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Tom Tallitsch’s “Wheelhouse” demonstrates the continued vitality of the hard bop form

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Wheelhouse is Tom Tallitsch’s fifth outing for Posi-Tone Records (eight overall) from one of the most consistently solid performers in that label’s stable of quality jazz performers. Though this 2018 release again sees the tenor sax master heading up a roster who have led their own notable dates for the label, but this one pairs Tallitsch with a trumpeter for the first time on a Tallitsch reco ...Read More

Written by jamo

September 4th, 2018 at 12:24 pm

“Interstellar Adventures” is focused keenly on tradition and searching beyond it

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Interstellar Adventures makes good on the promise displayed on 2017’s Promethean, the young pianist’s debut for Posi-Tone, and 2015’s Live at Smalls, his first as a leader. It also far surpasses them in originality and pluck. Where the earlier outings, particularly Promethean, showed Hill to be an imaginative player with one eye focused keenly on tradition and the other eagerly searching bey ...Read More

Written by jamo

August 12th, 2018 at 3:26 pm

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“Humanities” has a shared sense of groove and interactivity

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The latest album from the esteemed jazz pianist and musicologist David Ake, Humanities swings buoyantly through a dozen tracks, mostly original compositions. The only cover on the album is a convincing translation of the Grateful Dead’s “Ripple” into a wistful, earnest ballad in the style of Brian Blade’s Fellowship Band. They showcase a wide range of emotion and timbre, from the calm, spa ...Read More

Written by jamo

July 9th, 2018 at 1:36 pm

Modernism that never goes out of style, “No Arrival” by Nick Finzer

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Trombonist/educator/composer/arranger/bandleader Nick Finzer might be a member of Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox but he’s still that same teenager who entered the annual “Essentially Ellington” competition at the “Jazz At Lincoln Center” series. On No Arrival (Posi-Tone), his tone is positive with swing, post-bop and the kind of. His originals are daring. They poke, prod and push h ...Read More

Written by jamo

June 13th, 2018 at 1:04 pm

Turn it up and feel the power of “Interstellar Adventures”

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Pianist and composer Theo Hill, a native of Albany, New York, first studied jazz piano with the late (and, in her neck of the woods, legendary Lee Shaw (1926-2015). After graduating from the Jazz Conservatory at SUNY/Purchase, Hill moved to New York City.  Slowly yet steadily, he has built quite the resume working with drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, trumpeter Wallace Roney, vocalist Grego ...Read More

Written by jamo

June 11th, 2018 at 9:52 am

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Culture Jazz from France praises the new one from David Ake

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September 17th was a beautiful day in New York. Around 7 pm, David Ake met the team he had gathered at the Acoustic Recording Studio in Brooklyn and less than six hours later, the contents of that disc had been recorded. The day before, the quintet had met a first time in order to quickly “fly over” the scores. And here is this jewel chiseled in a very short time by goldsmiths unparall ...Read More

Written by jamo

May 8th, 2018 at 8:40 am

Grateful for David Ake’s New One “Humanities”

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    When Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia wrote the Grateful Dead’s most beloved song, “Ripple,” as the B-side to their 1970 “Truckin’” single, they had no way of knowing that 48 years later, it would be the highlight — and only cover — on a terrific 2018 jazz album by pianist David Ake’s Humanities is solid  throughout, especially considering his amazing qui ...Read More

Written by jamo

April 17th, 2018 at 8:11 pm

Josh Lawrence’s fascination with colors comes out on “Contrast”

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The young trumpeter Josh Lawrence is making quite a splash on the contemporary scene as a player and composer.  “Contrast” is his second Posi-Tone album within 12 months to feature his Color Theory ensemble. What a fine band!  The rhythm section includes the Curtis Brothers, Zaccai (keyboards) and Luques (bass) plus Anwar Marshall (drums) while the front line has Lawrence paired with ...Read More

Written by jamo

March 22nd, 2018 at 12:46 pm

David Ake delves deep into “Humanities”

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Pianist, composer, and educator David Ake is a native of New Haven, CT, but spent his formative years in Chicago. He did his  undergraduate at the University of Miami before heading to the West Coast to do post-grad work at the California Institute of the Arts and UCLA. Ake’s fifth album on Posi-Tone is titled “Humanities” and features the powerful musical voices of his fellow C ...Read More

Written by jamo

March 22nd, 2018 at 12:39 pm

Roxy Coss’s new one is music that swings and rocks

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Over the past year, it’s been quite tough for anyone not to hear the voices of women around the world rising up to proclaim “Enough.” Enough of the sexual harassment and inequality in the work place, whether it be perpetrated by Hollywood Big-wigs, national and local politicians, sports doctors, educators, or someone in your neighborhood. Saxophonist and composer Roxy Coss partic ...Read More

Written by jamo

March 22nd, 2018 at 12:29 pm