Glenn Astarita

Glenn Astarita

Who would have guessed that British singer and actress Julie Tippetts, known for her work with organ great Brian Auger; affiliations with Rod Stewart and recordings with husband, pianist Keith Tippett would lead to her alliance with avant-gardist Martin Archer?  Stranger things have happened as they say, yet with the follow-up to Ghosts of Gold (Discus 37CD, 2009) the vocalist's charismatic contributions yield additional rewards.
Adventurous expressionism is a key factor within semi-structured or avant jazz-based endeavors. With their second quartet outing for Intakt Records, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman cover a gamut of articulately designed modes of interaction. Introspective, sublime and occasionally foreboding, the quartet engineers a potpourri of delicacies, all executed with a deterministic modality. On pieces such as “Dunes,” the sterling audio processing might enable the listener to hea
One of the preeminent soprano saxophonists in modern jazz, Jane Ira Bloom possesses more than just technique. Very few jazz artists are able to project a distinct or personalized sound. For example, most ardent jazz aficionados would be able to identify her in a Downbeat magazine style blindfold test. Once again, Bloom imparts memorable compositions, underscored with sinuous developments and a prevailing sense of intrigue. Bloom’s equally prolific supporting cast featuring, bassist Mark Helia
The significance behind influential guitarist Bill Frisell’s 858 Quartet theme was conceived several years ago when he was appointed to compose music inspired by artist Gerhard Richter’s 858 series of paintings. With the band’s first album in five years, its purveyance of modern Americana elicits lucid imagery via these seventeen endearing works that intertwine like a sequence of vignettes. Frisell’s stylistic nomenclature poses a hybrid breadth of material that toggles between cutting-edge el
This album marks a milestone in revered session drummer Adam Cruz’ career as he celebrates his debut as a leader. And he’s supported by instrumentalists who reside at the forefront of progressive-jazz. As a drummer, Cruz imparts a musicality steeped in subtle dynamics and snappy grooves while offering sensitive accompaniment throughout. He’s an accelerator as well, via the Latin-jazz element, dancing rim-shots, and polyrhythmic fills. From a holistic standpoint, he doesn’t steal the show, an
On his debut effort as a solo artist, New York City-based alto saxophonist Curtis MacDonald doesn’t blaze new trails, but offers a holistic agenda that probes the mind and offers a hearty glimpse into his compositional acumen. One of the constants here resides in his penchant for adjusting tonalities and mode of delivery for a particular segment or motif. In essence, these arrangements are designed with firmly planted emotive characteristics.With regal horns choruses and subtle hues, MacDonal
This quartet provides a many-sided viewpoint, where freedom of expression is laconically aligned with the avant-garde strata. Stationed in Chicago, the quartet led by alto saxophonist Aram Shelton offers a program consisting of subtle hooks, detours and focused theme-building exercises. Engineered upon straightforward bop, capacious improvisation, and numerous subplots, the quartet throttles the intensity level throughout. Shelton and vibist Jason Adasiewicz are strong foils, whether they gen
A future progressive-jazz and improvising icon, British saxophonist John Surman’s 1969 NDR workshop session for a German broadcast equates to previously unreleased material featuring other rising stars. With Canadian trumpeter Kenny Wheeler and British saxophonist Mike Osborne on hand, the large ensemble casts an exciting aural glimpse of the burgeoning European jazz movement. Moreover, Surman’s signature compositional acumen shines radiantly throughout, which in a sense, typifies the British
A pivotal jazz luminary in New York City’s progressive downtown scene, alto saxophonist Tim Berne has notched his name into the record books as an innovator and stylist. His discography and collaborations are well-documented. However, Berne’s a global artiste who recurrently investigates nouveau spins on jazz and improvisation. This release extends metrics and concepts previously exercised with longtime affiliates performing here. Essentially, jazz as a whole reinvents itself as Berne looms
These veteran Italian improvisers convey freedom of expression with a musical panorama that scales rather well. One of the compelling factors on this live recording pertains to the band’s ability to expand themes and subplots without concentrating on one mode of action. With capacious and unrestricting dialogues to complement a myriad of asymmetrical rhythmic variations, the musicians inject dainty contrasts and temperate flows into the grand schema.Saxophonist Edoardo Marraffa’s raspy voicing