Category Archives: Music

At WSJ on Rez Abassi’s Django Shift

‘Django-shift’ by Rez Abbasi Review: Retuning a Guitar Legacy An album from the forward-thinking guitarist offers muscular new renditions of the music of early jazz great Django Reinhardt. Michael Sarin, Rez Abbasi and Neil Alexander PHOTO: KIRAN AHLUWALIA By Martin Johnson Sept. … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Joshua Redman’s MoodSwing Revival

MUSIC REVIEW ‘RoundAgain’ by Joshua Redman Review: Playing Through Jazz’s Changes Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade join the saxophonist on the four musicians’ first record together since 1994. Joshua Redman Quartet PHOTO: MICHAEL WILSON By Martin Johnson July 13, 2020 … Continue reading

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Meanwhile…. My Words at Other Venues

I enthusiastically post my Wall Street Journal work here as soon as I am able (30 days after it posts behind the WSJ paywall).  I’m a little slower to highlight other stuff that I write here.  In the name of … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Aaron Parks and the duo of Walter Smith and Matthew Stevens: Jazz Comfort Food

MUSIC REVIEW ‘Little Big II: Dreams of a Mechanical Man’ and ‘In Common 2’ Reviews: Jazz’s Take on Comfort Food Tasty new releases from pianist Aaron Parks and the duo of saxophonist Walter Smith III and guitarist Matthew Stevens are … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Liberty Ellman’s Last Desert

MUSIC REVIEW ‘Last Desert’ by Liberty Ellman Review: Moving Out of His Own Shadow The new album from the jazz guitarist might be even more influential than his 2015 record ‘Radiate.’ Jazz guitarist Liberty Ellman PHOTO: ALAN NAHIGIAN By Martin Johnson May … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Jazz Livestreams

This was a quick and dirty rundown done in response to the early days of the pandemic. The Staying Inside Guide: Taking Improvisation to a Whole New Level Livestreamed concerts by jazz musicians reinvent the typical performance for times of … Continue reading

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Meanwhile, My Words at Other Venues

I post most of what I write here, but some of it is posted elsewhere first. For one, there’s this piece I did for the National Sawdust Log on the great young composer, saxophonist and flutist Anna Webber.  https://nationalsawdust.org/thelog/2020/02/05/in-review-anna-webber-idiom-vi/ For … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Roberta Piket’s Domestic Harmony

MUSIC REVIEW ‘Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz’ by Roberta Piket Review: Jazz From a Marriage The pianist’s album offers solo renditions of music written by her husband, drummer and composer Billy Mintz. Roberta Piket PHOTO: JOHN ABBOTT By Martin Johnson Dec. 26, … Continue reading

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Out & About 01: Gretchen Parlato Returns

Out and About #01: Gretchen Out and About resulted from some considerations about happiness.  I wondered what within my grasp would make me happier, and one of the answers was to write about music more.  I love writing, I write … Continue reading

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At WSJ on Mat Maneri’s Superb “Dust”

I thought about comparing this recording to Leonard Cohen or Morphine, but by the time that occurred to me, we were too far along in the edit to disrupt the flow. MUSIC REVIEW ‘Dust’ Review: Jazz’s Viola Virtuoso Mat Maneri … Continue reading

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