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Entries from September 2012

Ich bin N!ntendo and Mats Gustafsson: Ich bin N!ntendo and Mats Gustafsson

Young Norwegian power trio Ich bin N!ntendo is a sonic heir to European power outfits such as the Swedish-Norwegian trio m: The Thing , Italian punk-jazz trio m: Zu , and Dutch quartet The Ex. Its affinity with Swedish sax titan m: Mats Gustafsson of The Thing, who guests on this live recording, is obvious. Both enjoy exploring and pushing the physical aspects of their instruments into utter intensity…

Date: Sep 30th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Various Artists: 13 Miniatures for Albert Ayler

Tributes come in many forms. Most blatant is the repertory regurgitation of charts associated with the dedicatee or modern takes on that program. Then comes homage, influenced by the historical figure in question, with works in a contemporaneous style. Finally, there appears art inspired by the spirit of the honoree

Date: Sep 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

"Stonephace" Stabbins: Transcendental

On his thirteenth birthday Larry “Stonephace” Stabbins, already a promising saxophonist, bought m: John Coltrane ‘s Africa/Brass (Impulse!, 1961). The impact was immediate and long-lasting, as Stabbins writes in the liner notes to Transcendental. By the early’70s he was an established player on the UK jazz scene.

Date: Sep 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Harold Mabern: Mr. Lucky

Pianist Harold Mabern’s Mr. Lucky is a bon-bon: all sugar, with no protein or vitamins. For a veteran like Mabern, who’s made some great jazz records over the years, and who can play fine blues with real grit, this one is confusing.

Date: Sep 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

Gill Manly: The Lies Of Handsome Men

It’s been 30 years since Gill Manly began singing jazz standards around the clubs and bars of London, after a few years honing her skills in West End musicals and fringe theatre. She has garnered much praise during that time, working with fellow singers m: Mark Murphy and m: Ian Shaw , among others. The Lies Of Handsome Men is only her third album–a decade-long absence from the music business between her debut, Detour Ahead (Parrott Records, 1995), and With A Song In My Heart (Linn Records, 2009) may go some way to explaining the scarcity. The beauty of Manly’s voice and the relationship between that voice and Simon Wallace’s piano across these 15 songs leads to a fervent hope that such scarcity is at an end…

Date: Sep 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

RJ And The Assignment: Deceiving Eyes

There are times when one comes across a relatively unknown talent or group, whose performance leaves quite a lasting impression, as does young pianist/songwriter RJ and his group, The Assignment. A native of Chicago who has performed throughout the country over the last fifteen years, RJ has since settled in Las Vegas, where his shining debut, Deceiving Eyes, was recorded. Though he boasts influences from m: Bill Evans and m: Chick Corea to m: Herbie Hancock , among others, RJ has also been comfortable performing in classical, R&B, funk and other non-jazz contexts…

Date: Sep 28th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews

John Yao Quintet: In The Now

Freedom and streamlined focus don’t often get along on jazz recordings, but when they do, it can make for an inspired outing. Trombonist John Yao managed to merge these divergent pathways into a single direction on his debut album, creating a flavorful feast for the senses. Yao’s music is teeming with danger and uncertainty, yet it all seems to go down much smoother than a lot of material made with a similar recipe. This is due, in large part, to his understanding of aural tolerance and breaking points related to such matters

Date: Sep 27th, 2012 · No Comments · Categories: Jazz CD Reviews