Glenn Astarita

Glenn Astarita

Barcelona, Spain., native Dave Juarez is well-educated in the jazz vernacular amid studies with guitar great John Abercrombie and enrollment at SUNY Purchase upon his relocation to New York. Here, the artist conveys agility, focus, and a multidimensional line of attack with his estimable supporting lineup. He alternates moods, tonalities and shadings while shifting the stride and launching animated solos alongside pianist John Escreet and saxophonist Seamus Blake.


East meets West with an enlivening and entertaining form factor, thanks to Palestinian pianist and buzuq performer Tareq Abboushi. In effect, the New York-based quintet diminishes the mystery and places more emphasis on intrigue. It's a union that combines Middle Eastern traditional music with various forms of Western modalities.


Dr. Norman David gathers a world-class ensemble, here on this winning studio session. An arranger, composer and educator residing in the Philadelphia area, David also struts his impressive soprano saxophone faculties amid his hearty dialogues with saxophonist George Garzone, trumpeter Tim Hagans and others. Seasoned with memorable hooks and articulate thematic-engineering outbreaks, one of many highpoints is the robust piece, "Tuesday Overture."


Each of the two bands highlighted on this 2011 disc feature alto saxophonist Herman Hauge. Previously unissued, these sides were recorded in 1973 and 1984. And per the album notes, Hauge cites the improvisational vehicles with outlying influences and interfaces between [architectural] design and space as pertinent factors.


Orchestral jazz comes in many flavors and colors. Here, German trumpeter and composer Volker Goetze's arrangements teem with expansive tonalities, layered horns and emphatic soloing by his legion of artists.


Creativity exudes through any musical genre. And in the free or semi-structured realm of jazz, the tried and true can be beaten into submission, often leading to a ho hum listening experience. Aimless cacophony and uninteresting dialogues are first-offender elements within these formats. However, lesser-known artists such as Italian saxophonist Biagio Coppa keenly realize that ingenuity and vigor are recipes for the betterment or perhaps, advancement of music through the artistic looking glass. With an estimable support system, the saxophonist injects a complex, yet personalized series of propositions throughout this first-class release.


Ant-Bee (Billy James) is a multi-instrumentalist and producer who is often revered for his forays into early mechanisms of progressive-pop and rock. Known for cutting-edge productions, featuring members of the Mothers of Invention, Captain Beefheart's Magic Band and Alice Copper's ensembles, Ant-Bee's first album since the 1997 release Lunar Music, depicts an ingenious mind on the loose. Hence, Electronic Church Muzik takes spirituality past the boundaries of common ideologies via nods to early psychedelic music and offbeat sidebars that yield rewarding results, spanning an abundance of opposing angles, unanticipated detours, witty stylizations and harmonious theme-building jaunts.


After performing with modern day pioneers and revered mainstream jazz artists, vibist Chris Dingman steps out with a fascinating and irrefutably, enlivening debut solo release. Framed upon his personal life amid the highs and lows spanning the past decade, Dingman parallels the emotive element during these seamlessly engineered works that interweave into a persuasive narrative.


Tributes have become staples of the jazz industry. On this 2011 effort, laudable Italian pianist Roberto Magris pays homage to late, great hard-bop trumpeter Lee Morgan who died from a gunshot wound in 1972 at New York City's Slugs jazz venue. The trumpeter's stylistic fusion of R&B and groove-oriented patterns set his craft apart from many peers, in addition to his fluidly melodic phrasings and largely memorable compositions. Here, Magris leads a young band, featuring renowned jazz drummer, Albert "Tootie" Heath (Heath Brothers).


Swiss drummer Lucas Niggli invites legendary British bassist Barry Guy to lend his monstrous chops on Polisation. Sure enough, this unit seldom fails to impart numerous surprises into multidimensional environs, incited by the leader's fusion of experimental and symmetrically designed architectures. Big Zoom sports a big sound, yet desensitizes its arsenal with soft-to-the-touch dialogues, interspersed throughout various ebbs and flows.