Tag Archives: CD Reviews

CD Review: The Bushwick Hotel…”the saxophone is woven into a genre where most people are (erroneously) convinced the saxophone does not belong”

Bushwick Hotel CD coverArtist: The Bushwick Hotel
Title: Graffiti of the Young Man’s Mind
Label: self produced
Genre: indie rock

CD Review by Dawoud Kringle

One of the most interesting, although potentially incongruous, manifestations of American music is when jazz musicians play rock / pop music. Of course, there is nothing new about this. Frank Beecher of rock & roll pioneers Bill Haley and the Comets was a jazz musician. The musicians who played on the Motown soul and R&B hits of yesteryear came from a jazz tradition. And who can forget Steely Dan, who mixed jazz to pop, and unintentionally had young rock audiences believing they’d invented major 7th chords? When jazz musicians enter the rock/pop world, they invariably make a contribution to the music that rock musicians along rarely can.

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CD Review (mini album): aStridd…make galaxies collide

AstriddArtist: aStridd
Title: Colliding Galaxies
Label: self released
Genre: nu jazz/nu soul

Review by Dawoud Kringle

Once in a while a really interesting CD will just fall into your lap. This is how Colliding Galaxies, the new EP by aStridd came to me. aStridd, the Brooklyn based duo of guitarist / composer Yasser Tejeda and vocalist Jill Peacock have produced a really engaging debut release.

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CR Review: Nils Wogram Root 70 With Strings (Germany) drawing on a wide variety of influences, and mixing them without strain

cover_riomar_400Artist: Nils Wogram Root 70 With Strings
Title: riomar
Label: nWog Records
Genre: jazz with strings

CD Review by Matt Cole

When last we heard from German-born trombonist Nils Wogram, he was leading a lively septet consisting of six horns and a drummer. This time around, on riomar, he uses an entirely different band, with his quartet Root 70, consisting of himself, Hayden Chisholm on alto sax, Matt Penman on bass, and Jochen Rueckert on drums; joined by a string section with Gerdur Gunnarsdottir on violin, Gareth Lubbe on viola, and Adrian Brendel on cello. riomar is just as creative as Complete Soul, while covering different (though overlapping) sonic space; and while just as energetic, is a bit gentler than Wogram’s all-but-one horn septet, as might be expected.

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CD Review: Alex Garcia’s Afromantra – riding “the different American sounds in an effortless way.”

AfroMantra QTP B&W 2Artist: Alex Garcia’s Afromantra
Title: This Side of Mestizaje
Label: self produced
Genre: Latin jazz

Review by Dawoud Kringle

In New York City, in the autumn of 1997, a Chilean – Cuban drummer and composer Alejandro “Alex” Garcia formed a group he called Afromantra. Using the rhythms of North and Latin America as a foundation, they built their jazz inspired compositions and explorations with elements from several Latin traditions. They’ve performed throughout the bets venues in NYC (a sample: Izzy Bar, Studio 54, Nell’s, Nuyorican Poets Cafe, Jazz Gallery, etc.) as well as festivals throughout the US. They’ve also been immortalized in the book Caliente, Una Historia del Jazz Latino” by Luc Delannoy.

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CD Review: Ou… a joyful, multidimensional romp through the Mediterranean and the Americas that will make you want to think and dance at the same time

Ou CD coverArtist: Ou
Title: Pisces Crisis
Label: Spoot Music
Genre: nu jazz/Balkan/nu folk/progessive rock

Review by Matt Cole

Pisces Crisis is an eclectic and energetic effort from Italian band Ou, produced by Amy Denio, known for her work in Kultur Shock and The Tiptons Sax Quartet. The band consists of three from Sardinia: Martina Fadda on lead vocals; Ersilia Prosperi on trumpet, flugelhorn, and ukulele; Sabrina Coda on alto and soprano sax; and Romans Luca Venitucci on various keyboards; Claudio Mosconi on bass, and Cristiano de Fabritiis on drums and percussion; all of the instrumentalists contribute backing vocals. Producer Denio contributes vocals and alto sax on several tracks as well; her wide vocal range and musical creativity fit right in with the band.

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