jazz Archive

Album Review: Dave Liebman Expansions — Selflessness

Selflessness isn’t saxophonist Dave Liebman’s first tribute to John Coltrane, but as Lewis Porter’s liner notes explain, it’s the first of those in which he works with his current band rather than a one-off assemblage. And the result of this approach is a natural, unforced session in which there’s a kind of preternatural, unspoken communication

Hundred Word Reviews for November 2021: Five New Jazz Releases

It’s been quite awhile since I’ve done a roundup of capsule reviews. It’s time. So here’s my take on five new releases, all in the jazz idiom. Chuck Owen and the Jazz Surge – Within Us Band leader Owen has been turning out fascinating big-band jazz for a quarter century now, and Within Us celebrates

There is the Love: NC Music Hall of Fame 2021

North Carolina has a rich and varied musical heritage. As a means of honoring that state’s contributions to music, the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame was established in 1994. Each year, a select roster of musicians is inducted into the Hall, representing all genres of music. The pandemic forced the cancellation of the 202

Album Review: Dewa Budjana — Naurora

The potential downside of remote recording is that – when it’s not done well, which is often – it can robe the music of the feel of of spontaneity, the vibe that comes form musicians playing together in real time. The upside, of course, is that an artist can enlist the participation of collaborators who

30 Days Out, October 2021 #2: Scott Miller, JackTown Ramblers, Land of the Sky Symphonic Band, GWAR

The eclectic nature that was a defining characteristic of Asheville’s live music scene is returning in these safer-than-recent-months times. Over the next 30 day, you have opportunities to enjoy music that combines things you might not expect: country rock (okay, that one’s a bit obvious but this guy is special), scum rock (stay with me

Album Review: Professor Longhair – Fess at Home

This intimate recording absolutely sparkles. You are right there at Tipitina’s in 1973 as Henry Roeland Byrd (Professor Longhair, or “Fess” to those in the know) stretches out for a rollicking performance on the piano, aided and abetted wonderfully by percussionist Alfred “Uganda” Roberts. The good professor’s vocals are somewhat indistinct for the opener “Tipitina,”

Mushroom: Don’t Sit This One Out

When critics try to describe Mushroom, they call upon labels like krautrock, free jazz, freakout, ambient and electronic. Launched in 1997 by drummer Pat Thomas, Mushroom is all of those things and none of them. The San Francisco instrumental collective played its first-ever gig at The Make Out Room; now, more than 24 years later,

Album Review: John McLaughlin — Liberation Time

A deeply spiritual artist, John McLaughlin makes music that moves the mind, body and spirit. There’s certainly plenty of technical precision in his music, but with in it beats a living heart. As such, the creation of that music is greatly informed and colored by the interaction among the participants (usually some of the finest

Album Review: Alchemy Sound Project – Afrika Love

Jazz differs from rock in some important, fundamental ways. While there are exceptions, one is the manner in which jazz ensemble tend to be collectives of equals rather than stars with backup. So it is with Alchemy Sound Project, a septet in which at least five of the musicians are composers. On Afrika Love, each

Album Review: Etta James — The Montreux Years

Announced in March 2021, an archive of historically significant musical recordings is now beginning to be shared with the wider listening audience. Run by Claude Nobs, the highly regarded Montreux Jazz Festival hosted some of the biggest names in jazz (and beyond) in Switzerland for its annual concerts. In a new arrangement with BMG, selected