John Vincent Barron

John Vincent Barron

On The Prairie Prophet, saxophonist Ernest Dawkins and his New Horizon Ensemble pay tribute to friend and mentor Fred Anderson, saxophonist and owner of the Velvet Lounge in Chicago who passed away on June 24, 2010. Dawkins and company traverse a diverse landscape of musical moods, from jubilant buoyancy ("Hymn for a Hip King"), to intense spontaneity ("Sketches"), to lyrical ensemble statements ("Balladesque," "Shades of the Prairie Prophet"). Standout soloing is in abundance throughout with st
Toronto-area businessman Mario Romano studied music formally in the 1970s before being lured into the more lucrative world of cement and construction. Without ever losing his passion for jazz piano, Romano has managed to maintain a healthy dose of chops and a keen sense of arranging. Valentina, his debut recording for the Canadian label Alma Records, features a familiar set of standards and a couple of original pieces in an acoustic quartet setting. Top-notch Toronto musicians Pat LaBarbera (ten
Power Play is a disc of hard-driving, intense, full-throttle, straight-ahead jazz. It's not that saxophonist Ralph Bowen isn't capable of subdued tender moments—such moments are certainly present throughout this disc—, it's just that the renowned veteran of the East Coast scene, in both his playing and composing, happily leans to the aggressive side of modern, progressive jazz. From his days in the 1980s with young-lion super group Out of The Blue, to his more recent stints with pianists Horace
For the last ten years or so, guitarist Samo Salamon has been making a name for himself throughout the European jazz market as an inventive improviser, composer and leader of diverse small group ensembles, often featuring American notables such as saxophonists Mark Turner and David Binney. A tireless self-promoter, the Slovenian native has been creating a buzz with critics and fans of jazz guitar. His latest release, Almost Almond, is an inticing trio release sure to further the guitarist's repu
New York-based pianist Alon Nechushtan has worked as a sideman with the likes of Frank London and Baya Kouyate and is the founder of the quintet TALAT, a critically acclaimed jazz-meets-klezmer ensemble. Nechushtan makes a bold statement with Words Beyond, his first release as leader of a progressive trio featuring bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss. The disc is a hard swinging, soulful collection of nine of the pianist's original compositions. Nechushtan has the ability to reshape a
Since the 1990s, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel has been consistently turning heads with a series of releases showcasing his unique playing and compositional voice. Aside from his success as a leader, the Philadelphia native has racked up sideman credits with the likes of Brian Blade, Joshua Redman and Danilo Perez. Since 2003, Rosenwinkel has resided in Europe and currently teaches at the Jazz Institute of Berlin. In 2008, the Portugal-based big band Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos (OJM) invited the g
Connecticut native Mike DiRubbo has made a name for himself as a featured saxophonist in New York-based groups led by trombonist Steve Davis, pianist David Hazeltine and many others. His sixth release as a leader, Chronos (Posi-Tone), is a hard-blowing, straight-ahead affair with organist Brian Charette and drummer Rudy Royston. The disc features nine original compositions by DiRubbo and Charette, ranging from up-tempo burners and bouncy waltzes, to modal workouts and Latin-inspired grooves. Pri
Guitarist Russel Malone has maintained a prolific balance over the last couple of decades as both a leader and sideman to jazz luminaries, such as Diana Krall, Harry Connick, Jr. and Sonny Rollins. It comes as a surprise to realize that his ninth solo release Triple Play is his first trio project. With the stripped down line up of bassist David Wong and drummer Montez Coleman, Malone finds himself fully exposed without the cushion of a piano or organ. With a choice selection of standards and ori
New York-based guitarist Chris Crocco displays flowing improvisational lines with horn-like character. It's not that the Virginia native completely eschews the traditions of jazz guitar, but a thorough listen to his latest disc reveals a forward-thinking approach, void of typical blues riffs, octave slides and other predictable tricks associated with his instrument. Dubbed the Fluid Trio +, Crocco recruits bassist Peter Slavov, drummer Francisco Mela and veterans saxophonist/educator George Garz
The fourth in a series of loosely-structured, jam session recordings for the Canadian-based Alma Records, One Take: Volume Four features Hammond organ giant Joey DeFrancesco with a trio of veteran Toronto jazz musicians performing a cozy set of straight-ahead standard fare. Fronting the session is saxophonist Phil Dwyer who displays a robust tenor tone and performs with swinging lyricism through "There is No Greater Love" and "Tenderly." A somewhat unusual twist to the seemingly predictable proc