Mike Joyce

Mike’s Contributions


06/01/12    Albums

The Clare Fischer Big Band

There are big bands and then there are big bands driven by big ideas. What set the Clare Fischer Big Band apart was the extraordinary, expansive, multifaceted arrangements and compositions created by the ensemble’s late namesake throughout his career, a...


05/28/12    Albums

Breaking the Waves
LeeAnn Ledgerwood

On the face of it, Breaking the Waves is a trio recording that derives much of its appeal from the support pianist LeeAnn Ledgerwood receives from bassist Ron McClure and drummer Nasheet Waits. But in a sense, this CD is also something of a one-composer...


05/26/12    Albums

Challis in Wonderland
Bucky Pizzarelli

This may be a more urbane offering than guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli’s recent Western swing forays, but it’s no less charming in its own way, with and without strings attached. The CD’s title refers to renowned early jazz arranger Bill Challis, best known...


05/24/12    Albums

Rick Stone Trio

The late composer Jerome Kern had a hand in making guitarist Rick Stone’s Fractals a postbop treat. First, there’s the album’s title track, a vibrant, angular reconfiguring of “All the Things You Are” that swings despite its abstract designs. Then there’s...


05/23/12    Albums

The L.A. Sessions
Mark Sherman

If vibraphonist Mark Sherman sounds thoroughly relaxed yet engaged on this quartet offering, consider the company he’s keeping: guitarist John Chiodini, drummer Charles Ruggiero and keyboardist Bill Cunliffe, this time around on Hammond B3 organ. Of course...


05/10/12    Albums

Echoes of Indiana Avenue
Wes Montgomery

Imagine an episode of History Detectives , the popular PBS program, devoted to examining a recently discovered stash of seminal recordings by the late jazz great Wes Montgomery. The provenance? The players? The circumstances? The guitars? Those are just...


04/24/12    Albums

Live at Bird's Eye
Hendrik Meurkens

“I’ll grab the harmonica, you haul the vibraphone.” No doubt multi-instrumentalist Hendrik Meurkens has offered that suggestion or something akin to it following a concert in which he demonstrated his mastery of instruments alternately compact and cumbersome—concerts...


04/23/12    Albums

Triple Play Plus Three
Bill O'Connell

Apparently pianist Bill O’Connell can’t get enough of the reconfigured trio format he explored on his 2008 release Triple Play , a bass-less session with conguero Richie Flores and flutist Dave Valentin. On Triple Play Plus Three , Flores and Valentin join...


04/04/12    Albums

Live at Smalls
Bernstein/ Goldings/ Stewart

The organ-trio tradition continues


03/25/12    Albums

Listen Here
Vic Juris

The title of this trio date extends an invitation that fans of organ combos shouldn’t pass up. But it also offers a clue as to what rewards await listeners. The album’s title track, after all, is an Eddie Harris classic that demands a soulful performance...


03/22/12    Albums

Speak to Me
Marc Copland/John Abercrombie

The arrival of this superb collection of duets from pianist Marc Copland and guitarist John Abercrombie isn’t exactly surprising, given the unmistakable compatibility they’ve demonstrated in other settings. But that doesn’t make the CD’s nine performances...


01/28/12    Albums

Armen Donelian

The title of Armen Donelian’s new recording invites some guesswork until you flip the CD jacket and find a short note from the veteran pianist-composer: “Leapfrog is a game with no winners or losers. Everyone is in it for the fun. I like this approach to...


12/24/11    Albums

John Basile

Is it possible to overstate John Basile’s flair for the understated? Odds are fans of melodically alluring jazz guitar will be tempted to do just that after giving Amplitudes a spin. This collection of mostly pop and jazz standards is quiet testimony to...


11/23/11    Albums

Mistaken Identity
Jay Ashby/Steve Davis

Sure, the fine print on this double trombone session is helpful. Pan right to hear Jay Ashby in the mix; pan left to hear Steve Davis. But after isolating the principal identities on Mistaken Identity with a little knob-twirling, just sit back and enjoy...


11/21/11    Albums

Tenderly: Solo Guitar Concert
Kenny Burrell

There are solo recordings and then there are solo recordings. On Tenderly , guitarist, arranger, composer and occasional vocalist Kenny Burrell takes care of everything but the catering. This is a casually paced, evocatively arranged tour de force collecting...


10/10/11    Albums

Shot Through with Beauty
John Stowell/Michael Zilber Quartet

Fans of John Scofield’s ’90s recordings should find much to enjoy on Shot Through With Beauty , and not merely because the album features a new quartet led by guitarist John Stowell and saxophonist Michael Zilber personalizing two sharply contrasting Scofield...

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About Mike Joyce

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