Album Reviews

Review: Cecilia Lopez – Red / Machinic Fantasies

I put on Cecilia Lopez’s Red / Machinic Fantasies as I change a light bulb in a flood-light, dangling from its wire on a ceiling pipe. The snow has turned into rain and the black night outside is cold and angry. I include this in describing the opening of Lopez’s album (released December 16th) as

Review: petra – filament

When I first heard petra‘s “filament” I had this deep impression, this funny assumption, that this was the work of someone living alone in the woods, or in the marshy outskirts of Providence, RI, possibly in a boat. A certain combination of the synthetic and the fuzzy with the deeply human that can only come

Feminist Jazz Review: Stephanie Richards – Take The Neon Lights

New York-based composer and trumpet/flugelhorn extraordinaire, Stephanie Richards returns with a follow up album to her stunningly sparse, cyclically inspired (as Richards’ instruments were set up in a semi circle during recording sessions) 2018 album, Full Moon (Relative Pitch).  The new collection of compositions is entitled Take the Neon Lights (Birdwatcher). A glaring difference between Full

Review: Jessica Pavone – In the Action

Since moving to New York City in 2000, violist and composer Jessica Pavone has become one of the most captivating musicians in the avant-garde music scene – performing in countless groups from improvisation to folk and so on. Working on a multitude of projects, Pavone has led her own string ensemble, performed in the quartet,

James Brandon Lewis – An Unruly Manifesto

On his 2016 album, No Filter, Saxophonist James Brandon Lewis dug deep into the possibilities of the Jazz trio. With heavy Funk-Rock excursions, Hip Hop infusions and fiery free music, the album’s compositions were densely textured and impeccably performed. Expanding to a quintet with Jaimie Branch (trumpet), Luke Stewart (bass), Anthony Pirog (guitar) and Warren

Review: Kassa Overall – Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz

Since its earliest days on record, Hip Hop has not only taken inspiration from Jazz via sampling, it has quite literally plucked at its musical body, carrying aspects of Jazz’s DNA into the future. More recently, Jazz musicians have become adept at referencing the rhythmic tension as well as the stylistic and textural breadth that

Review: Dustin Carlson – Air Ceremony

From the first track to the last, Air Ceremony is what the title would suggest. A constantly stimulating experience, the album does not disappoint with it’s abrupt shifts and turns throughout the music, focusing on the temporality of it all. The group is comprised of Dustin Carlson (guitar), Nathaniel Morgan (alto saxophone), Eric Trudel (baritone saxophone),

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

Review: Wendy Eisenberg – Its Shape Is Your Touch

Wendy Eisenberg’s Its Shape Is Your Touch, released in late October, opens with a a confident, open exploration of tones and technique. She uses the guitar to create sound that, at times, does not even resemble that of a guitar. Her touch is gentle. As the opening track concludes, I am reminded of an instrumental lullaby album

Review: Artaud – Cábala

Cábala tells the story of two horses, one that runs to be wild, free, and limitless, and the other who is old and dying but is calm because he knows he will be joining the earth. Although written in the description of this record, it is clear through the two pieces that Artaud, the Peruvian