Mike Shanley

Mike’s Contributions


01/04/17    Albums

Rempis/Abrams/Ra + Baker

Dave Rempis made his mark as the second saxophonist in the Vandermark 5, and his former employer’s influence is abundant throughout Perihelion , a two-disc set released on Rempis’ label, Aerophonic. The music undulates like waves on the high seas, lulls...


01/02/17    Albums

All Terrain Guitar

Prasanna’s “Springtime in New York” doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the more lyrical depictions of Big Apple seasons. It launches All Terrain Guitar with a gale of notes that express the speed in which the average New Yorker moves in order to stay afloat...


11/22/16    Albums

Stephan Crump's Rhombal

Whether he’s anchoring the Vijay Iyer Trio, keeping things at once action-packed and understated in the two-guitar/bass Rosetta Trio or testing the limits in duets with adventurous friends like Steve Lehman, bassist Stephan Crump can always generate attention...


11/01/16    Albums


To record their sophomore Thumbscrew album, guitarist Mary Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara took part in a two-week residency in Pittsburgh, which allowed them to compose individually but work up the music as a unit. The extended...


10/25/16    Overdue Ovation

An Overdue Ovation for Joseph Bowie

Defunkt's leader, trombonist, vocalist and percussionist


10/21/16    Albums

Touch My Beloved's Thought
Greg Ward & 10 Tongues

Upon completing an album, Charles Mingus often said the new work was the best thing he’d ever made. He might have been accurate when discussing The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady . The six-part suite, recorded in 1963, made great strides in rendering the...


09/26/16    Albums

Super Petite
The Claudia Quintet

The title Super Petite refers to the compositions drummer John Hollenbeck penned for the Claudia Quintet’s eighth album. Bucking the trend toward longer and larger works of music and literature, nearly all of them are timed at six minutes or less. The Quintet’s...


09/20/16    Albums

Myra Melford & Ben Goldberg

Ben Goldberg and Myra Melford have each served in supporting roles on one another’s ambitious projects. Melford’s piano appeared in Goldberg’s Orphic Machine last year, a nonet session that combined original music with the writer Allen Grossman’s poetic...


08/16/16    Albums

Jersey Cat
Freddie Hendrix

The initial blast that launches Freddie Hendrix’s solo on “St. Peter’s Walk” serves as a shout that means business. The trumpeter first heard the song on a Louis Hayes album that featured Woody Shaw, and Hendrix’s rapid and concise solo puts him in league...


08/01/16    Albums


Nolatet’s moniker implies their central location in the Big Easy. While that isn’t unusual, the distinction comes from members who span four generations (the oldest a septuagenarian), all bringing different facets of music to the fold. Drummer Johnny Vidacovich...


07/06/16    Features

Marcus Strickland: Vision & Execution

Jazz meets hip-hop production


07/06/16    Albums

Joe Chambers

As a performer, Joe Chambers plays several roles on Landscapes . He stands front and center on the vibraphone, and he brings up the rear on trap kit. On “Havana” he ups the ante even further by adding bongos, marimba and congas to the mix. On the title track...


06/04/16    Albums

The Pauper & the Magician
Ari Hoenig

A magician “with darkness in his heart,” who plays cruel tricks on a pauper, sounds less like a scenario for a children’s story than a source for their nightmares. Yet that’s how drummer Ari Hoenig’s thematic album began life, as a tale he told to his young...


05/26/16    Albums


If Empirical’s blend of alto saxophone, vibraphone, bass and drums evokes Eric Dolphy’s Out to Lunch! , the effect isn’t completely coincidental. The group previously paid tribute to the multireedist and his classic session on its sophomore album, Out ’n’...


04/10/16    Albums

Energies of Change
David Gilmore

Sometimes it’s not what time signature you play in but what you can play in that time signature. From his time with M-Base musicians like Steve Coleman to more recent sessions with Rudresh Mahanthappa (as well as his own work as a leader), guitarist David...


03/27/16    Features

Trumpeter Nate Wooley: Cracking the "Codes"

Tackling classic Young Lions material, on his own terms

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About Mike Shanley