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Album Reviews

ALBUM REVIEWS

Marion Brown / Dave Burrell: Live at the Black Musicians' Conference, 1981

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Once again the Lithuanian NoBusiness team has unearthed a jewel from the archives, this time an unissued live recording by two masters of the 1960s New Thing who thrived thereafter. Alto saxophonist Marion Brown, a participant on John Coltrane's legendary Ascension (Impulse, 1965), and pianist Dave Burrell, a stalwart of Archie Shepp's outfits, combined on a number of releases under Brown's name, such as Juba-Lee (Fontana, 1967) and Three For Shepp (Impulse, 1967), but after that time had only collaborated ...

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Time Grove: More Than One Thing

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The titling of instrumental pieces might take any number of courses. Musicians can make them super deep, or use super obscure references. Dedications to a specific place or person are common, as is the use of instruments or genres. Many titles are just left open to the listener's interpretation. Tel Aviv band Time Grove offers all the above options on their debut record More Than One Thing. Based around the work of acclaimed pianist Nitai Hershkovits, the group ...

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Wandering Monster: Wandering Monster

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Wandering Monster is the eponymously titled debut album for a quintet comprising five young musicians based in the Leeds area of England. The group came to fame after winning the 2016/17 Jazz North Introduces Award, and is led by bassist Sam Quintana who wrote all the album's compositions. “Samsara" is driven-off by Quintana's resonant bass, Tom Higham's subtle drumming and Aleks Podraza's fluid piano line before the ensemble kicks-in with a labyrinthine theme. Plenty of space is afforded ...

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Aguanko: Pattern Recognition

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Aguanko's composer, conguero and bandleader Dr. Alberto Nacif first stepped into the worlds of Latin and Afro-Cuban percussion alongside Cuban conga/bongo master Armando Peraza, the pillar of percussion fire who blazed throughout the Santana band's first decade. On Pattern Recognition, Nacif teams with another legendary Cuban percussionist: José “Pepe" Espinosa, who jumps in on timbales, guiro and bongos, and doubles as producer of Aguanko's third release. Aguanko's albums consistently run with the humming, precision consistency of an exquisitely ...

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Marianne Faithfull: Come And Stay With Me: The UK 45's 1964-1969

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If Come And Stay With Me proves anything, it is that Marianne Faithfull was hardly the mere waif she appeared to be during her initial rise to fame. This collection of her earliest work, comprised of the A and B-sides of UK Decca singles plus the Go Away From My World EP, suggest a resilience borne out by the longevity of a career still in progress (her latest album, Negative Capability (Panta Rei, 2018) came out last September).

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Rolling Stones: Beggars Banquet 50th Anniversary Edition

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With the exception of the expanded versions of Exile On Main Street (UME, 2010), Sticky Fingers (UME, 2011) and Some Girls (UME, 2015), the arguable essentials of their discography, the Rolling Stones have confined the archiving of their vault to unreleased concert material on audio and video rather than plumbing the depths for unreleased outtakes, demos and alternate arrangements. So it's little surprise that, while have been SACD releases of Rolling Stones catalog in the past, this Beggars Banquet 50th ...

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Chris Potter: Circuits

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Reedman Chris Potter is one of the most influential and inventive improvisors of these times. Circuits Potter and keyboardist James Francies, drummer Eric Harland and Bassist Linley Marthe For more than two decades Potter's limitless creativity, effortless virtuosity and vibrant sense of swing has wowed critics, musicians and fans. Following three acclaimed albums on ECM, Circuits sees Chris Potter, with a new home at Edition Records with a return to groove, echoing his music from the Underground.

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Various Artists: MPS: 50 Years

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In 2018, MPS--Musik Produktion Schwarzwald--Records, Germany's first jazz label, celebrated its fiftieth anniversary. Pianist Oscar Peterson recorded the first release for MPS after his contract with Verve expired. Its catalog expanded to feature George Duke, Red Garland, Wolfgang Dauner, Horst Jankowski, George Shearing, Monty Alexander and many other pianists. Violin became the label's second most featured instrument through releases by established masters such as Don “Sugarcane" Harris and Stéphane Grappelli, and emerging ones such as Didier Lockwood and Jean-Luc Ponty. ...

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Michael Kocour: East Of The Sun

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Michael Kocour's solo piano recital is comprised of great American songs, most of which were popular in the early-to-mid twentieth century. There's nothing dated or anachronistic about the ways in which he handles the material. Throughout the record's ten tracks, Kocour establishes a state of equilibrium between a fealty to traditional song forms and jazz practices; a resourceful, imaginative streak; and a great deal of facility on the instrument. While he often incorporates elements of early jazz piano styles, such ...

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Kresten Osgood Quintet: Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz

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Danish drummer Kresten Osgood achieves the musical equivalent of pay-it-forward with Kresten Osgood Quintet Plays Jazz. His ensemble of up-and-coming Copenhagen musicians delivers convincing renditions of some archetypal compositions, plus three originals by the leader. The choice of music on these two discs exposes the quintet to many types of possible criticism. Listeners familiar with the music of Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Eric Dolphy and Charles Mingus most certainly have seminal recordings of these artists burned into their ...

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Frank Macchia: Rhythm Kaleidoscope

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With a host of wide-ranging work not only as a musician but also as a producer and arranger for television and film projects, Frank Macchia has never been one to rest on his laurels. Even if you're not familiar with his recordings, chances are you've heard at least one of his many film orchestrations: from The Cable Guy to Mission Impossible III to Muppets Most Wanted, Macchia's resume covers virtually every movie genre imaginable. And his own recording projects have ...

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Rob Dixon: Coast to Crossroads

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"The album is called Coast to Crossroads because I'm based in Indiana, the Crossroads state, but I also work a lot on the West Coast and East Coast," explains saxophonist Rob Dixon, who leads this trio session with drummer Mike Clark and seven-string funk guitar maven Charlie Hunter (who also served as producer), plus occasional guest trombonist Ernest Stuart. Personal connections between the three principals enable their musical connections to flow richly and deep: Indianapolis Jazz Hall of ...