Mike Joyce

Mike’s Contributions


10/23/16    Albums

Omar Sosa & Paolo Fresu

Nearly a quarter century has passed since Cuban pianist Omar Sosa emigrated to the States, launching a brilliant, internationally acclaimed recording career that shows not the faintest sign of waning. In fact, Eros , which reteams the keyboardist with Italian...


10/14/16    Albums

Presents MONK'estra, Vol. 1
John Beasley

Thelonious Monk’s music reimagined and contemporized in an orchestral setting? If such a thing fills you with more dread than anticipation, rest assured: John Beasley, no stranger to Monk’s legacy, and an artist who has amassed a mile-long list of professional...


09/14/16    Albums

Behind the Vibration
Rez Abbasi & Junction

On the face of it, Rez Abbasi’s new CD appears to be the product of an ordered mind and an inquisitive nature—an effort, as the guitarist himself has put it, “to answer the question: What might a modern jazz album sound like in the hands of contemporary...


09/13/16    Albums

Short Stories
Dominick Farinacci

If Short Stories isn’t ultimately regarded as 33-year-old trumpeter Dominick Farinacci’s breakthrough release, it won’t be for lack of imagination or effort. Produced by Grammy-winner Tommy LiPuma with an ear toward achieving broad exposure, the album finds...


08/08/16    Albums

Direct Call
Andy Brown Quartet

Thoroughly worthy of its Johnny Hodges/Duke Ellington pedigree, in buoyantly swinging ways, “The Jeep Is Jumpin’” kicks off guitarist Andy Brown’s third recording for Delmark. There are several uptempo delights to come, enlivened by Brown’s fluid yet unfussy...


07/27/16    Albums

Americana: Musings on Jazz and Blues
JD Allen

As its subtitle suggests, saxophonist-composer JD Allen’s Americana has a distinctly personal slant. Nevertheless, this collection of trio performances, mostly inspired by Allen’s writing, is multifaceted and richly hued. The pieces reflect a wide variety...


07/25/16    Albums

Natural Essence
Cyrus Chestnut

Chordal jabs, light-fingered trills, cascading runs, robust turnarounds—no question: Pianist Cyrus Chestnut is in delightfully animated form when this trio session opens with the Joe Henderson boogaloo “Mamacita.” And Chestnut is not alone in reviving the...


06/30/16    Albums

Full Circle
Brian Bromberg

How’s this for a back story: After suffering a career-halting spine injury, bassist Brian Bromberg has released Full Circle , his first CD in four years and the only one to feature him collaborating, via some cleverly reconfigured and refurbished acetates...


03/13/16    Albums

When You Wish Upon a Star
Bill Frisell

Had it been released a few months ago, this CD would have made a perfect holiday gift for the Frisell fan who can’t get enough TMC. Yet another example of the prolific guitarist’s imagination and wanderlust, When You Wish Upon a Star is proof that going...


02/25/16    Albums

Stanley Clarke/Bireli Lagrene/Jean-Luc Ponty

Not for nothing is the opener on this all-star acoustic summit titled “Stretch.” Composed by guitarist Biréli Lagrène, it’s an exceedingly limber foray into swing and blues, a performance that establishes this session’s high standards with audacious verve...


02/09/16    Albums

Antonio Hart

After hearing Blessings , soul-jazz fans of a certain age will likely find themselves counting their own. Then again, even the uninitiated may be similarly inclined. Beginning with a wonderfully evocative take on Jack McDuff’s “Rock Candy,” saxophonist Antonio...


01/20/16    Albums

Turning Towards the Light
Adam Rudolph Go: Organic Guitar Orchestra

Guitar orchestras are not all that uncommon around the world, but Adam Rudolph’s ensemble is decidedly unlike any other. For one thing, the 11 musicians who perform on Turning Towards the Light are notable recording artists and bandleaders in their own right...


01/14/16    Albums

Out of the Blue
Raoul Björkenheim ECsTaSy

Critics have heaped lavish praise on guitarist Raoul Björkenheim’s curious brand of improvised jazz, and understandably so, even if commonly drawn parallels (Ayler, Coleman, Coltrane, Mahavishnu, Hendrix, Fela, et al.) only serve to underscore the audacious...


11/10/15    Albums

The Real Thing
Eric Alexander

Soulful, songful and so clearly a recording made by musicians with common roots and an uncommon level of rapport, The Real Thing won’t disappoint fans of straight-ahead jazz that projects a timeless allure. The opening cut, the album’s title track, could...


10/29/15    Albums

The Evolution of Oneself
Orrin Evans

Some jazz pairings seem all but inevitable until they prove stubbornly elusive. So it’s great to see two of Philly’s best, pianist Orrin Evans and bassist Christian McBride, finally collaborate on a CD—and an audacious one at that, featuring drummer Karriem...


10/05/15    Albums

Swing Zing!
Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo

Where precisely does swing give way to zing on this collection of mostly guitar duets? Look no further than those performances that demand virtuosic technique from veteran guitarist Frank Vignola and his well-matched compatriots. Vignola and fellow guitarist...

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About Mike Joyce