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Find full CD and individual track reviews of your favorite jazz artists right here, and hopefully you also discover some new artists to add to your collection as well.

Composer, guitarist, harpsichordist, performer on the chumbuz and langspil, as well as music conceptualist Guðmundur Steinn Gunnarsson is from Reykjavik, Iceland. His background includes time studying composition at Mills College with forward thinkers Alvin Curran, Fred Frith and John Bischoff, as well as time studying in Iceland with Atli Ingólfsson and numerous other Icelandic composers. He has also participated in masterclasses with Helmut Lachenmann, Tristan Murail, Clarence Barlow and the music conceptualist/philosopher Pauline Oliveros.
Pianist Assaf Gleizner, bass guitarist Koby Hayon and drummer Nadav Snir Zelniker form Trio Shalva. Shalva is a Hebrew word that means serenity. On Riding Alone, the ensemble’s independently-released recording, Trio Shalva explores standards and original music from Israel, their homeland. Trio Shalva’s sound, for the most part, is New Age. Think Scott Cossu or Fred Simon without the saxophonist out front.
Trumpeter and teacher Stanton Davis, Jr., originally from New Orleans, studied at the Berklee Collge of Music, New England Conservatory and Wesleyan University. As a teacher, he has taught at the New England Conservatory, Wellesley College, Bennington College and Jazzmobile. As a performer, he has been a member of Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy, the Lionel Hampton Orchestra, Mongo Santamaria's Orchestra and Mario Bauza & His Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. Davis has also worked with artists like Muhal Richard Abrams, Jaki Byard, Gil Evans, Charlie Haden, George Gruntz, James Moody, Sam Rivers, Max Roach and David Sanborn. A large portion of Davis'…
Euge Groove, known to his friends as Eugene Grove, has worked hard for his vaulted place in smooth jazz. Early classical piano lessons led to studies on the saxophone. Graduating from the University of Miami with a degree in saxophone performance, Groove played in a variety of bands and did studio work before coming to the attention of fellow saxophonist Richard Elliot, who got him a gig with Tower of Power. Later work with artists like Tina Turner, Joe Cocker and Elton John kept Groove constantly on the road before staking out a solo career.
Tributes have become staples of the jazz industry. On this 2011 effort, laudable Italian pianist Roberto Magris pays homage to late, great hard-bop trumpeter Lee Morgan who died from a gunshot wound in 1972 at New York City's Slugs jazz venue. The trumpeter's stylistic fusion of R&B and groove-oriented patterns set his craft apart from many peers, in addition to his fluidly melodic phrasings and largely memorable compositions. Here, Magris leads a young band, featuring renowned jazz drummer, Albert "Tootie" Heath (Heath Brothers).
Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli invites legendary British bassist Barry Guy to lend his monstrous chops on Polisation. Sure enough, this unit seldom fails to impart numerous surprises into multidimensional environs, incited by the leader's fusion of experimental and symmetrically designed architectures. Big Zoom sports a big sound, yet desensitizes its arsenal with soft-to-the-touch dialogues, interspersed throughout various ebbs and flows.
Electronic whiiiiiiiine! Clatter! Softer whiiine. Clopping of an uncoordinated, seven-legged pony. Screeech! Scrunch. Electronic drone. Yada, yada, yada. If that's your idea of either fun or how to extend the possibilities of trumpet playing, you'll love this album. Otherwise, for all but the most open minded-- or gullible-- this is noise. If you doubt my judgement, visit the Carrier Records site. It says, "We believe in noise."
With its 20th album, this Chicago-based outfit continues to abide by a multitasking line of attack while spreading good karma throughout the broad plane of progressive-rock idioms. Hence, the group's charismatic persona and clever arrangements imprint a symbol of authenticity.
There are few things you can bet on that are absolute certainties. In the music world the top of the list has to include how Kenny G will always confound critics while at the same time delighting his fans. Few instrumental artists, save perhaps Herb Alpert, have understood over long periods of time, and here we're talking decades, exactly what kind of music will respond to the public's heart. G has never had that problem.
Under the Sun is the title of the outstanding contemporary jazz release on Patrick's Song Factory from the masterful keyboardist/composer Patrick Bradley. His initial solo release, Come Rain or Shine, appeared four years ago serving as the artist's formal introduction. On Under the Sun the artist has emancipated all his enormous creative chops to craft a modern tour de force that provides gratifying classy excellence throughout. 
Monika Herzig is a supremely talented jazz pianist/composer/arranger who was born in a small village in Germany. Upon obtaining the chance to come to the United States on a student exchange program, she seized the opportunity to further her jazz studies and now has merited a prestigious position teaching music at Indiana University. Her new enchanting CD is titled Come With Me, and includes a DVD which features several live performances and penetrating background information and interviews with both herself and fellow musicians. The CD exhibits a profound harmonic density with the music manifesting itself on many levels; much like…
White Hills' second album for Thrill Jockey records is in part, based on corporate misgivings and an insipid quality of life in America. Here, the musicians generate space-rock, modern psychedlia and noise music to shape a rather punishing sequence of events. And from the noise or volume perspective, these gents would give vintage Black Sabbath a run for the money.
Founder of the seminal progressive-rock band King Crimson, guitarist Robert Fripp employs his legendary Frippertronics effects with formidable saxophonist Theo Travis on this resonating live release culled from a performance at the Coventry Cathedral in the U.K. Travis’ work with the Soft Machine Legacy instills a deep-rooted sense of British progressive-rock colonialism while teaming with the fabled and undeniably influential guitarist. And his escalating stature within jazz and rock vistas has served him well amid numerous first-call session gigs and solo endeavors. Here, the duo parlays a rather sanctified realm of musical notions.
In the music press, much (perhaps too much) has been made of the need for American jazz musicians to preserve traditional jazz sounds. Never mind that the truest tradition of jazz is one of constant change and rebirth, many use this historical preservation imperative as an excuse to simply regurgitate the past over and over until the listening public is inundated with CDs titled 'So-And-So Plays The Standards.' In fact, what jazz really needs to remain relevant in the 21st Century is original compositions, and a deeper, cross-cutting understanding of the myriad ways that contemporary musical styles relate to jazz…
Frank Carlberg's "Tivoli Trio" is one of those rare piano trio beasts that makes an immediate impression. It helps that Carlberg himself is a fascinating composer who has an immediately recognizable touch on the keys. He's also one of those players who's impossible to pigeonhole. His precise, lively piano playing seems informed by classical music, but he's a jazz dude through and through. There's no gimmick here – no pop covers and no bad boy posturing. Even within the jazz realm, Carlberg's style is idiosyncratic – he's clearly not a Chick / Herbie / McCoy / Bill Evans acolyte. Nor…
25.06.2011

Agogic by Agogic

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Agogic is, in some ways, a musical homecoming celebration for Seattle natives Vu and D'Angelo (whose work with Matt Wilson, Human Feel and Kurt Rosenwinkel is nothing short of remarkable) following extended stays in Boston and New York City. Agogic's other two members – bassist Luke Bergman and drummer Evan Woodle – are products of Seattle's very fertile jazz and experimental music scene. With this young and extremely capable rhythm section in tow, Vu and D'Angelo are free to explore all sorts of stylistic variations and intersections, unfettered by big city music politics and the ensuing creative burnout.