Fred Bouchard

Fred’s Contributions

May 1997    Albums

Stairway to Heaven
Return to Zero Featuring Gary Bartz & Harvie Swartz

Italians play jazz the way they live life: with a certain selfless politeness, suavity and grace, a conservatism that defies chance-taking. Such a modus jocendi is likely to strike American jazz fans as excessively laid-back, lacking in urgency and focus...

April 1997    Albums

Piano Music (Notated) 1968-1988, Volumes 1 and 2
Anthony Braxton

We're not talking jazz here: this is Anthony Braxton's "contemporary" or "serious" music bag, and it has little to do with his work with Circle (1970) or his Creative Orchestra Music (1976) or even his Charlie Parker Project (1993, also on hat ART). It's...

April 1997    Albums

The Complete Blue Note/UA Sessions
Curtis Fuller

The magnificent chops for bebop trombone may have fallen to J.J. Johnson, but God gave Curtis Fuller a big chunk of the soul. Fuller's sound is dependably clean and solid, uncomplicated and direct, a tad guttural and gruff, but honest as your Dutch uncle...

April 1997    Albums

If You Never Come To Me
Monica Hatch

Monica Hatch sings smoothly, coolly, and steadily throughout a pleasing debut of five sambas, two Rodgers & Hart gems, two bebop scatters, two well-trodden ballads, and a Celtic evergreen. She's one of the rare musicians who breeze between the jazz and classical...


April 1997    Albums

To Be There
Scott Whitfield

This is Californian acoustic guitarist Diorio's sixth album on a label from Parma, Italy that specializes in mellow guitar jazz, and his first solo date since the label's premiere CD. It is indeed a warmhearted effort. Diorio makes this a halcyon reminiscence...


March 1997    Albums

Antonio Carlos Jobim

Tom Jobim, unquestionably one of the great songwriters of our century, fused lyric and melody inseparably, as did Cole Porter. He sang well, with supreme understanding, in a warm, cheroot baritone and played "composer" piano and spidery guitar perfectly...

March 1997    Albums

Havana Calling
Maraca y Otra Visiun

In the waning days of the Castro regime and our unilateral musical embargo, America is beginning to catch up on an embarrassing dearth of cosas cubanas. Prominent among the bands in the new diaspora of Cuban music will be Orlando Valle (a.k.a. Maraca), who...

March 1997    Albums

Here's to Joe
Paul Broadnax

Few singers have the temerity, experience, equipment, and duende to pay solid tribute to the dean of jazz vocalists. I'm talking about none other than Joseph Goreed of Cordele, Georgia, widely known as Joe Williams. Paul Broadnax is one of those very few...

March 1997    Albums

Ants In a Trance
Mitch Seidman

Guitarist Seidman has a streak of playful curiosity in him which piques him to explore unusual combinations and ruminative material. He assembles an oddly resonant and introspective (though heretofore unexplored) chamber sound, drawing on Lennie Hochman...

January/February 1997    Albums

In the Same Breath
Mick Goodrick/Dave Leibman/Woflgang Muthspiel

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe out. When Liebs' sweetly purling soprano saxophone infiltrates the Mick 'n Wolfie guitar duo, what seemed a perfectly natural process suddenly becomes an out-of-body experience. Goodrick and Muthspiel have honed a mesmerizing...

January/February 1997    Albums

Flood at the Ant Farm
Phillip Johnston's Big Trouble

Verrry clev-ah! Johnston's fancy riffs and 30-second drills and hot-shot chop-shop stops-out licks all invade the senses in a dozen turn-on-a-nickel charts. It's jumpy, quick two-step stuff that Johnston plies, drawing on the tradition of his work with Microscopic...

January/February 1997    Albums

The Greeting
Dave Stryker Quintet

Easy-rider Dave Stryker has assembled a nice band and smooth set for his seventh lead album (since 1990) on his steadfast home label (ninth overall). Far from resting on such heartening stability, Stryker tweaks the date in fresh ways. On his sole horn-free...

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About Fred Bouchard