Michael Toland began scribbling about music in 1988 for the photocopied ‘zine FHT Music Notes. He’s since written for various print and online publications, including Pop Culture Press (for whom he was reviews editor for several years), Texas Music (of which he was a founding editor), Trouser Press, Sleazegrinder, Sonic Ruin, Amplifier, Goldmine, Austin Citysearch the Austin American Statesman, Blurt and the Austin Chronicle. He was also the creator and grand poobah of the music-obsessive web site High Bias (2001-2006). He lives in Austin, Texas and works for public television.
As long as Marino treads the boards, old school rock & roll values of melody, riff, and spice will never die.
Though definitely jazz in nature, the band never specifies what kind of jazz.
Taken from two separate dates in August 1964 (plus a bonus track recorded in 1969), these tracks capture the early sixties Bill Evans Trio at its most synchronous.
A Danish jazz summit, the concert captured on Strands brings together three different generations of Denmark-born or based improvisers.
In 2008, trombonist Steve Davis and bass player Peter Washington met up with legendary pianist Hank Jones for a relaxed trio session.
Featuring tunes written before and during the pandemic, Liberated Gesture presents vibraphonist Yuhan Su with an exceptional band of fellow travelers.
Saxophonist Ivo Perelman tends to stick to small ensembles – duos, trios, even solos. So it’s a nice surprise to hear him with a sextet.
Nothing like a good old-fashioned free improv party.
Three albums in, Cologne-based drummer/composer Mareike Wiening has made herself one of those artists – one whose latest record immediately vaults to the top of the buy/pre-order/save list upon announcement.
Liminal Silence, the culmination of a long-standing collaboration between Korean singer Sunny Kim, Armenian keyboardist Vardan Ovsepian, and American guitarist Ben Monder, is an album that defies categorization.
Call it soul jazz, jazz funk, boogaloo, or whatever – there’s something irresistible about a good, danceable groove coupled with improvisational flair.
Last year’s debut For the Love of Fire and Water instantly put the Quintet into the top tier of twenty-first century working groups, and Hear the Light Singing will ensure it stays there.
There’s nothing particularly twenty-first century about Hard Light – no one’s trying to reinvent the wheel here.
Joe Santa Maria is a great example of the new breed of jazz player – one who absorbs musical influences from across the spectrum of music and incorporates them into his own ideas.
When the Horsemen began in the mid-eighties, they were seen as the Flesh Eaters’ country cousins, with Desjardins’ patented noir lyrics set in friendlier, more melodic environs. As time passed, however, the line between the Horsemen and the Eaters blurred considerably, in part due to each band’s Red Rover membership, and that’s still the case here.
It’s funny how what was mainstream in one era becomes underground in another.
Keeping his upward swing going, bassist/composer Billy Mohler returns with his quartet for his third album.
Just two old friends united by talent and a taste for adventure.
Drummer/composer Kate Gentile has led her New York band Find Letter X for several years now, but this is the first studio album from the quartet.
Though a supergroup of sorts, the band isn’t given to grand statements or bombastic showboating.
While going through the papers of the late saxophone giant Lee Konitz, Talmor came across DAT tapes of rough drafts of new Ornette Coleman tunes – so fresh, in fact, that they hadn’t been scored, let alone published, and performed only once.
An expert on his instrument’s possibilities, vibraphonist Simon Moullier takes full advantage of its range on his fourth album Inception.
Drawing on every aspect of Scofield’s playing, from free bop to acid country to swinging blues, and mixing originals with covers, the two disks don’t necessarily have – or need – a throughline.
Recorded in 2017, Spirit presents a live concert performed by saxophonist Oliver Lake, pianist Mathias Landæs, and drummer Kresten Osgood from a show in Lund, Sweden.
As might be surmised from the title, Captivity explores the lives of those incarcerated, specifically those falsely imprisoned, imprisoned for political purposes, given sentences disproportionate to the crimes of which they were convicted, or dying in jail under mysterious circumstances.
Birnbaum takes a dozen pieces from Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier and applies jazz aesthetics, especially instrumental improvisation and rhythmic swing.
While a Mingus tune (“What Love”) appears again on its follow-up, our bassist/composer spends the rest of Gnosis on a slate of strong originals.
It’s unfair to say that 1992’s Circular Temple is the album that put pianist Matthew Shipp on the map.
Boston enclave Rum Bar Records may not have hit the notoriety of, say, Bomp! Records yet, but trust us when we say they have the market cornered on high quality power pop, punk, garage rock, and genre-agnostic rock & roll.
Inspired by the cyclical nature of success and failure, especially in the face of hard times, Sickafoose composed an interrelated series of pieces exploring the emotional arc of enduring that cycle.
Eleven songs, thirty-five minutes, eight days of recording.
If you’ve ever imagined Paganini as a pianist performing “Flight of the Bumblebee” after a dozen cups of strong coffee, you’re nearly there.
Also known as the KCB Collective, saxophonist Benjamin Koppel, bassist Scott Colley, and drummer Brian Blade have been a working band for a decade.
Perelman’s clearly searching for the soul balm that comes from absorbing what’s in front of him as sound , taking it into his very pores, digesting it, and letting it inform his own work at a deep level.
Ever research someone and think, “Holy cats, what a life!” Dr. Eddie Henderson can bring about that kind of gasp.
It’s likely no surprise that the title In Solitude, the latest album from bass clarinetist Steven Lugerner’s multi-faceted group SLUGish Ensemble, references the pandemic.
Written at a crucial time, pianist Ben Winkelman’s sixth album Heartbeat captures an emotional whirlwind, with anticipation and dread mixing freely and productively.
When it comes to the latest album from saxophonist James Brandon Lewis and his Red Lily Quartet, the title, quite frankly, says it all.
Last Chance to Learn the Twist is nothing so cliché as a return to form – it’s simply one of this veteran artist’s very best records.
Loud, the duo’s fourth album, features Tim on six-string bass and baritone guitar and Susan on drums, relying on meaty riffs, no-frills songwriting, and the duo’s ragged-but-right harmonizing to carry the performances.
Electronic artist BlankFor.ms (Tyler Gilmore to the ‘rents) joins with jazz piano titan Jason Moran and hugely respected drummer Marcus Gilmore for Refract, an adventure in glitched-out improvisation.
A first call bassist in both Chicago jazz and classical music, Christian Dillingham proves himself the kind of composer and bandleader who should also top lists with Cascades.
The quartet’s sixth LP Olympico seethes with energy, while also evidencing the kind of refined craft great outfits earn over the course of careers.
With Torn still on board and the addition of keyboardist/electronics guru J. Peter Schwalm, with whom composer Thelen has worked on his Fractal Guitar projects and last year’s duo album _Transneptunian Planets*, Sonar takes on another of Thelen’s side hustles: composing for classical ensembles.
On hEARoes, the threesome eschews firepower (for the most part) for chamber music, as if they’re trying to make up new works for small classical ensembles.
A mover and shaker in the fifties, jazz label Contemporary Records lured saxophone great Sonny Rollins from his home base in New York to Los Angeles to record with West Coast musicians.
Four years after the last Swans album, Gira and crew finally return with The Beggar, another album of grim tidings and aspirational gloom.