Mike Shanley

Mike’s Contributions

Mattulery_intheivory_span3

01/25/15    Albums

In the Ivory
Matt Ulery

In the Ivory wasn’t written as a soundtrack, but someone ought to take it and build a film around the music. Matt Ulery, a bassist and composer, writes melodies that beg for expansive cinematic shots of open plains and characters who speak more through facial...

Peterevansquintet_span3

01/24/15    Albums

Destination: Void
Peter Evans Quintet

It might be hard to believe that Destination: Void comes from the same trumpet player who, a few months ago, performed a precise imitation of Miles Davis on Blue , Mostly Other People Do the Killing’s note-for-note recreation of Kind of Blue . What was warm...

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12/28/14    Albums

Room
Nels Cline & Julian Lage

This meeting of the guitar minds might sound like an improbable pairing: the 58-year-old Wilco guitarist known for his punkish avant-garde flights of fancy joining forces with the 26-year-old melodicist best known for his mastery of mainstream jazz guitar...

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12/23/14    Albums

Alloy
Tyshawn Sorey

In addition to being a drummer able to handle the jagged musical terrain of Vijay Iyer, Steve Coleman and Steve Lehman, Tyshawn Sorey continues to mature as a composer who draws equally on experimental jazz and new music. While Sorey’s Oblique – I featured...

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12/20/14    Albums

Circa
Dylan Ryan/Sand

Dylan Ryan’s drums and songwriting might lead Sand, but guitarist Timothy Young is the guy doing the heavy lifting. And “heavy” can be easily affixed to his fretwork. The low, drop-tuned riff in “Possession” evokes Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi on a more progressive...

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12/07/14    Albums

Singular Curves
Swallow/Talmor/Nussbaum

Tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor calls bass guitarist Steve Swallow’s arrangement of “Carolina Moon” “deceptively complicated” and “challenging.” But to listen to the version of the 1920s chestnut on this album, there doesn’t appear to be anything complex about...

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11/30/14    Albums

Flash Forward
Michael Carvin Experience

Michael Carvin’s career as a drum instructor might overshadow his extensive work as a performer. His students have included Eric McPherson, Nasheet Waits and Allison Miller, to name just a few. At the same time, his CV includes stints with B.B. King, Pharoah...

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11/26/14    Albums

In Convergence Liberation
Hafez Modirzadeh

Hafez Modirzadeh offers an extensive explanation of “liberation convergence” in the liner notes to his latest album. To paraphrase, he calls this principle “consciousness gravitating toward a point of supreme balance, where all fear of extinction is removed...

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11/11/14    Features

Sean Jones' Restless Heart

Trumpeter, educator—and dauntless risk-taker

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10/26/14    Albums

The Darkseid Recital
Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp

In a solo setting, it can be a challenge to figure out whether Matthew Shipp is playing a composition or if the music is emerging from his fingers spontaneously. If the latter applies, he has an uncanny ability to chart a well-developed course with ease...

Jones_shipp_darkseid_recital_span3

10/19/14    Albums

The Darkseid Recital
Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp

In a solo setting, it can be a challenge to figure out whether Matthew Shipp is playing a composition or if the music is emerging from his fingers spontaneously. If the latter applies, he has an uncanny ability to chart a well-developed course with ease...

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10/09/14    Albums

Manhattan Moonrise
The Microscopic Septet

Joel Forrester, pianist and composer of the Microscopic Septet, says the band might come off like a revival group, but what they attempt to revive never really existed. “A revival of the future, then?” he asks. While such quips usually serve as nothing more...

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09/20/14    Albums

Ooh, What an Outfit!
Chubby Jackson

If a film made during the mid-1950s featured a scene in jazz club, it always included one particular stock character: the guy who was juiced out of his mind, throwing his head back and yelling things like “Go, man, go!” toward the stage. Chubby Jackson didn’t...

Davedouglas_span3

09/08/14    Albums

Present Joys
Dave Douglas & Uri Caine

The art of shape-note singing combines spiritual messages with simple folk melodies. Created during the 19th century, it gave non-tutored voices the ability to express their devotion while singing in four-part harmony. The music found in century-old books...

Youngguns_span3

08/21/14    Albums

Young Guns
Gene Ludwig/Pat Martino Trio

Some musical relationships last a lifetime while others simply serve as milestones along the way, conjuring up questions of what might have transpired had certain musicians continued to work in tandem. Pittsburgh’s Gene Ludwig had evolved beyond a Jimmy...

Rightontime_span3

08/15/14    Albums

Right On Time
Harold Mabern

Smoke, one of New York City’s most intimate hardcore jazz clubs, is the latest venue to branch out into the album industry. The organization hasn’t wasted time either, dropping Smoke Sessions’ first six discs before 2014 reaches its mid-point. All were recorded...

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About Mike Shanley

Shanley_selfportrait_thumb

Mike Shanley wishes there were more hours in the day to just sit and listen to music, probably with some coffee close at hand. A native of Pittsburgh, he served as arts & entertainment editor at two of that city's alternative newsweeklies, InPittsburgh and Pulp. In addition to JazzTimes, he freelances for Pittsburgh City Paper, Blurt and maintains a blog at www.shanleyonmusic.blogspot.com where he rambles on about whatever has landed on the turntable or disc player at that moment. His writing has appeared in Harp, Pittsburgh Magazine, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and on the website PopCity.com. He has also played bass guitar in a number of Pittsburgh indie rock bands over the past two decades.