jazz Archive

Album Review: STIG — Agreed Upon

Some artists play music that – if one wishes to label it – requires several words to describe. Formed by five students at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, STIG (the band spells its name in all caps) self-identifies as an “all-instrumental progressive jazz funk” band. In a hurry, some might be tempted to label the

Album Review: The J.&F. Band – From the Roots to the Sky

Though some fans focused on the good-timing jam-band characteristics of the Allman Brothers Band, the long-running celebrated group from the American South had its roots in jazz. Though fully embraced by rock audiences as a more melodic exponent of the musical aesthetic of the Grateful Dead, from the very beginning the Allmans were influenced as

Asheville’s Top 10 for 2018

2018 has brought forth a bumper crop of superb albums in every genre from artists local (or with strong connections) to Asheville and the surrounding region. Any of these 10 could arguably claim the top spot, and I can immediately think of at least 10 more that would easily warrant inclusion on the list. The

Album Review: The Pearcy / Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet – Over the Edge

There exist many substyles under the genre umbrella that is jazz. The chosen approach of Boston-based outfit the Pearcy / Gratzmiller Jazz Quintet is hard bob, a style that experienced its heyday in the middle of the 1950s. Leading lights of the style were drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, John Coltrane (who admittedly explored other

Video Roundup 2018

Covering DVDs and Blu-Rays takes more time than reviewing albums; I have to set up in my living room, with a recliner, a couple of cats and (generally) a good Scotch In order to do so. So with a general yet heartfelt apology for the delayed nature thereof, here’s my take on five titles released

Album Review: Rose Ann Dimalanta Trio – It’s Time

If you’re the sort of music listener who thinks you don’t like jazz but you do dig Steely Dan, then It’s Time may be the ticket. Featuring the vocals of Rose Ann Dimalanta – formerly a member of Prince’s band – is sleek, sexy and soulful. A slick (but not too slick) and urbane vibe

Jonathan Scales’ Structural Integrity

Composer, band leader and steel drum player Jonathan Scales maintains a busy and challenging schedule. In just the last two years or so, he’s toured internationally as part of the U.S. State Department’s cultural ambassador program, given a TEDx Talk, played at Victor Wooten’s music camp, and produced an album by his friend, musical associate

Cannonball Adderley’s “Swingin’ in Seattle”

Released today by Reel to Real Records, Swinging’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse 1966-1967 represents the first release in a long while of previously-unheard (and previously un-bootlegged) Adderley recordings. I had the honor of writing the liner notes for this album. And I’d like to tell you about why I wrote them, and why

Hundred-word Reviews, November 2018 Part 1

More hundred-word reviews. If you’ve wandered in here before, you know the drill: they’re all worthwhile and deserve deeper coverage. These ten are all archival, reissue or compilation releases. Oakland Elementary School Arkestra – The Saga of Padani Let’s begin by acknowledging that this disc isn’t for all tastes. Imagine the Residents meeting Sun Ra,

Album Review: Jazzville — Blue Skies

Jazz is one of the few musical idioms in which artists can record and/or perform the compositions of others and still gain widespread critical acclaim. The form itself is designed to allow — and perhaps even demand — a fresh and original approach to existing material. Against that backdrop, Blue Skies, the debut release from