Bill Milkowski

Bill’s Contributions

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10/19/12    Albums

Cloud Nine
Jacam Manricks

Australian-born, New York-based alto saxophonist-composer Jacam Manricks has been quietly churning out quality recordings as a leader that feature some of the most in-demand players on the NYC scene. Cloud Nine , his fourth, is no exception. With Adam Rogers...

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10/18/12    Albums

Mads Tolling Quartet
Celebrating Jean Luc-Ponty: Live at Yoshi's

Danish-born violinist Mads Tolling, a longtime member of both the Stanley Clarke Group and the Turtle Island Quartet, pays tribute to one of his heroes on this live recording from Oakland’s Yoshi’s nightclub. Joined by the explosive electric guitarist Mike...

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10/13/12    Albums

Drum Music
Russ Lossing

Since the passing of Paul Motian, several tributes have been released that reexamine the iconic drummer’s contributions as a composer. None are more heartfelt and moving than Russ Lossing’s remarkable solo-piano tribute to the late, great Motian. A frequent...

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10/07/12    Undertones

Jester
Arthur Kell Quartet

Bassist-composer Arthur Kell fronts a crew of top-shelf improvisers and consummate team players—alto saxophonist Loren Stillman, guitarist Brad Shepik, drummer Mark Ferber—on this winning quartet outing. The riff-based opener, “Quarter Sawn,” recalls the...

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10/04/12    Undertones

Tone
Ryan Meagher

Guitarist-composer Ryan Meagher has recruited a group of fellow musical renegades for his sophomore outing. Like last year’s impressive Atroefy , this one falls into the “modern jazz for the indie rocker” camp. Trumpeter and Kneebody co-founder Shane Endsley...

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10/01/12    Undertones

Dialogue
Human Spirit

Trumpeter Thomas Marriott joins alto saxophonist Mark Taylor, pianist Orrin Evans, bassist Essiet Essiet and drummer (and Origin label head) Matt Jorgensen on this solid, cooperative live album. Marriott and Taylor make a formidable frontline on such modernist...

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09/28/12    Before & After

Before & After with Guitarist Mary Halvorson

Six strings, infinite possibilities

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09/28/12    Undertones

Watch the Walls Instead
Giacomo Merega

There’s something chilling and distinctly sci-fi about the atmospheric improvisations by bassist Giacomo Merega, guitarist Marco Cappelli and saxophonist Noah Kaplan on this stark, freewheeling affair. Add the minimalist, atonal piano tinkling of Anthony...

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09/25/12    Undertones

Christian Escoudé Plays Brassens: Au Bois de Mon Coeur
Christian Escoudé

The late poet, musician and political activist George Brassens began performing his affecting songs after World War II and was a beloved cultural hero in France at the time of his death in 1981. Here, veteran French guitarist Christian Escoudé interprets...

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09/25/12    Albums

Orbiting
Aruán Ortiz Quartet

The gifted pianist-composer-arranger Aruán Ortiz, a native of Santiago de Cuba, showcases different aspects of his abundant musicality on these two disparate releases. The folkloric Santiarican Blues Suite , originally written for the ballet Pagan or Not...

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09/21/12    Undertones

Seven
Dino & Franco Piana Septet

This all-star aggregation features some of the most prominent names on Italy’s modern jazz scene, including trumpeters Enrico Rava and Fabrizio Bosso, drummer Roberto Gatto, superb pianist Enrico Pieranunzi and the father-son team of valve trombonist Dino...

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09/19/12    Undertones

Secret World
Jeff Denson

A founding member of Minsarah, the Brooklyn-based trio probably best known for its collaborations with Lee Konitz, accomplished bassist-composer Jeff Denson delivers 10 original gems on this precious quartet offering. The kindred personnel here are heavy...

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09/16/12    Undertones

Soul Blueprint
Gianni Bardaro

Italian alto saxophonist-composer Gianni Bardaro showcases his considerable chops and penchant for writing difficult material on his fifth project as a leader. The turbulent “Neffertiti” (not the Wayne Shorter composition) exhibits his laser-sharp precision...

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09/13/12    Albums

In the Now
John Yao Quintet

Trombonist-composer John Yao, a protégé of Luis Bonilla, makes an auspicious debut as a leader here, joined by saxophonist Jon Irabagon, keyboardist Randy Ingram, bassist Leon Boykins and drummer Will Clark. Together they enjoy a copasetic rapport on potent...

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09/10/12    Undertones

Colombe
David Reinhardt Trio

Playing against expectations, given that his grandfather was the one and only Django Reinhardt, the 26-year-old guitarist David Reinhardt pursues a modern direction more informed by bebop, bossa nova, funk and fusion than by the Hot Club of France. With...

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09/09/12    Albums

Le Tendresse
Spike Wilner

Following the stirring modal opener, Wilner’s original title track which carries a distinct McCoy Tyner influence, the pianist settles into a program of charming old-school ditties performed either solo or with accompaniment by his capably swinging rhythm...

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About Bill Milkowski

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The author of a renowned biography of Jaco Pastorius and other books, Bill has been a regular JT contributor since 1991. He has done many cover stories and profiles for the magazine. In addition, he currently writes the UnderTones column in every issue, spotlighting up and coming artists and recordings.