Michael Edwards

Michael’s Contributions


May 2005    Albums

Last Quarter Moon
Chiara Civello

On her American debut, Italian chanteuse Chiara Civello sounds as if she spent her formative years in Rio rather than Rome. That's not just because her ensemble includes vocalist Daniel Jobim-grandson of Antonio Carlos Jobim-and drummer Paulo Braga. On tracks...


May 2005    Albums

The Jim Seeley/Arturo O'Farrill Quintet
The Jim Seeley/Arturo O'Farrill Quintet

The overall impression one gets from listening to this disc is akin to walking into a library or a well-run doctor's office. There's a lot going on, but nobody present is about to make a lot of noise about it. The eight originals by trumpeter Jim Seely traverse...


December 2004    Books

Soweto Blues: Jazz, Popular Music & Politics in South Africa
Gwen Ansell

As guitarist Ray Chikapa Phiri states in reference to the anti-apartheid struggle, "The music won"-eventually. Broadcaster, producer and author Gwen Ansell not only provides a great overview of that victorious struggle but also peels away the white-and-black...


November 2004    Albums

Come Into the Light
Winard Harper

There's certainly been no shortage of artistic statements about the September 11 attacks and their aftermath, and there'll no doubt be more. Few of those are as concise or as engaging as the one made by master drummer Winard Harper and his sextet on Come...


November 2004    Albums

Another Kind of Blue: The Latin Side of Miles Davis
Conrad Herwig

Trombonist Conrad Herwig established both his serious interest and major credentials in reinterpreting classic jazz with 1996's Grammy-nominated The Latin Side of John Coltrane. With Another Kind of Blue, he scales the monolith again, this time reworking...


October 2004    Albums


As the CD cover's black-and-white photos attest, Cuban conguero Candido and singer Graciela have a long history, as a duo and as individual artists. From their Cubop heyday to the present, they have been setting standards in the kind of Latin music that...


July/August 2004    News

Ethiopiques Series: Nubian Sunrise

How did the music of Ethiopia, one of the cradles of civilization, remain under the shadow of its fellow African nations Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Mali and South Africa, who have had musicians achieve worldwide renown? For starters, Ethiopia is a nation almost...


July/August 2004    Albums

Monty Alexander/Ernest Ranglin

Quincy Jones is said to have remarked of his bond with Ray Charles, "Friendship is really just good air." On this, their umpteenth album collaboration since the scatologically titled 1974 LP Rass! (a Jamaican expletive), Monty Alexander and Ernest Ranglin...


June 2004    Albums

Hubert Laws

The danger in nostalgia is that the present often pales in comparison. Throughout the late '70s and into the '80s, flutist Hubert Laws laid down some genuinely sweet smooth jazz with the likes of Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bob James and Najee, among others. In...


June 2004    Albums

The Passage
Andy Narell and Calypsociation

From its rough-and-tumble beginnings amid the island of Trinidad's oil industry, the steel pan arose to become one of the few musical instruments to be developed in the Western Hemisphere in the 20th century. Like its Jamaican counterpart, reggae, steel...


June 2004    Albums

Song for the New Man
David "Fathead" Newman

Though he's long since transcended his "Texas tenor" roots, David "Fathead" Newman's records still manage to consistently convey that big, flavorful Lone Star sound: booming but never bombastic, well-done but not overdone. For this latest outing, the multireed...


June 2004    Albums

Interpretations and Improvisations: A Tribute to Jackie Mittoo
Various Artists

If Kingston's Studio One was the crucible of Jamaican recorded music during its 1960s heyday, then the chief alchemist was undoubtedly the late Jackie Mittoo. Merely on the strength of unquestionable keyboard virtuosity (most notably on the Hammond B3...

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About Michael Edwards