CD/LP/Track Review

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Kirk Knuffke: Arms & Hands

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Sometime, watch children as they eat the M&Ms. They will separate the colors into several piles--green, red, brown, yellow, orange, and blue. It's not that each color tastes different, except for maybe blue--I don't remember ever seeing that color before. Nonetheless, they go about savoring each color batch as an independent experience. Those little candies come to mind while attending to cornetist Kirk Knuffke's release Arms & Hands. The disc (released as both CD and LP) is a trio recording ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Marius Neset: Pinball

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Though Marius Neset thrives in small ensemble settings, his writing has increasingly exhibited orchestral ambition, as witnessed on the thrilling Birds (Edition Records, 2013), which saw his quintet augmented by brass, accordion and woodwind instruments to spectacular effect, and on Lion (ACT Music, 2014), a powerful outing with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. The aptly named Pinball sees Neset in equally expansive mood, navigating often complex charts with his core quintet bolstered on half the tracks by cello, violin and flute. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ryan Truesdell Gil Evans Project: Lines of Color

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The biggest ribbons in composer/arranger Gil Evans' (1912-1988) resume are three groundbreaking Columbia Records albums he recorded with trumpeter Miles Davis: Miles Ahead (1958); Porgy and Bess (1959); and Sketches of Spain (1960). These were orchestral jazz of the finest caliber, recorded a decade after Evans' earlier work with Davis on the seminal Capitol Records set Birth of the Cool, released in 1957. Evans' charts--written with the the inclusion of the then unusual (in jazz) French horns and the then ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

-isq: Too

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Too is the second album from London-based quartet -isq. No surprise there. The slightly odd presentation of the band's name remains in place and continues to trouble the usually faultless activities of the planet's internet search engines. The line-up from debut album -isq (Cheesepeas Records, 2013) is still intact. The band's distinctive “every silver lining has a cloud" approach to songwriting--lyrics by singer Irene Serra--was a strength of the debut and is also pretty much at the core of these ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ernesto Cervini: Turboprop

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Toronto jazz drummer Ernesto Cervini presents his fourth album as leader with the high-flying Turboprop offering a sophisticated modern jazz sound in a ten-piece repertoire of originals and standard material from the likes of Charlie Parker and Keith Jarrett among others. A robust drummer with a forceful presence on the drums, Cervini's style is reminiscent of the great Art Blakey, Billy Higgins and to a much lesser degree, even drawing comparisons to the power style of fusion jazz drummer Billy ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Pedro Giraudo Big Band: Cuentos

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Cuentos, the sixth recording by Argentine-born, New York-based composer / arranger / bassist Pedro Giraudo and his first as leader of a fully formed large ensemble, is a rhythmic delight, deftly interweaving the best of Giraudo's South American heritage with contemporary big-band jazz of the highest order. Giraudo wrote and arranged every number, on each of which the irrepressible harmonies and cadences of his homeland play an essential role. Much of the music is thematic, from the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Agustí Fernández / Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard / Bjørn Heebøll: Amaranth

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To call Spanish pianist Agustí Fernández an inside/outside player isn't to suggest that he dabbles in both straight-ahead and free jazz. As a free, improvising pianist, he is one of the most sensitive players in today's scene. No, calling Fernández an inside/outside player literally means he can often be found playing his instrument both from the outside --the keyboard, and the inside.His latest release is a new trio with the Danish musicians Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard (SOUND X SOUND) ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Errol Rackipov Group: Pictures From A Train Window

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There's a lot going on here: all manner of different musical influences and moods. Errol Rackipov (vibes and marimba), hails originally from Bulgaria. In his sleeve note, he likens life to a train ride on which we glimpse reflections of our past, present and future out of the window. The wistful, yet driving title song--probably Rackipov's best know composition to date--refers to this musically, a complex, Bulgarian emigré version of Jimmy Giuffre's classic “Train And The River." ...



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