CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Oded Lev-Ari: Threading

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There's more to music than often meets the eye. While educated jazz fans often laud and focus on the artists whose names adorn the cover of albums and the sidemen that support and converse with them, far fewer people applaud the work of figures like Oded Lev-Ari--those men of many hats who work out of sight, producing, arranging, and orchestrating for the better-known names. Over the past decade, Lev-Ari's guiding hands have helped to sculpt the sound ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Rich Halley 4: Creating Structure

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Saxophonist Rich Halley, home-based in Portland, Oregon, has put out seventeen CDs. A good handful of those, pre-2006, were released on the now-dormant Louie Records. These were mostly chordless trio and quartet affairs that showcased Halley's talent for creating category four maelstroms that gelled and bopped their way into surprisingly catchy, damned near mainstream grooves. Pine Eagle Records, Halley's record label, was born in 2010, and the saxophonist and his like minded friends--trombonist Michael Vlatkovich, bassist Clyde Reed ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Diatribes: Great Stone / Blood Dunza

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The duo Diatribes--d'incise (a.k.a. Laurent Peter) and Cyril Bondi--are the driving forces behind the INSUB label on which many of their recordings have been released, either as Diatribes or within other groupings. Great Stone / Blood Durza is not the duo's first release on a label other than INSUB, but it is noteworthy for other reasons; it is released on vinyl in an edition limited to 300 copies and it is explicitly making connections between Diatribes' electro-acoustic improvisation and the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Daniel Bennett Group: The Mystery at Clown Castle

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Daniel Bennett is an extremely talented player (alto saxophone, flute, piccolo, clarinet, oboe and piano) and composer whose music has a simple, light and lyrical quality which hides quite a bit complexity going on underneath. There is also more than a bit of wry satire thrown into the mix. While his brand of music will most likely not attract the “downtown" crowd, that is not his aim. What he wants to do is to craft melodies which will ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up: After All Is Said

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Drummer Tomas Fujiwara's The Hook Up features artists who are among the more prominent representatives of new directions in jazz and improvisation. Here, the leader acts as an instigator and propulsive factor via his rhythmically shaped works, comprised of rolling, tumbling and splintered movements, etched with budding thematic developments. Guitarist Mary Halvorson's distinctive phraseology comes to the forefront amid her liquefying and bent notes, eliciting otherworldly backdrops in parallel with her dynamic soloing sprees with the hornists. The ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

David Berkman: Old Friends And New Friends

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Pianist David Berkman has come full circle with Old Friends And New Friends. He's back on Palmetto records, the label that released his first four records as a leader between 1998 and 2004; Matt Balitsaris, who helped shape and capture the sound on those albums, is back at the helm, serving as engineer, co-producer and sounding board for Berkman; and Brian Blade, the always in-demand drummer who appeared on three of Berkman's Palmetto releases, has returned to the fold. But ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Toots Lorraine: Make It Easy

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Firstly, who can possibly deny the name “Toots Lorraine?" That name is to the barrelhouse music on Make It Easy as Harmon Killebrew or Dizzy Dean are to baseball. So what's in this name, Toots Lorraine? Well, that's where things expand. Along with husband, guitarist and co-leader of The Traffic, Chad Dent, Lorraine is a potent powerhouse of blues and jump conscience. Collectively, the band is fluent in several blues-related styles largely due to the presence of harmonica player Aki ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Huntsville: Pond

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Since the Norwegian trio Huntsville first came together in 2006, they have been eclectic enough to keep listeners guessing what to expect next and who they might collaborate with, making each of their album releases an intriguing and exciting event. After their debut album For The Middle Class (Rune Grammofon, 2006) featured the three core players--guitarist Ivar Grydeland, percussionist Ingar Zach and bassist Tonny Kluften--alone together, its follow-up, the double CD Eco, Arches & Eras (Rune Grammofon, 2008 ), featured ...



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