January 14, 2019

Ingrid Laubrock - Contemporary Chaos Practices [2018]

This review was published on NextBop

German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, a musician who usually works in relatively small jazz groups, is now taking her vision to the orchestra. With two pieces full of engrossing discord and a contemporary fusion with traits of classical music and avant-garde jazz improvisation, Contemporary Chaos Practices is an extremely apt title. The soloists featured include Laubrock and other musicians that are a part of the New York City experimental jazz scene where the saxophonist is a mainstay: Kris Davis (piano), Mary Halvorson (guitar) and Nate Wooley (Trumpet).

November 25, 2018

Thumbscrew - Ours [2018]

In a way, Thumbscrew have already put out an album in 2018, the trio, which is made up of Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Michael Formanek (bass) and Mary Halvorson (guitar), form the core of the guitarist's latest project, Code Girl. With the simultaneous release of Ours and Theirs, the trio have shown that 2018 is one of their most productive years to date. Ours is a record of Thumbscrew originals, with each member of the band contributing three compositions - each of the nine tracks showcasing the creativity and unique connection within the group.

Idles - Joy as an Act of Resistance [2018]

In the short time between their debut and their sophomore effort, Joe Talbot (vocals, lyrics), Adam Devonshire (bass), Mark Bowen (guitar), Lee Kiernan (guitar) and Jon Beavis (drums) have already managed to expand their post-punk sound. The fire is still there - a two guitar propelled attack anchored by a rapid rhythm section - but Joy as an Act of Resistance is not as consistently relentless as its predecessor, Brutalism. However, this should not be read as a negative - the change in Joy has brought a wider emotional range to the band, with Talbot sounding better than ever.

November 2, 2018

Julia Holter - Aviary [2018]

Aviary is a trip. The journey bears little to no resemblance to Julia Holter’s previous album, Have You In My Wilderness. The extremely impressive Wilderness featured Holter at her most accessible. Her voice was emphasized in the mix and the songs, while they maintained and in many cases surpassed the high quality of her previous work, were generally arranged in defined verse-chorus-verse structures. Despite the success that came with Wilderness, on Aviary Holter throws caution to the wind. The Los-Angeles-based singer/songwriter completely abandons the more pop-leaning format of Wilderness, giving listeners her longest, most dense and arguably most enthralling work to date.

October 22, 2018

Jason Palmer - Live At Wally's Volume 2 [2018]

This review was published on NextBop

When one thinks of music in Boston, "jazz" may not be the first word that comes to mind. This is understandable - the amount of venues where one can frequently see jazz pales in comparison to New York City, which is only a little over 4 hours away via bus. That being said, there are still quality series and venues in Boston that regularly feature jazz, such as Mandorla Music, the Lilypad, the Regattabar, and most frequently, Wally's.