Michael J. West is a jazz journalist in Washington, D.C. In addition to his work on the national and international jazz scenes, he has been covering D.C.’s local jazz community since 2009. He is also a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, and as such spends most days either hunkered down at a screen or inside his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.
With a few exceptions, trumpeter/flugelhornist Nadje Noordhuis’ debut recording is all soft-colored, European-inspired melodies and gentle rhythms. It’s an extremely muted album, in other words, … Read More “Nadje Noordhuis: Nadje Noordhuis”
Featuring a quintet drawn from the University of Toledo’s Jazz Studies faculty (of which the headliner, saxophonist Gunnar Mossblad, is head), CrossCurrents won’t blunt criticisms … Read More “Gunnar Mossblad: Crosscurrents”
Harmonica player Grégoire Maret’s self-titled leader debut couldn’t have featured any other instrument. It’s full of delicate arrangements that a more powerful ax would crush. … Read More “Grégoire Maret: Grégoire Maret”
“Clown Painting,” the industrial groan that opens Wiry Strong, announces that trumpeter Ralph Alessi and his This Against That quintet aren’t sugar-coating their third album. … Read More “Ralph Alessi: This Against That”
Warren Wolf loves melody, and he likes it spit-and-polish. It’s evident in the song choices for the Baltimorean vibraphonist’s debut. Whether originals or covers, the … Read More “Warren Wolf: Warren Wolf”