John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble – All Can Work

The Music

The Words

Twenty-one. That’s how many people play in this so-called “large ensemble”. This jazz orchestra is noticeable in many regards, but the most important of which is their musical output. All Can Work came out on January 26, and it represents over an hour of amazingly well put together modern jazz compositions that often remind me of some of the best prog rock out there. I’ve got to say this might be due to Theo Bleckmann’s voice, which is perhaps the most reassuring thing in this quite avant-garde environment. While the aim of the work here is … Read more

Garrett Wingfield’s Octopod – Monoliths and Sepulchres

The Music

The Thoughts

For full disclosure, yes, I’ve backed this project on indiegogo. Nonetheless, I think this album is a really awesome one! Monoliths and Sepulchres is the debut full-length from Denton, Texas-based experimental jazz unit The Octopod. The aptly-named Octopod features eight musicians, including three horn-blowers (correction: five). As such, their music is heavily textured and rich. The album moves from free jazz during the prelude, postlude, and interludes to composed scores in the main tracks. Consequently, the result is a highly aberrant album that’s nonetheless a more than recommended listen. Its theme is to grow progressively … Read more

Vincent Touchard – Classe moyenne



Vincent Touchard is a French jazz drummer and composer, and brings his quintet formula to make chamber jazz on Classe moyenne. Here, the usual piano, double bass, saxophone, and drums are joined by a cello, while two core members also play clarinet and Wurlitzer piano, and an oboe, clarinet, and bassoon trio is added to the band on three tracks to create a real woodwinds quartet vibe. Classe moyenne is a very relaxed and beautiful jazz album. It’s rather impressive how touching the compositions and playing on the album can be, while staying relatively minimalistic in nature. Throughout more … Read more

Mammal Hands – Shadow Work

It has barely been a year and a half since Mammal Hands‘ album Floa was released – hint, we liked it –, yet, the British modern jazz trio is back with Shadow Work. Nearing fifty minutes in length, the album is, once again, a marvel of jazz music. Melodic and carefully crafted, their third release is a joy to behear. The piano and drums and saxophone trio is master at crafting memorable melodies on poignant progressions, with a firm grasp on the elusive art of tension and release, and a broad curiosity that leads to them incorporating sounds … Read more

Quantum Trio – Duality: Particles & Waves

With members from Poland and Chile meeting in the Netherlands to play modern, progressive jazz together, Quantum Trio just released a massive hour-and-a-half-long double album, Duality: Particles & Waves. Besides being of massive scale and tremendous musicianship, Duality is a concept album on the wave-particle duality, an important concept in quantum physics. The first disc, Particles, is focused on the tangible, while the other one, Waves, embodies the ethereal facet of matter and energy. Concretely, the shift is very noticeable on the music itself. As per their own description, Particles contain polyrhythmic tunes and ballads, both undeniably … Read more