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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.

Pianist and composer Adam Bodine, who originally hails from the Chicagoland area, now lives in Colorado. Classically trained, Bodine formed his current trio in 2008 to showcase his developing book of original compositions. Blue Mud is Bodine’s second self-released recording. Here Bodine is joined by Kalin Capra on bass, and Roswell, Georgia native and Berklee College of Music graduate Luke Emig on drums. Eleven original Bodine compositions are featured on this album. If there is one thing un
There are so many potential pitfalls that can occur when one tries to record a live date, it’s obvious why so few jazz recordings are done in this situation. Unfortunately, a few of those potential hazards rear their ugly head and diminish the work done by the Steve Elmer Trio on this recording. Recorded on June 10, 2010 at Cleopatra’s Needle in New York, a restaurant and no-cover jazz club named after the famed monument in New York’s Central Park, the piano used for this recording is a bit ou
Like a delightful summer barbecue and the camaraderie of friends and family, renowned jazz saxophonist, Bobby Watson, actually recaptures it all on his CD The Gates BBQ Suite, featuring the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance Concert Jazz Orchestra. The CD is a tribute to the famous Gates BBQ in Kansas City and on the liner notes, Bobby expressed his appreciation for barbecue describing it as food that always represented a “celebration in my life." “Smoking meat remains near and dear to me," s
Joel Harrison is an illustrious guitarist and composer in the jazz circles and not to mention a great bandleader and he has put his many talents on his latest compilation called String Choir – The Music of Paul Motian which was released on January 23. Recapturing the music of straight-ahead jazz musician Paul Motian is no easy feat especially when the interpretation is within another genre; in this case classical. But Joel has pulled it off on this fully-stringed compilation that offers music on
Marcus Miller performing live is indeed a very euphoric experience, and those who have never been so fortunate might as well grab a copy of his latest CD “A Night in Monte-Carlo,” which is due for a February 1st release. The CD is a live audio documentation of one of Marcus’ treasured performances in Monaco back in 2008. Marcus is backed up by the L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and is also joined by trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitarist Raul Midon. Out of the box, the first track on th
Cote D'Azur is a fascinating collection of jazz music that will light up your listening time with much joy, entertainment, and fun. The musicians are very imaginative in both their solo work and group work.What makes this an outstanding jazz CD is its unusual blend of jazz motifs, world music motifs, and the influence of contemporary French jazz. There are ten great original songs in the collection. Among them are found "Cote D'Azur," Le Calypso," "Bandol," "Sainte Maxime," "Postcard From Cannes
Berkeley, California-raised saxophonist, pianist and composer Dan Wilensky joined Ray Charles’ band as the lead alto player immediately following high school. After spending a brief amount of time studying at the Eastman School of Music, Wilensky joined organist Jack McDuff’s band and moved to New York. The saxophonist went on to cut his teeth working with artists like Cornell Dupree, Steve Gadd, Dave Letterman and studio great Will Lee, Richard Tee and Dave Weckl, as well as going on the road
For the last ten years or so, guitarist Samo Salamon has been making a name for himself throughout the European jazz market as an inventive improviser, composer and leader of diverse small group ensembles, often featuring American notables such as saxophonists Mark Turner and David Binney. A tireless self-promoter, the Slovenian native has been creating a buzz with critics and fans of jazz guitar. His latest release, Almost Almond, is an inticing trio release sure to further the guitarist's repu
While heavily derivative of Weather Report and Steps Ahead, Ron Van Stratum’s Swingin’ In The Swamp still satisfies. This should, however, be no surprise when one considers who this Netherlands born and raised drummer and percussionist has played with. Following studies on classical percussion at the conservatory in Tilburg and jazz drumming at the Maastricht conservatory, both located in The Netherlands, Stratum has worked with artists like Mike Mainieri (founder of Steps Ahead), Jaco Pastori
Strange timing, this. Almost 25 years after it was originally recorded comes this medium-length conversation between two titans of American improvised music. Fans of jazz’ farther out shores will need little introduction to either of the participants here. But despite their joint (and lazy) labeling as “outcats,” the initial highpoints of their careers – Smith’s sparse and subtle phrasing with the Smith-Braxton-Jenkins trio vs. Blackwell’s upbeat tapdancing underneath the classic Ornette Coleman
Rob Keiter recorded The Glory Of Love during a rough patch in his life. In the midst of the breakup of his 23-year marriage, he found himself putting together a collection of a dozen love songs. The emotion was overwhelming. As he was singing “This Nearly Was Mine,” Keiter couldn’t hold back the tears. Still, he managed to keep singing about lost love until the song’s conclusion. Everyone there realized it was a moment that couldn’t be recreated, so that became the one and only take of the song.
My local record store is selling this under the Classical Music section, so is it really jazz at all? Perhaps more importantly, does a label matter when the music is so good?The 2 CD set of "Love Songs" is very much a game of 2 halves. CD1 presents 7 original songs penned by Mehldau, at although it's okay, it takes itself rather too seriously in places. Anne Sofie Von Otter has a superb voice, but it's probably not used to best effect on this material, with Mehldau trying too hard to sound cla
It isn't often I get over-the-top excited about a new CD, but when I received a press release regarding Disney Jazz Volume 1: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat, my heart began to beat wildly. Remembering some very fine Disney interpretations by some of our finest i.e., Bill Evans, Louie Armstrong, Brubeck, Coltrane, Miles, my anticipation was not misguided. After all, Disney has delighted countless trillions of viewers with his cartoons, films and Magic Kingdom, but to understate the music that has accompanied the optical delight of everything Disney would be simply ludicrous. 
 It's a bold endeavor to believe you can invoke freshness and vitality into thinly worn standards like "Body and Soul," "All the Things You Are" and "My Funny Valentine." Trumpeter Cuong Vu meets the challenge head-on with imaginative results on Leaps of Faith, a quartet outing with wide-open improvisatory exploration, melding consonant lyricism with chaotic tumult.
For those who don’t already own one of the previous versions of this album’s release, now is the perfect time to pick up this incredible recording. The lineup included amazing trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, soulful saxophonists Stanley Turrentine and Hank Crawford, continually underappreciated flutist Hubert Laws, young-at-the-time guitar firebrand George Benson, soul jazz keyboard legend Johnny Hammond, Miles Davis alum bassist Ron Carter, the powerful Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer Billy Cobham and
05.03.2011

Gemini by Koby Hayon

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Koby Hayon’s debut album, Gemini, features a wide-open style of playing that gives the trio plenty of room to fill space and experiment with the pushing and pulling of time to shape the musical space around them. Featuring drummer Jerome Morris and veteran bassist Kermit Driscoll, Hayon's compositions blend traditional jazz guitar with Middle-Eastern song and pop. Born in Israel, Hayon works to incorporate the indigenous Middle-Eastern sound of his home throughout his compositions and improvisat
Cornetist Eric Boeren leads his Dutch quartet with a crisp, compact and expressive sound through a program that toggles between inventive bop, free-bop and avant expressionism on this live date recorded in 2004. With legendary German drummer Paul Lovens garnering the most out of his sparse kit and generating a sparky underpinning, the program is underscored by contrasting tones and a vibrant stance. Lovens and superfine bassist Wilbert de Joode literally have the beat on dynamics throughout the
New York-based pianist Alon Nechushtan has worked as a sideman with the likes of Frank London and Baya Kouyate and is the founder of the quintet TALAT, a critically acclaimed jazz-meets-klezmer ensemble. Nechushtan makes a bold statement with Words Beyond, his first release as leader of a progressive trio featuring bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Dan Weiss. The disc is a hard swinging, soulful collection of nine of the pianist's original compositions. Nechushtan has the ability to reshape a
Vocalist Alison Ruble has gathered a strong set of jazz and folk-rock songs for her second Origin Records release. After displaying her diverse musical taste on her 2008 debut, This is a Bird, Ruble drives home the point that she is as comfortable reinterpreting the American songbook as she is covering recent songs by Emmylou Harris and Bonnie Raitt. Ruble also continues to work with some of Chicago’s top musicians, including guitarist John McLean, who did all the arrangements on Ashland. The 10