jazz Archive

Album Review: Chick Corea – Chick Corea Plays

The pandemic and its resultant shutdowns may have (for a time) put a stop to live music performances, but after a brief pause in March and April, it seems to have done little to slow the release of new material. The manner in which albums can be created outside a traditional studio (and often by

Album Review: Louis Armstrong – Live in France

One of the most important and influential figures in the music of the 20th century, Louis Armstrong had a recording career that spanned from the early 1920s through 1970, the year prior to his passing. His winning and distinctive personality was a major component of his appeal, but his music remains at the center of

Album Review: Wolfgang Lackerschmid and Chet Baker – Ballads for Two

In an odd way, it’s entirely fitting that nowhere on the sleeve or label does Ballads for Two indicate when the album was recorded or originally released. It’s fitting because there’s nothing about this album that ties it to a particular place or time. The record is comprised of eight cuts featuring nothing more than

30 Days Out, September 2020 #1: Alien Music Club, Hard Rocket, Firecracker Jazz Band, Modern Strangers

For this edition of “30 Days Out,” it’s all local acts from here in Asheville. And two of the four shows are (socially-distanced) in-person shows. As in, live in real time without the use of a computer or smartphone. What a concept! There’s an admission fee for those, which is only fair. For the other

30 Days Out, August 2020 #2: Jazz Night, Lovely World, Consider the Source, Steep Canyon Rangers

This edition of “30 Days Out” features four shows in or near Asheville. The roundup is a mix of live-in-person and livestream events. For the non-virtual ones, the standard caveat continues to apply: check your local listings before heading to the venue. You never know what’s going to happen these days. Artist: Jazz Night at

Crime and Spy Jazz on Screen: A Conversation with Derrick Bang (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … Bill Kopp: I think it’s interesting the number of times in the books when you end discussion of a given film and its music from, say, the ‘70s by saying, “A soundtrack finally appeared in 2006,” or something. It only came out many many years after you’d think that even

Crime and Spy Jazz on Screen: A Conversation with Derrick Bang (Part 1)

One of the many benefits of being a music journalist is that I come into contact with all manner of creative types. So it was that my friend Cheryl Pawelski of Omnivore Recordings introduced me to Derrick Bang. A film critic and author, Bang has written a two-volume work that digs deep into a subject

Album Review: Barrett Martin Group — Scattered Diamonds

In spring of last year, I reviewed Songs of the Firebird, a resonant and deeply intriguing album that could be described in part as a jazz album made with non-jazz musicians helping out. That record leaned in a bit of an avant-big-band direction. This newest release from the group is even more accessible. Scattered Diamonds

Album Review: Allan Holdsworth – Frankfurt ‘86

Being an early adopter is a risky pursuit. Godley and Creme built an entire album (the triple-LP Consequences) around their Gizmo, and disaster ensued. Some of the earliest releases with the Synclavier were stiff and mannered. But fusion guitarist Allan Holdsworth was having none of that restraint when he dove headlong into the world of

Album Review: The Radam Schwartz Organ Big Band — Message from Groove and GW

Situating a Hammond organ out in front of a big band is a splendid idea; the verve and energy of the keys plays off well against the muscular, thrilling backdrop of a massive instrumental aggregation. Organist Radam Schwartz plays that organ, and writes most of the tunes on Message from Groove and GW. Using an