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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.

  The Realm of the Guitar Gods continues to be inhabited long after its time had supposedly ended.  However, a new wing has to be added to accommodate the electric violin of Susan Aquila.  As virtuosos go, she’s right at the top, but sounding sometimes like Jean Luc Ponty but just as often like Alvin Lee or Joe Satriani.  With feet in both the rock and classical worlds, she seems at first an unlikely candidate to end up on a fusion album, but here she is, and the results are quite spectacular.    
Piano dominates most piano trios. (Maybe that's why they don't call it a drum or bass trio, eh?) Thing is, this group is just called "a trio." Although the piano does carry most of the melody line, the blend and sound levels make the three instruments as much equals as in any trio I've heard. It's like a single complex instrument that demands, and deserves, attention to all three musical strands. Leader Ethan Winogrand, has covered a lot of territory, both musical and geographic. In his teens he was a rock drummer. He came to jazz via the fusion group…
Musical labels are as much a blessing as they are a curse, their primary function serving as a musical guide to more effectively market and sell a particular artist. Keeping in mind that taste is as subjective as the continued debate as to the accuracy of certain sub-genres, enter Kekko Fornarelli.
Nothing is more fun or exciting for a critic as to be introduced to an artist stone cold, no press release just "good buzz." On occasion good buzz is literally all that can be said on a release but not this time. Combine Brazilian bassist Nilson Matta with Israeli be-bop guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and the end result is one of the most solid and consistent releases of the year. Heed the buzz!
Currently residing in New York City, keyboardist John Escreet hails from the U.K and professes a novel outlook, while making a significant impression with critics and progressive-jazz advocates based on five largely acclaimed albums. The artist once again aligns with the crème de la crème of modern jazz adventurists, including saxophonist David Binney on Exception to the Rule.
 During the numerous theoretical waves of music and its major influences, the annals of music's scrolls have recorded many activists of the art of sound which have risen to become the statesperson of their chosen pulpit. Rock and roll had the Beatles, Nirvana, and Elvis taking front stage; the classics waltzed in Brahms, Beethoven, and Chopin; however jazz has eclipsed some of the most divinely unique and innovative conductors to have ever dueled with a music sheet. That said Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, is affording serious listeners an encouraging collection of push-n-plays for the holiday…
A restless musical spirit who has worked in pretty much every sub-genre of jazz and improvised music you can think of, Wadada Leo Smith's "Heart's Reflections" is a sprawling 2-CD set that covers a bewilderingly vast swath of stylistic ground. What makes "Heart's Reflections" such a fascinating listen is the variety of approaches that Wadada and his band take - there are funkified 'electric Miles'-inspired jams, gossamer intertwinings of trumpet, violin, and laptop, and abstract improvisations that hearken back to Smith's AACM days.
Only someone as artistically gifted as Chris Standring and Kathrin Shorr can take my Christmas music formula (Do you know the tunes?) and proceed to destroy it with ten delightful originals on a wonderful Christmas release. Virtually two years in the making Standring and vocalist Kathrin Shorr deliver the goods with a traditional vibe on some highly entertaining tunes that are sure to please the most discriminating of tastes!
Radio Silence, the latest CD by the Neil Cowley Trio is an entertaining collection of orginal compositions executed with sensitivity and energy that delivers the listener to another place.The trio of Cowley on piano, Richard Sadler on bass and Evan Jenkins on drums is a is a developed unit with individual and group competence that shines through in all pieces. 
Mauro Gargano double bass player and composer born in Bari (Italy) studied classical and jazz with Maurizio Quintavalle, Furio di Castri, and Christian Gentet then with Riccardo DelFra at the National Superior Conservatory of Paris where he won a first prize.
Dave Douglas is one of the most innovative and creative musicians in modern jazz. Unlike many other trumpet players he has been trying throughout the years to create his own musical vocabulary. After completing his studies at Berklee School of Music, Douglas moved back to New York where he joined the Horace Silver band in 1987; that introduced him to a larger audience
Planet Z poses an interesting contrast. For one, first-call session violinist and active concert performer Susan Aquila uses a Viper 6-string violin to diametrically oppose her classical roots, and performs material composed by symphonic conductor, guitarist, Dr. Robert Tomaro. Hence, the program is centered within the jazz-fusion realm and framed on attractive material that effectively bridges the high-impact schema with numerous off-kilter metrics.
02.11.2011

Sweet by Barbara Jean

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Barbara Jean started her professional music career as a country-rock bass player, and she used to kick "butt six nights a week in Phoenix trucker bars." Now in Buffalo, she has morphed into a song writer and singer in a style popular over 50 years ago; she cites "the tradition of Cole Porter and the Gershwins." Jean has a decent voice, a good ear, and an easy style with jazzy phrasing. Unfortunately, not all goes well with her first album. Sweet lives up to its name–too much so for most jazz fans. A few jolts inspired by that butt-kicking past…
Drawing upon influences ranging from traditional bop to classical and even funk, The Curtis Brothers are making a musical name for themselves as one of the up and coming talents of swing in a seemingly swingless era. Artistic integrity along with a vibrant broad based sound catapults The Curtis Brothers to the head of the pack in charting a new course and raising the bar for others to follow with originality, sincerity and a deceidly personal swing all their own.
Let's face it, smooth jazz is a radio format as dead as Elvis Presley. For over 25 years, Acoustic Alchemy has not only survived a dramatic change in personnel, but every pretentious label tag thrust upon it, given the group may well be the last commercially viable entity from what was once considered New Age. This is the key to the success of Acoustic Alchemy, pushing musical boundaries by embracing change without self-imposed limitations.