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Gerald Cleaver & Violet Hour: Live at Firehouse 12 (Sunnyside)

If you were lucky enough to have caught drummer Gerald Cleaver’s Violet Hour ensemble at one of its gigs 15 or so years ago, you know the sextet was jake in the vehemence department. The Gerald Cleaver’s Detroit album, recorded at Brooklyn’s Barbès in 2006, illustrates the group’s collective hard-bop charisma. This new disc from … Read More “Gerald Cleaver & Violet Hour: Live at Firehouse 12 (Sunnyside)”

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Enrico Rava/Joe Lovano: Roma (ECM)

Although they’d played a handful of gigs together decades ago, Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava and American saxophonist Joe Lovano hadn’t undergone a proper co-leader tour until the 2018 outing that found them stopping in Rome to make this live recording. Accompanied by pianist Giovanni Guidi, bassist Dezron Douglas, and drummer Gerald Cleaver, the two horn … Read More “Enrico Rava/Joe Lovano: Roma (ECM)”

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Larry Ochs/Nels Cline/Gerald Cleaver: What Is to Be Done (Clean Feed)

Is there a place for metal bloodletting in your free jazz stew? Nels Cline thinks so. He, drummer Gerald Cleaver, and saxophonist Larry Ochs fall flat on their backs and bark screaming mad in tribute to what sounds like Mastodon impaled on Sunn O)))’s altar of slow-motion disaster. It’s about crunch, calamity, and release—then you … Read More “Larry Ochs/Nels Cline/Gerald Cleaver: What Is to Be Done (Clean Feed)”

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Russ Lossing: Changes (SteepleChase)

Russ Lossing’s career is centered on writing and playing his own music, but he’s intermittently addressed our ever-growing jazz canon with the kind of insight that can only be honed by decades of improvising. Check the pianist’s takes on Sonny Rollins’ “Pent Up House,” Andrew Hill’s “Awake,” or Paul Motian’s “Dance” for a clear view of … Read More “Russ Lossing: Changes (SteepleChase)”

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Giovanni Guidi/Gianluca Petrella/Louis Sclavis/Gerald Cleaver : Ida Lupino

Giovanni Guidi represents a promising new generation of Italian pianists, a group that includes Alessandro Lanzoni, Claudio Filippini, Domenico Sanna and Enrico Zanisi. Guidi’s strongest work to date is contained in trio albums like City of Broken Dreams and This Is the Day, both on ECM. They reveal an original piano talent, edgier than the … Read More “Giovanni Guidi/Gianluca Petrella/Louis Sclavis/Gerald Cleaver : Ida Lupino”

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Joe Morris/William Parker/Gerald Cleaver : Altitude

Remarkably, despite their heftily prolific discographies and the fact that their list of collaborators comprises a Venn diagram with little non-overlapping space, Altitude marks the first time that Joe Morris, William Parker and Gerald Cleaver have worked together as a trio. The occasion was a two-week stint for AUM Fidelity owner Steven Joerg as guest … Read More “Joe Morris/William Parker/Gerald Cleaver : Altitude”

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