Gabriel Jermaine Vanlandingham-Dunn

Review: Ståhls Trio – Källtorp Sessions, Vol. 1

Anyone familiar with my musical taste knows that the vibraphone is my favorite rhythm section instrument. Bobby Hutcherson and Milt Jackson were on constant rotation as a youth and I’ll never part with their records. Yet, after the years I sought out other players who approached the board in different ways. Lionel Hampton (tha Gawd),

Review: Patrick Shiroishi – Sparrow’s Tongue

Bonds. We all have them, yet some are stronger than others. Then, there is the fascinating way that every generation sustains them and creates new bonds while exploring existing ones. Since reviewing Patrick Shiroishi’s Tulean Dispatch in 2018, I’ve learned that he and I have quite a bit in common. Two of the main things that

There’s a Mingus in My Life

The year was 1994. I’d already been collecting records for several years and making beats since the late 1980s. I was pretty fortunate as a 14-year-old to have had so much rich musical exposure at that point. This was before Hip-Hop had gotten terrible and early enough that you could still find relatively rare Jazz

Review: Ensemble Fanaa’s Self-titled Debut Record

Slow, quiet breaths fill the room. Our breather is alone, deep in his own process. There are times when he himself has to check in . . . with himself. “Am I breathing ok?” he might ask, introspectively at the moment. After a few minutes, he is joined by another. The pounding of the companion’s

Review: Blacks’ Myths Self-Titled Debut

My grandfather’s name was Mason E. Guthrie and he was born in a small town called Gastonia, North Carolina, in the 1920s. I don’t know much about his childhood, save for a few family legends and what he told me during an interview I conducted with him when I was in middle school. He and

Review: Eris 136199 by Han earl-Park, Catherine Sikora, and Nick Didkovsky

It has been about 24 hours since a speeding car struck me in North Philadelphia (9/21/2018, approx. 8pm). The fact that I can sit down and write about it so soon afterward will hopefully enlighten the reader to how fortunate I am to be here to compose this for you . . . and more

Review: Luke Stewart – Works for Upright Bass and Amplifier

This week I had the great pleasure of viewing Yo-Yo Ma’s Tiny Desk Concert on NPR’s website. I’ve been a fan of his playing for years, especially his rendition(s) of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suites (of which I was introduced to through the legendary cellist Pablo Casals[1]). Like most of the series, the worldly performer

Review: Marc Edwards-Mick Barr Duo – The Bowels of Jupiter

Duo records are made for the patient listener. There is typically a special kind of intimacy unfolding that invites interpretation or alienates those within earshot. Depending on the genre (loose use of the term here) and the methodology of the musicians, great ideas can become historic documents or forgotten works. Consider John Coltrane’s Interstellar Space

Review: Alan Braufman – Valley of Search (India Navigation, 1975, reissued 2018)

At the height of the 1960s through 1970s Cecil McBee was a very busy man. The bassist extraordinaire had appeared, probably, on hundreds of Jazz LPs ranging from unknown to classic. Just scrolling through my personal record collection, or his Discogs page, can boggle the mind of any collector, or new jack to the game,

Review: Chad Taylor – Myths and Morals

One phase of life ends and another takes it place. The area in the middle is where the pulling apart and gluing happens. It can be quiet, it can be lonesome, but it will always be. There’s peace found within the process for some, depending on their level of experience and frequency related to change.