Michael J. West
Michael J.’s Contributions
11/04/12 Overdue Ovation
A prolific trumpeter fluent in jazz, classical and more
A look at the best music apps for jazz fans and musicians
The Kennedy Center's long-running event continues on the path laid down by its founder, Dr. Billy Taylor
7-string guitarist gets a push from John Pizzarelli
Featuring a quintet drawn from the University of Toledo’s Jazz Studies faculty (of which the headliner, saxophonist Gunnar Mossblad, is head), CrossCurrents won’t blunt criticisms that contemporary jazz is abstruse and too, well, academic. Its 11 original...
Dr. Charles Limb researches the neurological miracles behind jazz improvisation
Across the Imaginary Divide ’s stylistic blend works best when tilting in banjoist Béla Fleck’s direction. It’s not that pianist Marcus Roberts falls short in either playing or concept, embracing old-school traditions as well as modernism. Far from it. Roberts...
Guitarist Joel Harrison doesn’t repeat himself. His last three albums included a long-form fusion soundscape, acoustic Americana and a with-strings tribute to Paul Motian. His two fine new releases, Holy Abyss (a collaboration with bassist Lorenzo Feliciati...
Harmonica player Grégoire Maret’s self-titled leader debut couldn’t have featured any other instrument. It’s full of delicate arrangements that a more powerful ax would crush. Ironically, the harmonica is the album’s major problem. Specifically, Maret’s...
05/20/12 Overdue Ovation
On arranging for kids, pros, Hollywood, JFK…
Host Dee Dee Bridgewater (pictured), Allison Miller, Carmen Lundy and more in D.C.
In Brooklyn, two rising bass stars raise a family
Drummer Billy Hart’s current quartet lineup has been together since 2003, working steadily for most of that time; All Our Reasons , however, is only their second album (and first for ECM). It follows their 2005 debut, Quartet , a rhythmically forthright...
Frame should be a mess. It’s an eclectic zigzag of contemporary styles, played in configurations ranging from duo to full sextet, with multireedist (but primarily tenor saxophonist) Ben Wendel rotating between axes and keyboards rotating between players...
In a perfect world, The Monk Project would be a hit record. It finds veteran trumpeter Jimmy Owens and a hard-swinging bop septet making fresh, joyful work of Thelonious’ oeuvre. That’s no easy task in a Monk-saturated world, but Owens’ intricate arrangements...
Pianist George Colligan’s Living for the City , a record of jazz, rock and soul standards, is spotty. It’s not thoroughly inconsistent; Colligan’s power trio (bassist Josh Ginsburg and drummer E.J. Strickland) is unrelenting in its virtuosity, vigor and...
About Michael J. West
Michael J. West has loved jazz since he was a teenager in North Carolina, but it wasn't until moving to the big city--Washington, D.C.--after college that he became a devoted fanatic. In addition to JazzTimes, he covers jazz for the Washington City Paper. His work has also appeared in the Village Voice, TBD, Jazz.com, the Monterey County Weekly and the East Bay Express. West lives in D.C., near the "jazz district" of U Street, with his wife and daughter.
Michael J. West has loved jazz since he was a teenager in North Carolina, but it wasn't until moving to the big city--Washington, D.C.--after college that he became a devoted fanatic. In addition to JazzTimes, he covers jazz for the Washington City Paper. His work has also appeared in the Village Voice, TBD, Jazz.com, the Monterey County Weekly and the East Bay Express.
West lives in D.C., near the "jazz district" of U Street, with his wife and daughter.
Michael J. West joined the JazzTimes community on Jun 13, 2008