Mask: Live

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London's LOOP Collective has many talented members, including saxophonist and composer Tom Challenger and his band, Brass Mask. The nine-piece band--the octet which appeared on debut album Spy Boy (Babel Label, 2013) plus percussionist Jon Scott--mixes New Orleans, country blues, brass bands and contemporary jazz (including the influence of Henry Threadgill) and electronica. Many of these tracks appeared on that debut recording but Live, the band's second release, recorded at Servant Jazz Quarters in London, gives the tunes added punch ...


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