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.
Bassist Vicente Archer has a quarter of a century of sessions and sideperson gigs behind him – oddly (or not), Short Stories is his first album as a leader.
Six years on from the masterful two-disk, one-song album Mirror Reaper, the duo returns with The Clandestine Gate.
Hearkening back to the funky, R&B-heavy fusion of the early seventies – Herbie Hancock/Crusaders division – Golden Mean paint colorful portraits that promote accessibility over complexity for its own sake.
If there’s a better name for a vocal group than Roomful of Teeth, we haven’t heard it.
From the evidence presented here, Boston’s Eddie Japan has never met a pop melody they didn’t like.
Not only has he just put out his memoir Easily Slip Into Another World, but he’s released his latest piece of music The Other One.
She Sees is as adventurous and exciting as any album the iconoclastic musician and composer has made.
Backed by guitarist Guilherme Monteiro, violinist Skye Steele, cellist Christopher Hoffman, bassist Michael Bates, and percussionists Mauro Refosco and Rogerio Boccato, Blake traverses all over the musical map here, incorporating bop, Brazil, tango, folk, and other influences into a distinctive blend all his own.
The keyboardist from Johannesburg’s Mabuta, Bokani Dyer has more to say than can be confined to one outlet.
As the 101st release on his own Orenda label, Polarity serves to both sum up and advance his career thus far.
To celebrate their tenth anniversary as a unit, pianist/composer Omer Klein, bassist Haggai Cohen-Milo, and drummer Amir Bresler threw themselves a birthday party, entitling it Life & Fire.
The threesome’s third LP together, Our Daily Bread keeps faith with the band’s prior explorations of spiritual and free jazz Lovano compositions.
As might be discerned from the title, faith, family, and the enduring relevance of art are on Wilson’s mind.
When it came to making In What Direction Are You Headed?, Farnsworth called on peers and younger players for a session that’s both traditionalist and postmodern.
After a decade of nifty singles, Bay Area quartet the Ironsides finally gets around to making a full-length album.
Saxophonist and NEA jazz master George Coleman has played with more luminaries than most of us have had hot dinners.
For Eventually, Jacob Young decided to record in a format that, amazingly, he’s never tried before: the guitar trio.
A mere dozen years since their last album, pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, bassist François Moutin, and drummer Ari Hoenig reconvene for YOU Are the Song.
In partnership with sitarist Josh Feinberg, Rez Abbasi’s co-created Naya Baaz (“new falcon” in Hindu), a cross-cultural exchange that’s all about serving the tunes.
On their latest release, Nuremberg duo Nick & June seduce listeners into their own private world.
Though not as prolific as, say, Robert Pollard or the late, great Paul K, Thomas Anderson writes more songs than most of us have had hot dinners.
For this record, pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Allison Miller, bassist Noriko Ueda, and trumpeter Ingrid Jensen welcome saxophonists Nicole Glover and Alexa Tarantino to the fold, though they’re so well integrated it feels like they’ve been there the whole time.
For _DAY_*, Royston gets more specific, traversing twenty-four hours of quarantined pandemic time.
Solo bass records have a special place in jazz history.
What’s more amazing – that heavy psychedelic blues rock is a style that never goes away, or that in the right hands it never gets old?
For We Sick, pianist deVon Russell Gray, saxophonist Nathan Hanson, and drummer Davu Seru recorded in an empty church across the street from the Minnesota State Capitol – a building surrounded by the National Guard due to the murder of George Floyd mere weeks before.
With their catalog now being reissued on collector nerds’ catnip (AKA vinyl), the time is ripe for both newcomers and longtime fans to discover, or rediscover, their distinctive genius.
ECM steps up with the Luminessence series – vinyl reissues from the label’s vast catalog, both common classics and deep cut gems.
Saxophonist Allen Lowe has lived one hell of a music-obsessed life.
As indicated by the title, these performances come from Danish radio, and have not been heard since they were first broadcast in the sixties.
Normal Street continues the journey into the heart of American primitivism and the lowest of low-fi.
Composer and horn player Ben Wendel clearly has a grounding in jazz and classical traditions. But that doesn’t mean he’s stuck in the past, as his latest album All One suggests.
If you’re a trainspotter for either jazz or rock credits, you’re likely to have come across Rachel Eckroth’s name.
As much a conceptual exercise as familial playtime, Hush is an album about sonic intimacy.
Drawing from the ranks of Warrior Soul and the City Kids for a tribute track to Eddie Van Helen, Meyer and friends created Trading Aces, knocking out enough songs for a debut LP in record time.
Though best known as the guitarist for Sting for three decades, guitarist Dominic Miller has another, less bombastic side to him.
The dapper and dynamic trio GoGo Penguin exists outside of any easy genre sticker.
Like Minds, the latest album from saxophonist Wayne Escoffery, focuses on chemistry – particularly the chemistry between old friends and bandmates who’ve played together so often their interplay is beyond telepathic.
The founder of the great Outside In label, Nick Finzer has spent the last decade gracing the jazz racks with a plethora of interesting and exciting musicians.
One thing that often gets overlooked by the punk and power pop heads that follow them is that the label also spotlights a style of blues- and roots-based rock & roll that’s fallen ever further out of fashion as the decades pass.
Both a brilliant bandleader and a consummate sideperson, saxophonist/composer Walter Smith III has been modestly making a mark in the jazz world for nearly twenty years.
Everyone involved hits their marks with practiced ease and long-running passion, showing not only adventurous spirits but a deep-rooted chemistry.
To follow up his debut album L.A. Source Codes, bassist and composer Will Lyle chose a different route than expected: he formed a band.
Drummer/keyboardist Peter Manheim has served admirably in the engine room of cross-genre artists like Resavoir and Tony Glausi, but finally steps out to showcase his own compositions.
Trumpeter/composer/multi-disciplinarian Rob Mazurek assembled the first version of the Exploding Star Orchestra in 2005, and has used the shapeshifting ensemble as a vehicle for whatever musical flights of fancy he deems necessary ever since.
The result is a splendid mutation of avant-garde jazz and string quartet (duo?) sounds that nods to free jazz tradition, but comes off like no one’s vision but Laubrock’s own.
A leading light in experimental jazz, trumpeter/composer Wadada Leo Smith assembled a brand new band for Fire Illuminations, the latest album in his nearly half-century career.
With two new releases, Bruce Licher and Independent Project Records continue their exploration of not only the deepest crevasses of their own archives, but the electronic, experimental underground of the American Southwest.
The New Day Bends Light is a good example of what makes the twenty-first century’s contemporary big band scene so exciting.
Future Strangers is the latest album from this SoCal guitar pop group, which means students of the style have a new batch of songs from John Andrew Frederick to emulate.