Travis Rogers

Travis’s Contributions

Yvonnick_prene_cd_span3

06/25/15    Albums

"Merci Toots" by Yvonnick Prene and Pasquale Grasso

If most people were asked to name a Jazz harmonica player—if they could name anyone at all—it would be Toots Thielemans. Most harmonica playing comes in the form of Bob Dylan or Neil Young or John Popper. Parisian Yvonnick Prene is set to change all that...

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06/25/15    Albums

Thana Alexa's "Ode to Heroes"

From the opening track, “Ode to Heroes,” Thana shows that she is indeed an instrumentalist with her voice. Now percussive, now lush and lyrical, now precise and distinct, she employs a wide range of vocal techniques and make them all work beyond belief.

Tomoko_omura_roots_span3

06/17/15    Albums

Tomoko Omura Uncovers Her "Roots"

I first heard her when she was the violinist for the Celtic group "RUNA," a fine band with wonderful writing and musicianship. Tomoko grabbed my attention immediately with her precision and power. I discovered her 2009 album "Visions" and was hooked for...

Damianerskine5_span3

06/06/15    Albums

"Within Sight" by Damian Erskine

This is the album I have anxiously awaited for some time. It is Damian Erskine’s fourth recording as a leader and it is surely a high-water mark in his career. He wrote or co-wrote every song on the album and his performance with his quartet is absolutely...

Goh_blue_quiet_sound_span3

06/06/15    Albums

Time for Beauty--Goh's "Blue Quiet Sound"

Goh Kurosawa is one of the most gifted and dedicated guitarists anywhere. He has quickly and obviously attained master status, a true virtuoso. His own solo albums, as well as those with Sharp Three—with brother Kai Kurosawa and drummer Chuck van Haecke—has...

Farnell-newton-ready-to-roll_span3

06/06/15    Albums

Farnell Newton is "Ready to Roll"

Farnell Newton is one of the finest young horn players to appear on the contemporary music scene. He has crossed musical territories with the ease and integrity of the venerable cats from Tower of Power and others like them. He has played funk in Bootsy...

George_colligan_cd_cover_span3

06/06/15    Albums

“Risky Notion” by George Colligan and Theoretical Planets

George Colligan has released an album of new compositions with young musicians and Colligan himself in a new role with the CD “Risky Notion” by George Colligan and Theoretical Planets (Origin 82681).

Jeff_richman_span3

06/06/15    Albums

Jeff Richman Walks the "Hotwire"

I was all in from the start of this album—or maybe before—seeing that Jeff Richman is backed up by George Whitty on keys and the one-two punch of Jimmy Haislip (bass) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums). That alone made me want to break into a chorus of “Hallelujah”...

Elini_duni_cover_span3

06/06/15    Albums

Elina Duni Quartet's "Dallëndyshe"

“Love and exile carry the music of the whole world,” Elina Duni states. It is the basis of folk music and the music of her native Albania is replete with such themes. As wonderful as that folk music is, the challenge of transitioning those tunes and themes...

Andy_sheppard_span3

06/06/15    Albums

Andy Sheppard’s “Surrounded by Sea

Andy Sheppard’s “Surrounded by Sea”—his third with ECM (ECM2432) is a Jazz tone poem. Think of Smetana’s “Moldau” and you get the idea. Being English, as he states, has always made him mindful of “being surrounded by the sea.” The entire album creates that...

Gene_ess_span3

06/06/15    Albums

"Eternal Monomyth"

“Eternal Monomyth,” the May of 2015 release from Gene Ess is a continuation of his previous album “Fractal Attrraction.” On both albums, Ess explores the interplay of instruments and the female voice. Also on both albums, the female voice is that of Thana...

Aimee_allen_cd_cover_span3

05/14/15    Albums

Aimée Allen's "Matter of Time"

Aimée Allen's "Matter of Time" is the inevitable next step from her third album "Winters & Mays," a 2011 release. It has been a long wait but her trajectory from that album could only have brought her to this beautiful recording of her performances and...

Bros_span3

10/05/14    Albums

The "Levin Brothers" Give Us the Cool Jazz Just the Way They Promised

Pete and Tony Levin have played with the best. Jazzer Pete Levin has played with Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Gil Evans and Jaco Pastorius while Progressive master Tony Levin has performed with Peter Gabriel, Yes and King Crimson. Both have reached the pinnacle...

Cover_span3

09/21/14    Albums

Wally Schnalle's "Idiot Fish"--No Fools on This Album

After eight albums as a bandleader and performer extraordinaire with Bay Area bands, Schnalle has released “Idiot Fish” with a great line-up of complimentary artists. While Schnalle is an exemplary drummer and technological innovator, he augments his own...

Kerry_cd_cover_span3

09/14/14    Albums

Kerry Polizer's “Below the Surface.”

I have rarely been so pleasantly surprised. I am also ashamed to admit that I have not heard Kerry Politzer until this—her sixth—album. What I have missed!

Cd_cover_span3

09/14/14    Albums

"What a Beautiful Day" by Toshi Onizuka

Toshi defies categories. "Fusion" remains the best, most accurate, description of his play but even this is found lacking when he breaks into a traditional piece such as “Besame Mucho.” Fusion, traditional Spanish, jazz, bossa nova or rock, Toshi plays them...

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About Travis Rogers

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Travis Rogers joined the JazzTimes community on Feb 29, 2012