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Vic Juris: Two Guitars (SteepleChase)

The title of Vic Juris’ latest release references one of the album’s chief strengths. Largely devoted to original, recently minted tunes, it’s brimming with tonal contrasts generated by hollowbody electric and steel-string acoustic guitars (both played by Juris, but not simultaneously). When you consider the colorful sonic spectrum, the fresh themes, and the alert, subtle, … Read More “Vic Juris: Two Guitars (SteepleChase)”

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Ronnie Cuber: Ronnie’s Trio (SteepleChase)

It’s easy to play standards, but damned difficult to play them well. The problem is one of familiarity: How does one take a tune that’s been played literally a million times and find something fresh in it? Some younger musicians deal with this problem by avoiding the familiar tropes of straight-ahead playing (Tom Rainey’s Obbligato … Read More “Ronnie Cuber: Ronnie’s Trio (SteepleChase)”

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Adam Nussbaum: The Lead Belly Project (Sunnyside)

Aptly enough, this tribute to folk-music legend Lead Belly comes with 12 strings attached, albeit in a thoroughly modern jazz context. Eager to salute one of his earliest and most enduring influences, drummer Adam Nussbaum recently joined tenor saxophonist Ohad Talmor and two electric guitarists—Steve Cardenas and Nate Radley—for a one-day recording session that quickly … Read More “Adam Nussbaum: The Lead Belly Project (Sunnyside)”

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