Michael J. West

Michael J.’s Contributions

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08/14/16    Albums

Restless Idealism
Roxy Coss

Tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss is a protégé of trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, and on the 10 original compositions that make up Restless Idealism , it shows. Among other things she shares with Pelt (who appears on two tracks) are fondnesses for elaborate linear melodies...

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08/10/16    Albums

Perfection
Murray, Allen & Carrington Power Trio

As great as saxophonist David Murray, pianist Geri Allen and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington are separately, it’s truly difficult to remember the last time any of them sounded as good as they all do together on Perfection . The members of the jazz “power trio”...

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08/02/16    Albums

Lotus
Mike Moreno

Between Billy Strayhorn and Woody Shaw, the Indian lotus flower adorning guitarist Mike Moreno’s fifth album has quite the history in jazz. But Moreno’s music therein has more in common with the mythological Greek lotus—when consumed, it evoked a pleasantly...

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07/09/16    Albums

3 Compositions (EEMHM) 2011
Anthony Braxton

Taken together, Anthony Braxton’s three new box sets comprise 14 discs and as many hours of music, each set using a different ensemble and taking a different musical approach. But any one of the releases is by itself overwhelming. The shortest, 3 Compositions...

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07/07/16    Albums

Luminosity
Florian Hoefner Group

“Typical” and “generic” aren’t synonyms. Pianist Florian Hoefner works to create music that “doesn’t sound like generic jazz.” To be sure, Luminosity , Hoefner’s third album with his quartet, is not generic, with its oblong structures and meters that require...

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06/29/16    Albums

Live at Maxwell's
Duane Eubanks & DE3

Duane Eubanks’ trumpet style is hard to pin down. While his tone is instantly recognizable, with a unique balance of brightness and restraint that nods to Clifford Brown, his application of it varies. Indeed, on the fine Live at Maxwell’s , a trio record...

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06/22/16    Concerts

DC Jazz Fest at the Yards

Kamasi, Ravi, Revive Big Band and more

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05/13/16    Chops

Chops: Making Perfect Practice

Three great musicians discuss woodshedding

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04/29/16    Solo

FootPrince

The jazz side of Prince

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04/22/16    Albums

Otis Was a Polar Bear
Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom

The cutesy title of Otis Was a Polar Bear , the third album by drummer-composer Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom sextet, is not an anomaly. Inspired by the birth of Miller’s first child, the album exudes preciousness throughout. It seems to want to capture...

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04/08/16    Albums

Standing Tall
Ken Fowser

It’s been quite a while since a tenor saxophonist arrived who’s learned the lessons of Lester Young as fully as Ken Fowser has. His compositions are honed to their essence; his solos combine fresh lyricism and firm pocket. But what shines brightest (and...

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04/05/16    Chops

Chops: High & Low

Nicki Parrott on simultaneous vocal/bass performance

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03/25/16    Albums

The Complete Savoy and Dial Studio Recordings (1944-1948)
Charlie Parker

Anyone without at least a casual knowledge of Charlie Parker’s Savoy and Dial recordings is probably not reading JazzTimes . They are the jazz equivalent of the New Testament, the founding texts of post-World War II jazz and the basis for everything—from...

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03/16/16    Albums

Honor Thy Fathers
Laurence Hobgood Trio

It’s easy to hear similarities between Laurence Hobgood’s piano and that of Brad Mehldau, who shares primary influences (Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans). But Hobgood, known for his years as Kurt Elling’s musical director, differentiates himself via another...

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01/11/16    Albums

Review: David Bowie's "Blackstar"

Days before his death, Bowie released his final statement--backed by a jazz quintet

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01/10/16    Albums

The Legendary Live Tapes 1978-1981
Weather Report

It’s no great insight to suggest that Weather Report was primarily a studio band. The legendary fusion ensemble was too reliant on electronic instruments and innovative production techniques to quite come off on the stage, even as they attained arena-rock...

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About Michael J. West

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Michael J. West joined the JazzTimes community on Jun 13, 2008