Album Reviews

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

Stolen Moments: Red Hot + Cool Documentary Retrospective

According to the Center for Disease Control, somewhere between the years of 1988 and 1990, the rate of HIV-AIDs infection among African Americans first exceeded those of whites and would remain so until today. At the dawn of the 1990s, Black america would find itself in the midst of a full blown health crisis with

Review: Cataclysmic Commentary

Hit ‘play’ and the first track on Audience Participation is consistent with its name. Cataclysmic Commentary’s debut record was released in March. The band is comprised of Ben Cohen on saxophones, Eli Wallace on keyboards, and Dave Miller on drums. “Surprise Kitten Explosion 5000” draws us into a space of free sound, wild and vibrant.

Review: Giannouli/Thorne/Garden – Rewa (Rattle Records, 2018)

Less than a day after Tania Giannouli (piano) and Rob Thorne (taonga puoro) first met, they recorded the eleven tracks that make up their album, Rewa. Along with Steve Garden’s sound manipulations, treatments, and mixing, the three create an expressive flow of music informed by the ancient cultures of Greece and Aotearoa (the Maori name