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Michael Eaton: Dialogical (Destiny)

“Serious play” may be a cliché by now, but it exemplifies the spirit that dances through this set.  Apropos to the title, the emphasis is on mutuality: unison melody lines dissolving into contrapuntal interplay (both improvised and otherwise); shifting time signatures (often juxtaposed against one another); abrupt alterations in voicing. The dialectic between group cohesion … Read More “Michael Eaton: Dialogical (Destiny)”

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Jim Snidero: Waves of Calm (Savant)

Waves of Calm could not be more different from Jim Snidero’s previous two releases, and that’s deliberate. In 2016, he delivered MD66, a tribute to Miles Davis’ second quintet that frequently found the alto saxophonist fired up and blowing hot, while its followup, last year’s Jubilation!, a collaboration with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, nodded to another … Read More “Jim Snidero: Waves of Calm (Savant)”

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Noah Preminger: Preminger Plays Preminger (Newvelle)

Prolific tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger is also a film buff-cum-history-twisting trickster. Turning his keen lens on the work of director and namesake Otto Preminger, Noah generally de-arranges the scores to some of Otto’s greatest films. Accompanied by Jason Moran on piano, Kim Cass on bass, and Marcus Gilmore on drums, Preminger works his chosen material … Read More “Noah Preminger: Preminger Plays Preminger (Newvelle)”

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Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Hazzan (Enja/Yellowbird)

The world’s religions have long provided jazz musicians with melodies to explore, and while Judaism has never been as pervasive an influence as Christian gospel music, it has nonetheless turned up in jazz over the years. The Guadeloupe-born tenor and alto saxophonist Jacques Schwarz-Bart dives into that canon for his latest—the title, Hazzan, is synonymous … Read More “Jacques Schwarz-Bart: Hazzan (Enja/Yellowbird)”

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Anna Webber: Clockwise (Pi)

Flutist and saxophonist Anna Webber has a penchant for the elastic and mangled. On 2014’s Simple and 2016’s Binary, both released via Chris Speed’s Skirl Records, she directed the rhythmic traffic of her not so “Simple Trio”—pianist Matt Mitchell and drummer John Hollenbeck—to head-spinning heights. For this album, her Pi debut, she’s upped the über-knotty ante even … Read More “Anna Webber: Clockwise (Pi)”

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Johnny Griffith Quintet: The Lion, Camel & Child (GB)

Long ago, Friedrich Nietzsche laid out the evolution of the human spirit with a useful metaphor: the concept of three metamorphoses, in which the camel, lion, and child come to represent the phases of development or arrival. Now saxophonist Johnny Griffith has adapted that concept for his own musical purposes. Each movement of this album’s … Read More “Johnny Griffith Quintet: The Lion, Camel & Child (GB)”

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Javon Jackson: For You (Solid Jackson)

The 20th album from tenor saxophonist Javon Jackson presents a series of dedicatory designs suffused with a sense of appreciation. It’s a collection that’s both sincere in tone and forthright in its displays, playing up the best qualities behind this shining veteran’s music. With tradition always in mind but keeping the settings varied, Jackson salutes … Read More “Javon Jackson: For You (Solid Jackson)”

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