jazz Archive

Album Review: The New Mastersounds — The Deplar Effect

For more than two decades now, The New Mastersounds have been creating and refining their winning brand of fusion/funk/what-have-you. Right out of the gate, the result of their creative endeavors was impressive indeed. Their debut long-player, Keb Darge Presents The New Mastersounds (re-released on vinyl in 2021 and reviewed here) was a solid offering, but

30 Days Out, Nov. 2022 #2: Postmodern Jukebox, Archers of Loaf, Ana Popovic, Couch

The next 30 days include Thanksgiving, a time when – perhaps now more than ever – we gather with loved ones. But after the long weekend, we’ll all be looking to the future, and more live music. The post-holiday menu includes lots of goodies, from inspired reinvention of classic pop to edgy, indie-rock from the

Album Review: Craig Davis — Tone Paintings

Pianist Michael “Dodo” Marmarosa was a bebop musician whose most celebrated period was the 1940s to ‘60s (he passed away on 2002). In his early years, he played with a number of the highest-profile bands including those led by Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw and Gene Krupa. Later he worked extensively as a sideman, and occasionally

Take Five: Michael Shrieve

Michael Shrieve’s amazing talents were revealed to the wider world thanks to his dazzling drum work as a member of Santana. Shrieve had just turned 20 when that band played Woodstock in 1969. He remained with the band through seven albums, reuniting with the original Santana lineup for 2016’s well-received Santana IV. But the drummer

Album Review: BakerzMillion – Live in Racine

While it is unlikely ever again to have a fan base on par with its 1950s-’60s heyday, hard bop jazz remains very much alive. And even with all manner of recording technology advancements, the way to hear hard bop is live and in person. There’s a thrilling interactivity that comes with experiencing the music as

Album Review: Ella Fitzgerald – Ella at the Hollywood Bowl

The pros far outweigh the cons on this thrilling set. First, the good news. According to the one-sheet (which I trust), until now there’s never been a live Songbook from Ella Fitzgerald. And this set of songs from classic American composer Irvin Berlin is filled with tunes both well-known (“I’ve Got My Love to Keep

Album Review: Keith Lamar and Albert Marques – Freedom First

A visceral, moving and thought-provoking project, Freedom First is unlike most anything else you’re likely to hear in 2022. Against a varied backdrop of jazz improvisation (and sometimes more structured compositions, poet/ writer/spoken word artist Keith Lamar offers his ruminations on an array of weighty subjects. In that sense, the album is a musical cousin

Album review: Azymuth – Telecommunication

It may be difficult to imagine such a thing today, some five decades after the fact, but in the early 1970s, jazz/funk/fusion was more than a blip on the commercial landscape of the music industry. Though jazz would – sadly, and in short order – soon morph into the dreaded “smooth jazz” of artists like

Empire Strikes Brass Celebrates 10 Years

Asheville’s own second line outfit Empire Strikes Brass celebrates their tenth anniversary In May 2012 Pauly Juhl was approach by a friend who wanted a New Orleans-style second line jazz band to play at a wedding rehearsal. A veteran of Dixieland jazz since his high school days, Juhl says that he “jumped to the opportunity.”

Album Review: Albare & Co. — Freedom

One of the great things about jazz is its expansiveness. While there are certainly artists working within the idiom who take an insular approach to their creativity, at its best the form allows itself to be influenced by music (and art, for that matter) well beyond the frontiers of what we would consider jazz. Albare