Mike Joyce

Mike’s Contributions

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08/23/15    Albums

Soloist
Andy Brown

When programming the selection of tunes on his latest CD, Soloist , Chicago-based guitarist Andy Brown couldn’t have chosen a more enticing opener than his fingerstyle take on “Dancing in the Dark.” Or a more telling one, for it certainly suggests pleasures...

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08/12/15    Albums

Diga Diga Doo: Hot Music from Chicago
Marty Grosz/Fat Babies

Fledgling jazz musicians take note. In his annotations to this lighthearted collection of vintage tunes, Marty Grosz, the 85-year-old guitarist, banjoist, crooner and raconteur, offers some sage advice: “I suggest that you take up an instrument, study and...

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07/24/15    Albums

A Million Colors in Your Mind
Cyrus Chestnut

There’s nothing quite like the sound of pianist Cyrus Chestnut hammering his way through a five chord in a climactic turnaround, as if to underscore his abiding affection for blues and gospel traditions. It evokes images of a smiling slugger rounding third...

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06/16/15    Albums

Rigamaroll
Jerry Bergonzi

For someone who’s always been reluctant to tout his skills as a composer, Boston-based saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi certainly knows how to write to his strengths.Hard-charging, riff-based tunes prove that time and again here, providing bracing impetus for...

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06/14/15    Albums

Deja Vu
Peter and Will Anderson

On this thoroughly entertaining quintet session, twins Will and Peter Anderson team up with one of the most renowned and beloved siblings in jazz history, drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath, who turns 80 on May 31. No surprise, then, that the young reedmen sound...

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05/24/15    Albums

Live Beauty
John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet

Anyone who has enjoyed previous collaborations by guitarist John Stowell and saxophonist Michael Zilber will be delighted to discover that nothing gets lost in the transition from studio to stage on this 2012 concert recording. It’s an intimate quartet affair...

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05/18/15    Albums

Duets
Kevin Eubanks/Stanley Jordan

Melodic finesse? Rhythmic funk? An album likely to appeal to a cross-section of smooth and mainstream jazz tastes? You shouldn’t expect anything less from a recording that pairs guitar vets Stanley Jordan and Kevin Eubanks. Yet for all the signature traits...

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12/27/14    Albums

Guitar in the Space Age!
Bill Frisell

Guitar in the Space Age! marks giant steps backward and forward in time for guitarist Bill Frisell. On one hand, it’s a celebration of the improbable rise of the electric guitar—particularly the models made by Fender—during the ’50s and ’60s. But more important...

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12/26/14    Albums

The Melody Lingers On
Houston Person

Here’s veteran reedman Houston Person rolling in the deep again, his tone resonant as ever, his primary focus the Great American Songbook and its enduring lyricism. Unmistakably in his element, relaxed and yet fully engaged, the tenor saxophonist is clearly...

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07/06/14    Albums

Three for All
The Bucky Pizzarelli Trio

Whose line is it anyway? No matter. Whether it’s jazz patriarch Bucky Pizzarelli or his son, fellow seven-string guitar master John, fashioning melodic embellishments and spinning single-note improvisations on Three for All , the level of musicianship is...

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06/17/14    Albums

Live at the King of France Tavern
Teddy WIlson

As this recording from a long-defunct Maryland venue illustrates, over the course of two brief sets laced with classic pop and jazz tunes, legendary pianist Teddy Wilson was in fine form in 1978. The first set is mostly notable for its Ellington-Strayhorn...

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05/24/14    Albums

A Day In Nashville
Robben Ford

As studio recordings go, A Day in Nashville qualifies as a drive-by: one session, nine songs, no over-thinking, no needless tinkering. Judging from the results, guitarist Robben Ford and his band should make haste more often. Apparently, after the veteran...

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04/22/14    Albums

Daybreak
Bruce Barth

Pianist Bruce Barth starts throwing curves right out of the gate on Daybreak , transforming Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Triste,” rhythmically and harmonically, into a buoyantly percussive, odd-meter delight. It’s one of several performances that immediately...

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12/27/13    Albums

Heavy Artillery
Howard Alden/Andy Brown Quartet

Its title notwithstanding, Heavy Artillery has far more to do with finesse than firepower, something that’s evident from the opening track, a slyly unfolding, effortlessly swinging rendition of “Louisiana.” Lest anyone need further proof that guitarists...

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11/28/13    Albums

Lone Prairie
Corey Christiansen

Much like the soundscapes jazz guitarists Bill Frisell and Pat Metheny have recorded, Lone Prairie has its pastoral charms. But in revealing the breadth of his musical education, or at least a significant measure of it, Corey Christiansen draws from a variety...

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11/14/13    Albums

Teamwork
Nils Landgren Funk Unit

The prolific Swedish trombonist Nils Landgren and his band express little interest in reinventing the wheel on Teamwork . Why bother when that wheel is a timeless mix of proto-funk and soul-jazz balladry—and when the likes of Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and...

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About Mike Joyce