Category: reviews

Review: T Lavitz – School of the Arts »

I first came across T Lavitz, when I picked up his Extended Play recording in late 1985. I had no idea at the time who T Lavitz was, but I recognized Chet Catallo, Eli Konikoff and Dave Samuels of Spyro Gyra, so I took a chance and bought the LP. I liked what I heard, […]

Review: Alan Pasqua – The Anti Social Club »

A veteran keyboardist who’s played with Tony Williams in his Lifetime band, Alan Pasqua has released a seven track jewel of a fusion masterpiece that harkens back to Miles (i.e., In A Silent Way), the Headhunters, and Weather Report. In fact, every time I listen to The Anti Social Club, I keep hearing more influences. […]

Review: Boney James – Christmas Present »

Boney James is now two for two for excellent holiday recordings. Almost a decade ago, I reviewed the saxman’s first seasonal CD, Boney’s Funky Christmas, and was impressed. I love the Christmas season and have a larger-than-average number of related discs. The fact that this is one of them that I put on first each […]

Review: Mark Hollingsworth – Chasing the Sun »

For the last week I’ve been trying to find the right words to describe veteran studio saxophonist Mark Hollingsworth’s latest release, Chasing the Sun. I keep going back and re-listening to these well composed, excellently performed, but totally dissimilar 13 tracks. How best to describe what’s on Chasing the Sun; Brecker Brother-ish, Steely Dan like, […]

Review: MSM Schmidt – Transit »

The next time someone asks me to define contemporary jazz, I have the answer: Transit from MSM Schmidt. The project is an ideal fusion of jazz and rock. It has excellent compositions that allow its stellar cast of musicians to let loose and improvise. It’s a plugged-in, fired-up affair that will reinvigorate a sagging spirit. […]

Review: Hemispheres »

Hemispheres is a new group recording from Joel Rosenblatt on drums (late of Spyro Gyra), Ric Fierabracci on bass (latest trio recording with Frank Gambale and Virgil Donati), and Australian keyboardist Phil Turcio. These three music veterans, along with a little help from friends like Eric Marienthal, Gary Meek, Bill Evans, Steve Tavaglione, Christian Howe, […]

Review: Eric Marienthal – Just Around the Corner »

Eric Marienthal’s new Peak Records release, Just Around the Corner, opens strong with the composition, “Blue Water,” and never looks back! Immediately you recognize Marienthal’s distinctive voice, honed over the past 20 years; in fact, I can’t recall his sax sounding any stronger than on this, his eleventh solo release. Backed by a cadre of […]

Review: Play from Jeff Kashiwa »

In the liner notes to Play, the latest Jeff Kashiwa release, writer Brian Soergel writes “a new creative direction in contemporary jazz – a shaking free of abundantly creative talent in a genre sagging under the weight of yesterday’s rules – is forcefully redefining a style desperately in need of fine tuning.” With a little […]

Review: The Meeting Place from Ken Navarro »

Ken Navarro has written and played some of the sweetest melodies I’ve heard in my years of listening to contemporary jazz. So what happens when he steps away from the “smooth jazz radio” sound? You still get sweet sounding guitar and memorable songs! The Meeting Place is the 17th, and latest, recording from the reliable […]

Review: The Harlem Experiment »

I’m listening to what may be the coolest release of 2007. Following their eternally enjoyable Detroit and Philadelphia Experiments, Ropeadope is releasing The Harlem Experiment to retail on October 30. You can listen a stream of the entire release at the promo site. Go ahead and hit the link right now, queue up the music, […]