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Ambrose Akinmusire - 'A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard'

Daniel J. Palmer
Contributing Writer
caffeinatedjazz@gmail.com / @caffeinatedjazz

I'm writing this review 39,000 feet in the air, flying back home to Texas after spending the last week meandering through the streets of New York City. The more I see of NYC, so storied and important in the history of jazz, the more I see it as an entity and amalgam of influences rather than a city. NYC's importance in the development of the genre cannot be understated, and The Village Vanguard solidified its place in jazz history decades ago. The club has hosted thousands of principal players who have cut hundreds of extremely important albums within the club's claustrophobic walls.

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Adrian Ruiz Quintet Album Release Show, Jazz, Tx, San Antonio, Tx, May 23rd, 2017

Daniel J. Palmer
Contributing Writer
caffeinatedjazz@gmail.com / @caffeinatedjazz

Dr. Adrian Ruiz is a busy man. Between serving as Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio, his freelance work as a jazz trumpeter, and his continued dedication to The Adrian Ruiz Quintet, finding time to put together an album of originals of this high caliber must not have been an easy task.

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Daniel Herskedal - 'The Roc'

Daniel J. Palmer
Contributing Writer
caffeinatedjazz@gmail.com / @caffeinatedjazz

For those unfamiliar with his work, Daniel Herskedal is a Norwegian jazz musician regarded as one of the most talented jazz tubaists on the scene today. I know what you are thinking: tuba as a lead instrument in jazz? Outside of larger jazz ensembles and the New Orleans Brass Band scene, it is of course fairly rare for the tuba to make an appearance in jazz, especially as a lead instrument. The tuba typically isn’t considered a versatile jazz quintet instrument, but in Herskedal’s hands, it is transformed into something beautiful; capable of creating romantic, delicate moments on ballads and intense, bold statements on more audacious tracks.

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Mosaic - 'Subterranea'

Daniel J. Palmer
Contributing Writer
caffeinatedjazz@gmail.com / @caffeinatedjazz

For whatever reason, the UK Jazz scene has never been fully embraced by Americans. Aside from being embarrassingly narrow-minded of us, this exclusionary mindset has resulted in our missing out on some truly noteworthy modern jazz. Subterranea is the debut album from six piece ensemble Mosaic, led by 2015 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize winner and British vibraphonist Ralph Wyld. A unique and at times chaotic album, it is one that deserves to be heard and discussed.

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George Burton - 'The Truth of What I Am > The Narcissist'

Daniel J. Palmer
Contributing Writer
caffeinatedjazz@gmail.com / @caffeinatedjazz

George Burton represents what many of Jazz’s most exciting figures hoped the genre would become: precarious, dynamic, revolutionary…unable to be contained. Few personify this aesthetic better than Charles Mingus. Not surprisingly, the influence of Mingus (a man who never allowed himself to be restrained by the so called “rules” of genre) are found all over this record. In fact, The Truth Of What I Am takes its title and inspiration from Mingus, who once said: “In my music, I’m trying to play the truth of what I am. The reason it’s difficult is because I’m changing all the time.”