Album Reviews

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: Big Ceremony – Big Ceremony EP

A first run through Big Ceremony’s EP only really introduces the play in balance between the synthesizer and drums, and even between technology and humanity. The ten-piece record is filled with live recorded tracks all lasting under six minutes long. With the shortest piece at about 40 seconds, the phrases, rhythmic movements, and fluidity can

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),