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Album Reviews

New Faces: New Sounds

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What to listen for in a recording curated by a veteran producer that features a group of young, up-and-coming musicians with skillsets rooted in the bop, hard bop and modal continuum? When the styles are familiar, it’s best to start with the material. If the tunes routinely sound like they’re made of parts lifted from the classic and near classic jazz repertoire, it sets a negative tone for the rest of the record, sometimes even offsetting the strength of the individual performances… [ read more ]

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Album Reviews

Ally Venable: Heart Of Fire

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The virtues so readily apparent on guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Ally Venable’s last album, Puppet Show (Connor Ray Music, 2018), remain fully in evidence on her Ruf Records debut. It is telling, however, that for Heart Of Fire, the sultry poses she struck on the cover of the previous LP give way to those focusing on the way the blueswoman wields her instrument… [ read more ]

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Album Reviews

Aki Takase: Auge

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While it might be Aki Takase‘s name which grabs the attention thanks to her illustrious track record, the trio on Auge represents a true co-operative, as the Berlin-based Japanese pianist joins forces with Swiss bassist Christian Weber and German drummer Michael Griener in a perfectly balanced triumvirate… [ read more ]

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Album Reviews

Out To Dinner: Play On

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Record producers don’t always get the same amount of attention as the musicians featured on an album, but their role and influence is vital in the recording process. Take The Beatles‘ producer, George Martin, for example. His involvement brought the music to a new level… [ read more ]

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