Album Reviews

Review: Michael Larocca Quintet

Minimal packaging design on a CD can mean one of two things. It could grace a demo or a bootleg – something unfinished, low in quality, not ready for public release. Alternatively it can be an artistic statement – that the music speaks for itself and doesn’t need much framing to enhance its own powerful

Album Review: Michael Formanek Drome Trio – Were We Where We Were

Chordless saxophone trio has always been one of my favorite band formats as both a player and listener. Compared to piano trio or quartet, there’s a great deal of clarity, flexibility, and equality between the players, allowing for subtle as well as dramatic shifts in energy and texture to be made on a dime. The

Interview: Alfred 23 Harth

Alfred 23 Harth, also known as A23H, German multimedia artist, bandleader, multi-instrumentalist musician, and composer, recently released a duo album 55 Quintets with Korean trumpeter Choi Sun Bae (originally included in Ballet Music, but very few persons have this CDr).   Soon after extending his work radius from Germany to South Korea, A23H made collage

Review: Chris Williams Quintet – LIVE

The difficulty of approaching music with words was aptly put by Henry Threadgill in the following: “The process of talking about and defining music literally is one of monumental proportion. Yet this tradition does have a long and uneven history and many precedents. To me this proportion is like trying to define apples with pears,

Review: DUO by Otomo Yoshihide and Kawashima Makoto

Otomo Yoshihide has been well-known as an avant-garde turntablist, and often compared with Christian Marclay, pioneer of disruptive turntablism in the New York downtown scene of the 1980s. However, Otomo’s expressive focus was much different from Marclay’s, and he has already changed his main instrument from turntable to guitar. Often aggressive, Otomo’s guitar possesses a

Review: Jeremiah Cymerman – Citadels and Sanctuaries

Citadels and Sanctuaries, the latest release from clarinetist and composer Jeremiah Cymerman, is a reflection on and tribute to the influence of 10 of Cymerman’s musical heroes. It is also, according to its liner notes, Cymerman’s “most accessible record to date,” which may come as surprise when reading the list of artists paid tribute here.

Review: Maroon Futures by Afro Yaqui Music Collective

Review written by guest writer John Pietaro: Within the pantheon of new music that was birthed through jazz in particular, the political content has been brazenly, pridefully Left. Sounds of protest easily predate the artform as we know it, indeed slave poetry, field hollers, and the roots of the blues were foremost the folk art

Review: Morning/mourning by Jessica Ackerley

Guitarist and composer Jessica Ackerley has been a compelling, distinctive, and dedicated contributor to various New York creative music scenes since her arrival in 2013. Employing an inclusive aesthetic and a strong collaborative drive, Ackerley has produced an impressive output of recordings spanning jazz, improvised music, experimental rock, and noise.  Throughout this wide traversal of

Jason Nazary – Spring Collection

Jason Nazary’s June 25 release Spring Collection is one of many home recording projects undertaken around the world during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. In the drummer/composer’s own words, the record’s aim “was to capture the spirit of spontaneity and collaboration lost in the absence of live music.” Nazary accomplishes this aim

Jahari Massamba Unit – Pardon My French

Not something you see every day; a review for a record that came out eight months prior. But well, here we are. I’d planned on reviewing Pardon My French months ago, but for several reasons, I could not bring myself to write it. Between dealing with pandemic-related whatever, reviewing records for The Wire Magazine, and