Mike Joyce

Mike’s Contributions


05/18/15    Albums

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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


04/22/14    Albums

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...


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...


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...


11/14/13    Albums

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...


11/09/13    Albums

Just For My Lady
Oliver Jones

Pianist and Canadian national treasure Oliver Jones turns 80 next year—yet another reason to celebrate his artistry and appeal. Just for My Lady offers an early invitation to the party via a collection of mostly swinging performances that radiate a sunny...


11/07/13    Albums

California Concert
Peter Leitch

If veteran guitarist Peter Leitch chose to make this 1999 live recording available for purely sentimental reasons, who could blame him? After all, he doubtless views this performance as a treasured reminder of his friendship with two late jazz masters: pianist...


10/23/13    Albums

Peter & Will Anderson

What’s a quick way for young jazz musicians to appear out of their league? Book some studio time with pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Ben Wolfe and drummer Kenny Washington. But saxophonists (and identical twins) Peter and Will Anderson consistently rise to...


10/21/13    Albums

Special Requests (And Other Favorites): Live at Catalina's
Kenny Burrell

Naturally, guitar great Kenny Burrell serves up “Chitlins Con Carne” on this 2012 concert date. (Would the crowd let him walk off stage without playing that tune?) And naturally among the promised “special requests and other favorites” is some Ellingtonia...


10/14/13    Albums

Earl Klugh

No one should be surprised if HandPicked becomes one of guitarist Earl Klugh’s most successful recordings, and not merely because it’s mostly a standards collection, which somehow still remains a career tactic capable of boosting album sales. Unlike some...


09/22/13    Albums

Blue Cranes

If you sense an emotional backstory while listening to Swim , you’re mistaken; turns out there are several. The album’s press notes put the music in context, noting that it was influenced by “indelibly profound life events—the passing away of two dear friends...

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About Mike Joyce