Issue # 166 Reviews

Our latest and greatest reviews for your reading & listening pleasure

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The links below are to REVIEWS I’ve written for Cadence Jazz World!!!

Michael Jefry Stevens – Angel’s Dance

Dom Minasi/Blaise Siwula – The Sunshine Don’t Mind My Singing

Dom Minasi/Hans Tammen – Alluvium Sun 

Dario Chiazzolino and Nico Di Battista – Rewriting Song

Dario Chiazzolino – Paint Your Life

NOTE:  I normally only do 30 reviews per issue… due to the high volume of submissions, & the long recovery period for my recent surgery, I will be reviewing several more (20 additional, for a total of 50) for this issue (and future issues, until our backlog is honed down)… “normal” review cycles will resume when I’ve got the QUEUE down to under 100!

MU – OF STRINGS AND BRIDGES:  Our friends at SLAM Productions always come up with very interesting music to listen to, and this cello/guitar release is no exception… it features cello by Federica Vecchio and amplified acoustic guitar/effects from Adriano Lanzi… I’ve no doubt my improvising friends Dom Minasi and Jack DeSalvo would totally dig on this one (since it falls in the same realm as some of their own releases)!  As you listen to “Il primissimo kiwi“, you will quickly realize that this is some of the most relaxing improvised string work you’ve ever listened to.  Just under an hour’s work of on-the-fly compositions that are totally tasty and will hold you spellbound, especially since their “pacing” is so laid-back!  They’ve both composed and played extensively with other groups, and their skills certainly show… especially on pieces like my personal favorite of the eleven tunes offered up, the 5:50 closer, “Love in outer space“… there are a ton of “little sounds” buried down under the main instruments, so make sure you listen to this (at least the first time around) with your headphones on, so you can catch every little nuance of their sensational playing.  Get more information at the SLAM Productions page for this release.        Rotcod Zzaj

Art Patience – THE RECOGNITION:  There are many artists we are familiar with on Art’s beautiful, and totally unique, album release… you can view the player/credit list to find out who they are (it’s too long to itemize here). Though the promo sheet files the album as “New Age”, “Contemporary Instrumental” and all the other monikers, Art’s background in “playing the blues” (a natural, I suppose, since his primary instrument is the harmonica) is what makes this listening experience so totally unique… just scope out the string intro to the 5:15 “Memorial Day“, and you’ll hear why this is different than any new age album you’ve ever listened to!  Another totally original and most intriguing element he brings into the songs is his knowledge of the Great Northwest woods (where I live), and nowhere is that more evident than on “Spirit of the Woods“… no “overplaying”, no “rush to capture your ears”, just simple nature sounds woven in (very tightly) with Art’s “top-o-th-woods” harmonica… I just LOVED this track!  My vote for personal favorite of the nine tunes offered up, though, is “Winds of Change“… both Native American and high-tech train sounds woven into this fine piece of musical craft/magic.  I give Art a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, as well as a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 5.00 – meaning that he also gets the “PICK” of this issue for “most creative music”.  Get more information about this Seattle & Arizona based master musician on his website bio.   Rotcod Zzaj

Dom Minasi Jack De Salvo – SOLDANI DIECI ANNI:  Something I didn’t know – Dom and Jack had never recorded together before this splendid improvised guitar session was captured in November of 2015, and released in 2016.  Due to “senior moments” on my part and a failure to enter it into my database properly, it’s languished for awhile… but, don’t let that deter you from exploring with these fine improvisors… as you listen to the excellent opener, “The Bee and the Fly“, you’ll be improvising right along with them (in your head), filling in the spaces between the flowers that the insects are traversing, lol.  There are moments where I’m reminded (most strongly) of another improving guitarist friend of mine, Davey Williams, on the short (3:03) track titled “The Indelible Decibel“… the high-flight “runs” from both Dom and Jack will hold your attention, as you (sonically) gaze in awe!  My personal favorite of the eight improvisations offered up, though, is the 8:37 “Blues for T.M.“… it’s very clear these two giants in the improv world had a blast playing this, and their talent just shines right on through, with some of the heaviest blues licks you’ve EVER heard in an improvised guitar walk.  I give Dom & Jack a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this superbly crafted album.  Get more information at the BANDCAMP page for this album (& be sure to tell them you read about them here when you purchase the release, of course).         Rotcod Zzaj

Anaamaly – URBANMETTA:  Everything you need in order to listen to samples and read about Anaamaly (Phil Strickland) and his wonderfully calming music is right at your fingertips at Phil’s website… it’s less hip-hop than chill, and in fact I would consider it to lean more towards what we used to call ambient back in the late ’80’s and early ’90’s… as you listen to the grand washes that abound on “I Live in the Current Moment“, you’ll realize that he is living the dream his own way, and that alone makes his music welcome here!  I can tell you, though, that you must find a quiet space before you sit down to listen to compositions like the marvelous closer, “I Am Healed on All Levels“… it’s ultimately important that you absorb what Anaamaly is projecting here… the string washes are simple, yet total beauty!  There are eleven long tunes, and the album clocks in at just over an hour… my personal favorite is a perfect illustration of this high-talent artist, and certainly takes him ever closer to his goal of healing and enlightening… “I Walk Through the Fire” is pure pleasure to listen to and will bring joy to your spirit.  I give this one a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  Get more information on the Anaamaly website.         Rotcod Zzaj


Quentin Tolimieri – PIANO:  This reviewer, who used to perform somewhat similar antics on keyboards (though nowhere near as qualified as Quentin) fell in love with this totally improvised piano recording as soon as I heard the first 4 bars!  There was only one sample I could find on the web, but that’s fine, because this is the tune that drew me to his wild playing in the first place; the opener – “pointlinesplanes” is nothing but a frolic, superb high-energy from start to finish!  The other thing that’s excellent about Quentin’s playing style is that he’s not limited to “just letting ‘er rip”… as you listen to his (very) unique 5:09 interpretation of “on green dolphin street”, you’ll be impressed with both his laid-back style and his use of the spaces between the notes (i.e., silence) to draw the listener into the spell he weaves.  Of the eight tunes he offers up for serious piano listeners, though, it is the closer, “fin”, which is my pick for personal favorite… “orchestral improvisation”, if you will… there’s no question but that having master guitar improvisor Davey Williams join him on this one would make it THE best piano improv I’ve ever heard, but even without Davey, Quentin REALLY buries you in a “wall of notes” that you’ll not soon forget, and the “overtones”… all I can say is WOW!  Get more information at the pFmentum website page for this album.        Rotcod Zzaj

Saturday Nite Fish Fry – VOLUME I ft SHAKURA S’AIDA:  This album is in from a promoter called “Radio Direct X” that we only encountered late in 2016 – & am I ever glad we did!  If you dig git-down & dur-tee old-fashioned blues with the kind of energy we only used to get on gravel & grit floors down Alabama way (with peanut shells all over the “floor”, lol).  You get a total of ten glorious blues/R&B tracks that will have you rockin’ ’round the floor (after you’ve had the appropriate amount of Jim Beam or Old Crow, of course; along with those splendid greasy pork ribs, ha! ha!).  Songs like “Here I Am” take me way back to the old Gladys Knight & the Pips, no ’bout adoubt it!  If you’re lookin’ for somethin’ with a bit more “jump”, you’ll totally dig on “Poor Ole Me“… man, this will have yer’ livin’ room (or yer’ juke joint) a-ROCKIN’ – & those guitar leads just SCORCH!  Since my main attraction is to the “blues” side of things, it is “Give” that is my pick for personal favorite of the ten songs offered up… superb energy and high talent from the first note to the last!  I give SNFF a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99 for this fine rockin’ blues album.  Get more information on their CD Baby page.            Rotcod Zzaj