Tag Archives: Reviews

Track reviews…A Dizzy Gillespie Dozen (jazz.com)

Jazz.com ran a feature called “The Dozens” which highlighted twelve iconic, influential, or otherwise important tracks by a particular artist (described in more detail here). In 2008 I contributed one on Dizzy Gillespie. The tracks I reviewed were: 1. “Pickin’ the Cabbage,” with the Cab Calloway Orchestra (1940) 2. “Lover Come Back to Me,” with […]

Album Review…Steve Lehman Trio, “Dialect Fluorescent” (Pi Recordings, 2012)

On this album Steve Lehman practices an integrated approach to improvisation in which he places each and every musical element in de/constructive play, imbuing every gesture with the potential to spark new phrases and ideas. The trio’s dialogic interplay creatively explores the interrelationships between groove and melody, all the while layering superimpositions and elaborations on […]

Book review…Jean-Michel Pilc, “It’s About Music: The Art and Heart of Improvisation” (Glen Lyon Books, 2012)

An intimate look into the philosophies of pianist and educator Jean-Michel Pilc, It’s About Music provides a potent and widely applicable model for artistic growth through fostering essential musicianship and the individual creativity of the student of improvised music. Pilc’s inspired pedagogy leads through clarity of thought and the power of suggestion rather than heavy-handed […]

Album review…Jean-Michel Pilc, “Essential” (Motema, 2011)

Sketching out the exhilarating landscapes of his artistic world with remarkable transparency, in his album Essential Jean-Michel Pilc shares the magic of the live performance and the intimacy of the private studio. Full of surprise and joy, Pilc’s masterful pianism is refreshingly unapologetic in its expansiveness and endless imagination. Essential, Motema Records MTM-61, 2011. Personnel: Jean-Michel Pilc, solo piano. Tracks: J & […]

Album review…Pilc/Moutin/Hoenig, “Threedom” (Motema, 2011)

“Behind anything that can be experienced there is some-thing that our minds cannot grasp, whose beauty and subliminity reaches us only indirectly.” Pianist Jean-Michel Pilc begins his portion of the liner notes with this quote by Albert Einstein.  On Threedom, Pilc, along with Ari Hoenig and François Moutin, offer an album of dynamic and engaging reflections […]

The Side/ways of François Moutin: Around JazzConnect and WJF2013

At the JazzConnect conference and Winter Jazz Fest in Manhattan, of all the well-covered, publicized performances and impromptu sit-ins outed at the last minute through hashtags and re-tweets, one of the most captivating performances flourished in spite of its relative obscurity, bathed in the antiseptic, fluorescent lighting of a non-descript, cookie-cutter, hotel conference room. Amid the blandest setting […]

Track reviews…Errol Garner (jazz.com)

[I wrote these track reviews of iconic Errol Garner performances in 2006 for Ted Gioia’s website jazz.com. The jazz.com project featured articles, interviews, an encyclopedia of musicians, and these 100-word track reviews. All of the content is still posted, but the site is not currently being updated.] An early solo recording—from 1945—released on Yesterdays 1944-1949 […]

Book review…Making the Changes: Jazz in South African Literature and Reportage (by Michael Titlestad)

[This review was published in a 2010 issue of the academic journal African Music (volume 8, issue 4). While reading this book and researching the review, I discovered the sociologist David Sudnow’s work on jazz piano, which proved to be a seminal moment for me as a performer and scholar. Sudnow’s research was an essential […]

Track reviews…A Dozen Latin Jazz Classics (jazz.com)

Jazz.com ran a feature called “The Dozens” which highlighted twelve iconic, influential, or otherwise important tracks by a particular artist (described in more detail here). In 2008 I contributed this article on classic latin jazz recordings. The editors ran this note as an introduction: “Pianist Mark Lomanno first traveled to Cuba on a research grant, […]