Mike Joyce

Mike’s Contributions


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...


08/29/13    Albums

Amos Garrett Jazz Trio

Describing this collection of concert recordings as a congenial affair doesn’t quite do it justice. Guitarists Amos Garrett and Kevin Smith couldn’t sound more relaxed and compatible if they were sitting out on a back porch somewhere shooting the breeze...


08/05/13    Albums

River Edge, New Jersey
Bill Cunliffe Trio

This album marks the recording debut of pianist Bill Cunliffe’s new trio, but nothing about it suggests the tentative approach that often mars maiden studio voyages. The reason for that is plain enough. Cunliffe has recruited two musicians whom he admires...


07/07/13    Albums

Quartette Humaine
Bob James & David Sanborn

No one can accuse pianist Bob James and saxophonist David Sanborn of cashing in on the platinum success achieved by their 1986 release, Double Vision , with a hastily issued encore. The two Grammy-winners finally got together again in the studio late last...


06/14/13    Albums

From Here I See
Ben Wolfe

If you were to initially mistake From Here I See for a leaderless small-combo session with strings, chances are Ben Wolfe would be pleased. The bassist-composer isn’t merely in self-effacing form on this outing—he puts into play a group of top-flight musicians...


06/13/13    Albums

Uplift2 Higher
Monty Alexander

By the time Monty Alexander brings “When the Saints Go Marching In” to a chord-crashing close, it’s clear he won’t have to audition twice to be “in that number.” Other keyboard candidates may want to rethink things. Like Uplift , its chart-topping predecessor...

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About Mike Joyce