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CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Duende Libre: Drift

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Duende Libre is an energetic trio of Seattle musicians utilizing the American jazz tradition as a jumping off point for exploration of global musical forms. The creative vision for the band is perhaps that of pianist/composer Alex Chadsey, yet it is his two mates, drummer/percussionist Jeff Busch, and uber bassist Farko Dosumov that bring his musical vision to life. Chadsey sets the bar high for this band by including the term “duende" as part of its moniker. While ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ark Ovrutski: Journey Moments

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In lineage with his previous releases--notably Sounds of Brasil (self produced, 2011) and Intersection (Origin, 2016))--bassist/band-leader/composer Ark Ovrutski's fourth release Journey Moments is a tightly wound, expertly realized collection of five originals and four like-minded covers that nudge Ovrutski closer to the upper ranks of today's jazz. Journey Moments creates an overall sense of time and place, how we move from one moment to the next, interpreting our lives in the quieter moments. Launching with the loose-limbed rhythms ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kimo West: Moku Maluhia - Peaceful Island

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In addition to his regular gig as guitarist with musical parodist Weird Al Yankovic--which requires him to cover a wide variety of guitar styles--Kimo West is a Hawaiian slack-key guitar aficionado. His previous solo recording Guitar Stories (Westernmost Records, 2016) applied the finger-style playing technique with open tunings to an eclectic variety of material, accompanied by several supporting musicians. Here he stays closer to the slack-key tradition, playing solo with occasional support from shakuhachi flute and cello. Kimo's compositions are ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Erroll Garner: Night Concert

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It's the jazz equivalent of finding a Van Gogh or a Ming vase in the attic: the discovery of a complete, perfectly-recorded 1964 concert by one of the music's greatest virtuoso solo pianists. In the beginning was Art Tatum. Then came Oscar Peterson. Finally--and in many ways the most interesting of the holy trinity--Erroll Garner. Garner was famed for his long, rambling introductions. In a section of the liner notes jazz historian Professor Robin D. G. Kelley ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Dwiki Dharmawan: Rumah Batu

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Dwiki Dharmawan's international debut, So Far So Close (MoonJune Records) (2016), pitted the Indonesian pianist with Jimmy Haslip, Chad Wackerman and Indonesian six-string maestros Thopati and Dewa Budjana in a mostly conventional jazz-fusion setting. On Pasar Klewer (2017) Dharmawan gave vent to his incredibly broad compositional palette, with a genre-bending mash-up featuring Jerry Goodman, Mark Wingfield, Yaron Stavi, Asaf Sirkis, Gilad Atzmon, plus Indonesian percussionists and vocalists. Rumah Bata, whilst as ambitious and as stylistically varied as its predecessor, is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Flying Horse Big Band: The Bat Swings!

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Although The Bat Swings! could well be taken for a baseball analogy, the focus of this third CD by the University of Central Florida's high-powered Flying Horse Big Band is on music associated with the campy Batman TV series from the late 1960s that starred Adam West as the masked superhero and Burt Ward as his sidekick, Robin. The album embodies themes by the celebrated composers Nelson Riddle, Neal Hefti and Paul Francis Webster with arrangements by Michael Philip Mossman, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Lina Nyberg: Terrestrial

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Idiosyncratic to the core, ambitious beyond measure, and knowing no idiomatic limitations, since the early 1990s Swedish vocalist and composer Lina Nyberg has captivated and surprised listeners with the astonishing range of her unique artistic vision. She has performed with a “who's who" list of Swedish musicians, from iconic figures like Esbjörn Svensson and Palle Danielsson to out-leaning players like Mattias Ståhl, Magnus Broo, and Torbjörn Zetterberg. Her repertoire and arrangements are consistently imaginative and courageous, and her regular band--pianist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Chance Hayden: Get Somethin'

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From first bikes to first apartments and beyond, there's nothing quite like that initial time stepping out on your own--a certain kind of excitement that comes with finally being in charge and able to set the rules. Chance Hayden's label debut comes years after an early self-released recording, several albums' worth of sideman service and a range of touring and production/arranging work. All those years of study and woodshedding are in evidence on the fast-cooking Get Somethin,' buoyed a little ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bansangu Orchestra: Bansangu Orchestra

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The eponymously titled Bansangu Orchestra is the brainchild of British saxophonist Paul Booth, guitarist Giorgio Serci and trumpeter Kevin Robinson. Booth, who is the band's musical director, has played and recorded with Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and Snowboy, and from the jazz world, Michael Janisch, Sax Appeal, The Mike Garrick Big Band and Tim Garland's Northern Underground Orchestra to name just a few. Booth's multi-layered “Cross Channel" kicks off proceedings and both Steve Fishwick on trumpet and Booth ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Hubert Dupont: Smart Grid

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French bassist and composer Hubert Dupont has been mixing music and political activism since his Sabil Trio played at the Institute of the Arab World in 2013. That event served as the inspiration for Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 1 (2016) and Golan/Al Joulan Vol. 2 (2017), both on the Ultrabolic label. His blend of Arab music and jazz on those releases is part of his broader musical reach, extending to the influences of Africa, Eastern European music and spoken word. Dupont's ...