Mike Joyce

Mike’s Contributions


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...


05/21/13    Albums

Unit 1
Mark Egan/Karl Latham/John Hart

Not that fans who’ve been following bassist Mark Egan’s long and remarkable career need reminding, but this leaderless ensemble’s recording debut is yet another illustration of just how well versed he is in the art of the electric trio. While flashes of...


05/15/13    Albums

Melody Magic
Frank Vignola & Vinny Raniolo

Melody Magic may not boast as high a profile as Frank Vignola’s pairings with Les Paul or Tommy Emmanuel or David Grisman, but this collaboration with fellow guitarist Vinny Raniolo offers similar rewards. By Vignola’s reckoning, the two have shared the...


05/06/13    Albums

Jonathan Kreisberg

Lest anyone jump to a logical conclusion while playing Jonathan Kreisberg’s ingeniously arranged new solo CD, One , a listener’s note is included: “Although subtle (and not so subtle at times) guitar effects were utilized by Jonathan on some of the material...


04/27/13    Albums

Bringing It Back Home
Robben Ford

There’s a lot to like about this rootsy excursion. First off, the lineup assembled by Robben Ford, the veteran, Grammy-winning guitarist, is top drawer, with trombonist Stephen Baxter, organist Larry Goldings, bassist David Piltch and drummer Harvey Mason...


10/27/12    Albums

The Hot Club of San Francisco
Live at Yoshi's San Francisco

When you’ve been celebrating the legacy of the Quintette du Hot Club de France for as long as these West Coast ensembles have, and as successfully, the question invariably becomes, what’s next? As you might expect, recruiting guitarist Martin Taylor as a...


10/06/12    Albums

Impressions of Curtis Mayfield
Jazz Soul Seven

No doubt some folks will be drawn to this engaging tribute for purely sentimental reasons, but Jazz Soul Seven doesn’t go out of its way to cater to that crowd. In fact, as heartfelt as this 12-tune salute is, what ultimately distinguishes the album is a...


09/29/12    Albums

The Music of Amit Golan
Eddie Henderson & Friends

In light of the circumstances surrounding this midsize combo session, chances are we won’t see another one quite like it. But no doubt there will be forthcoming tributes to the late Israeli pianist, composer and jazz educator Amit Golan. Here’s the backstory...


09/27/12    Albums

Planet Microjam
David Fiuczynski

Planet MicroJam is yet another imaginative product of guitarist-composer David Fiuczynski’s macro-vision. In this instance, his global perspective inspires 11 curious, surprising and often witty sonic excursions. Beethoven rubs—or bumps—shoulders with Sun...


08/16/12    Albums

American Impressions
Lisa Hilton

Don’t let the greeting card sentiment fool you. The title of pianist-composer Lisa Hilton’s latest release isn’t nearly as telling as its supporting lineup: tenor saxophonist JD Allen, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Nasheet Waits. With these musicians...


08/04/12    Albums

Unlock Your Mind
The Soul Rebels

Some New Orleans brass bands have tradition on their side, and some have youth, audacity and seemingly boundless energy. The Soul Rebels fall into the latter category, reveling in a party mix of funk, jazz, pop, rock, R&B, hip-hop, rap, dance hall, bounce...


07/25/12    Albums

Les Paul Trio & Friends: A Jazz Tribute to Les
Various Artists

Thanks to many memorable Monday nights, Manhattan’s Iridium is widely known as the house that Les Paul built. So it’s not surprising that the club should launch its new recording label with a tribute to the late guitar legend. And, of course, it’s only fitting...

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About Mike Joyce