Engaging and fulfilling is the lush work of San Diego composer and pianist Danny Green. Green is a melodist, one of those folks who creates tunes that are at once completely new and yet deeply and intimately familiar. Musicians like that astound me. It's as if someone took a rock and some leaves and and pond water mixed them together and came up with coq au vin. It would be easy to say that the addition of a string quartet makes the sound... read more
Chris Amemiya is a true renaissance man. By day he's a research molecular biologist expanding our understanding of the evolution of change in vertebrates and stem cells, by night he's expanding our understanding of harmonic changes as a trombonist of the highest order. The way Chris gets around the trombone will leave trombone players shaking their heads in admiration and inspiration. He brings to mind Allen Hermann, a renowned physicist and... read more
Bennington has assembled a crew of thoughtful, restrained, and talented players to generate music that reminded me alot of Tony Williams' excellent early Blue Note records Spring and Lifetime. Paynter, who wrote many of these tunes, speaks in elliptical phrases and favors episodic compositions which leave players alone in the spotlight for long durations (particularly so on the sparce opening trio track). His "Two Fascinations" sets up an... read more
Players Forge "Bicoastal" Partnership
When the Bicoastal Collective launches into a tune, audience members soon get the sense that they're being pulled into a distinctive sonic space. The ensemble features five saxophones, four trumpets and four trombones, in addition to a rhythm section of guitar, bass, drums, and piano. At this year's San Jose Jazz Summer Fest, the band played some of the music from their new album, Bicoastal... read more
A jazz tribute to the Beatles is not unusual, there are many out there, but what is more selective is a tribute that tries to re-shape the Beatles' original music, and does so successfully, and that is what we have in Daria's creative re-structuring of the 'fab four' on her new album, "Strawberry Fields Forever (Songs by the Beatles)". Daria and her crew of San Francisco jazz artists take on several Lennon-McCartney classics, and do so... read more
4-STARS When the members of the collective Unhinged Sextet gathered to record their first album Clarity (OA2 Records, 2015) it was the first time they had played together, despite long-standing mutual associations. Don't Blink continues to demonstrate the chemistry that characterized their first meeting. Once again the music is all original, with contributions from five of the six group members - and the compositions inspire consistently... read more
EDITOR'S PICK / JUNE 2018 During the last several years, tenor saxophonist Jarod Bufe - long known in the Windy City for his expertise as a horn repairman - has developed a body of exquisite original compositions for the quartets and trios he leads at Chicago-area venues like FitzGerald's and Elastic Arts. New Spaces is the debut album by Bufe's quartet with guitarist Tim Stine, bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Jon Deitemyer, all frequent... read more
And just when I thought Danny Green's Trio had outdone themselves with 2015's Altered Narratives, they release One Day It Will, their third album on OA2 Records. It is the very same brilliant trio of Danny Green on piano, Justin Grinnell on bass, and Julien Cantelm on drums. In fact, they have been together since 2010.
The continue what had started on Altered States, the inclusion of strings. The string quartet features San Diego Symphony... read more
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